Spartans fall in five-set heartbreaker to Samford
For video of coach Patrick Nicholas' comments after the Samford match, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG led by three early in the fifth set, but Samford rallied to take the final set 15-12 as the Spartans fell to the Bulldogs, 3-2 (25-17, 16-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-12), on Saturday evening in Fleming Gymnasium.
After Samford (24-3, 12-2 Southern Conference) won the fourth set to tie the match at 2-all, the Spartans and Bulldogs settled in for a fifth and final set. The two sides were tied at four early, but UNCG took advantage of a pair of Samford attack errors and got a kill from Emily McMurtrey to take a 7-4 lead.
The Bulldogs responded with a 7-2 run to take an 11-9 lead over UNCG. After a Spartan timeout, UNCG won back-to-back points to tie the set at 11-all. Once again, Samford had an answer as it won the next three points en route to winning the set, 15-12.
The Spartans (15-15, 7-7 SoCon) were led by Karrian Chambers who had a team-high 13 kills and Ariel Newman added a double-double with 13 kills and 15 digs. Ari Lysacek nearly had a triple-double as she ended up with 34 assists, 11 digs and eight kills.
Lauren Hutchinson led the Bulldogs with a match-high 17 kills and a .471 hitting percentage. Elizabeth Neisler and Katie Murphy also had double-digit kills as they recorded 14 and 13 kills, respectively. Casey Garvey had a double-double, as well, with 53 assists and 13 digs.
In the opening set, the Spartans held a slim 11-9 lead before the Bulldogs went on an 8-1 run to take a 17-12 lead. UNCG was able to cut the Samford lead down to 20-17, but the Bulldogs took the final five points in the set to win the set, 25-17.
UNCG took control early in the first set as it ran out to a 12-6 lead. The Bulldogs would trim the lead down to four at 15-11, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the set as UNCG took the second set, 25-16, to tie the match at 1-all heading into intermission.
The Spartans carried that momentum into the third set by jumping out to a 5-1 lead before the Bulldogs would come back to tie the set at 12. UNCG would come right back with a kill from Chambers to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish as the Spartans won the third set, 25-22.
In the fourth set, the two teams were tied at 7-all and then Samford went on an 11-4 run to open up an 18-11 lead. UNCG tried to mount a late rally and pulled within three at 23-20, but the Bulldogs were able to win the final two points to tie the match at 2-2.
The Spartans will travel to rival Elon on Friday at 7 p.m.
Samford def. UNCG 25-17, 16-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-12
Samford (24-3, 12-2 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Lauren Hutchinson 17-3-4; Elizabeth Neisler 14-0-1; Katie Murphy 13-0-7; Chelsi Carter 9-1-0; Michaela Reesor 9-0-0; Casey Garvey 3-2-4; Alexis Bauer 0-1-0; Totals 65-7-11.0. (Assists) - Casey Garvey 53. (Dig leaders) - Alexis Bauer 26; Chelsi Carter 17; Casey Garvey 13
UNCG (15-15, 7-7 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Ariel Newman 13-0-3; Karrian Chambers 13-0-1; Kelsey Sidney 9-0-3; Ari Lysacek 8-0-0; Morgan Freeman 8-0-3; Vicky Harley 4-0-5; Emily McMurtrey 1-0-0; Totals 56-0-9.0. (Assists) - Ari Lysacek 34; Emily McMurtrey 10. (Dig leaders) - Kellie Orewiler 21; Ariel Newman 15; Ari Lysacek 11
Site: Greensboro, N.C. (Fleming Gymnasium)
Date: Nov 05, 2011 Attend: 143 Time: 2:12
Referees: Peggy Schaeffer, Tad Watson
- UNCG -