UNCG (3-4) at UCF Invitational, Sept. 9-11, Orlando, Fla.
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- After going 2-1 last weekend at the Patriot Invitational, UNCG will hit the road again this weekend as it travels to Orlando, Fla. for the UCF Invitational. The Spartans will play host UCF on Friday at 12 p.m. before facing Florida Atlantic later in the day at 5:30. UNCG will then face Pittsburgh on Saturday at 4 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend against South Florida on Sunday at 11 a.m.
- Fans can follow all of the action this weekend by going to the UCF Invitational website here.
- UCF enters the weekend with a 5-1 record, including a 3-0 victory over then-No. 3 USC last weekend, while Pittsburgh is 6-1 this year with its only loss to No. 2 Penn State. South Florida is 1-5 so far this season with its lone win coming against Bethune-Cookman and FAU will enter the tournament winless at 0-3.
- Last weekend, UNCG traveled up to Fairfax, Va. for the Patriot Invitational on the campus of George Mason. The Spartans defeated High Point, 3-1, last Saturday before falling to host George Mason in the nightcap, 3-1. On Sunday, UNCG took down Navy, 3-1. Ariel Newman was named to the All-Tournament team for her efforts over the weekend.
- The Spartans stepped out of regular-season competition last Tuesday as they hosted Division II powerhouse Wingate for an exhibition match. UNCG fell 3-0 to the Bulldogs, who advanced to the Division II elite eight a season ago. Ariel Newman led the Spartan offense as she recorded a match-high 13 kills and added 14 digs for a double-double. Karrian Chambers nearly had a double-double of her own as she had nine kills and eight digs, while Kellie Orewiler added a match-high 22 digs.
- Two weekends ago, the Spartans went 1-3 in the opening weekend of the season as they hosted the first annual UNCG Invitational. On Friday, UNCG fell to Coastal Carolina, 3-1, in its season opener and then fell to East Tennessee State by the same score later in the evening. On Saturday, the Spartans came out and cruised to a 3-0 win over cross-town rival North Carolina A&T, but fell to tournament champion Evansville, 3-0, in the nightcap.
- Junior Ari Lysacek was named to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts at the UNCG Invitational. Lysacek did a little bit of everything over the weekend as she recorded 59 assists, 25 kills and 19 digs in her three matches. Against Evansville, Lysacek nearly recorded a triple-double as she had 16 assists, nine kills and eight digs.
- In 2010, UNCG went 22-12 overall with a 9-7 record in the Southern Conference. The Spartans finished in a tie for second in the North Division and advanced all the way to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Championship.
- UNCG returns three starters and its libero from last season. Senior Ariel Newman returns as the starting outside hitter after leading the team with a 2.97 kills per set average a season ago. Setter Ari Lysacek also returns after posting 970 assists in 2010 and middle blocker Olivia Humphries is also back this year. Libero Kellie Orewiler was a Southern Conference All-Freshman Team selection a year ago and will look to solidify the Spartans defensively.
- Ariel Newman, Sarah Eldridge and Kellie Orewiler were all named team captains this season by their teammates. Newman and Eldridge are the lone seniors on the team this year, while Orewiler is a sophomore this season.
- UNCG has many returners this season who were ranked in the top-10 in numerous categories within the SoCon. Ariel Newman's 2.97 kills per set average ranked seventh in the league in 2010 and Kellie Orewiler's 3.60 digs per set average was good enough for ninth place. Ari Lysacek was fifth in the SoCon with a 7.89 assists per set average and was also seventh in service aces after posting 37 for a .30 per set average.
- This year's team will look to match the 2010's squad in tournaments this season as last year's team came away with two tournament titles in the first four weeks of the season. UNCG began the year by winning the Spartan Classic at Norfolk State University before winning its own tournament, the Spartan Spiketacular, just a few weeks later. It was the first time since 1995 that UNCG had won two tournaments in a single season.
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