The contest marks the first between the schools since the 2010 season when the Spartans recorded a 3-0 victory in Wilmington, N.C. UNCG is 3-0 against the Bulldogs.
In their most recent outing, the Spartans claimed a 3-1 win over Chattanooga to solidify their hold on second place in the Southern Conference North Division standings. A season-best crowd of 627 filled the stands for UNCG's "Fight Like a Spartan" match.
The Spartans' defense pulled the team through many times as UNCG (9-8, 4-2) racked up a season-best 94 digs, including a Spartan season-high 33 by junior libero Kellie Orewiler
. There were three other UNCG players in double figures in junior Olivia Humphries
(16), sophomore Emily McMurtrey
(13) and junior Morgan Freeman
(10). All three posted double-doubles with Humphries putting down 17 kills, McMurtrey adding 52 assists and Freeman posting a career-high nine blocks. She fell just one block short of a triple-double while hitting .444 in the four sets. Additionally, junior Karrian Chambers
knocked down a match-best 19 kills on 52 swings.
It was a mediocre hitting night for both squads as UNCG produced a .141 mark while limiting the Mocs to just .056. The Spartans also held the upper hand in kills (59), service aces (4-2), digs (94-66) and total blocks (12.0-10.0). UNCG sided out well in first and fourth sets at 89 and 70 percent respectively (64 percent overall) while holding Chattanooga (8-13, 2-4) to a 52-percent overall sideout performance.
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA STATE...
South Carolina State enters Tuesday's matchup with an overall record of 5-8 and a 2-1 ledger in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play. The Bulldogs defeated Savannah State in four sets on the road the last time they played. Junior middle hitter Desire Waller paces the SCSU offense to the tune of 4.82 kills per set, good for fifth nationally, and was named to the preseason All-MEAC team. Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Webb owns the most digs for the squad with 190 (3.80 per set) and has also contributed 51 kills. As a team, South Carolina State is hitting .175 while averaging 10.80 kills, 9.74 assists, 1.30 aces, 13.46 digs and 2.05 blocks per set.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK...
Rookie Lauren Betlach
earned UNCG's first weekly honor from the Southern Conference for her performances against Western Carolina and Appalachian State. She averaged 3.43 kills and 2.57 digs per set and tallied her second double-double of the season against the Catamounts with a team-high 11 kills and a career-high 16 digs before posting 13 kills in the 3-1 road victory at Appalachian State as one of four Spartans in double figures.
MOVING UP THE LADDER...
A couple of Spartans have moved into the program career top 10 as Orewiler is third in digs per set (4.10) and tied for eighth in digs (1,249). Vicky Harley
is 10th in blocks per set (0.81).
YOU MUST LIKE PLAYING A LOT OF VOLLEYBALL...
In 17 matches this season, UNCG has played eight that have gone the full five sets. The Spartans are 4-4 in those contests and have won three of the last four. UNCG is on track to set the program single-season record for five-setters as the Spartans played 11 of them in the 2009 and 1992 campaigns.
NEED A BETTER START...
To say that UNCG has struggled at the beginning of matches this season is an understatement. In 17 contests, the Spartans have won the first set just four times and the second frame on only six occasions. Conversely, UNCG is 12-5 in third-set play and 11-2 in the fourth interval.
IT'S A LIBEROS' WORLD...
UNCG sports arguably the top libero tandem in the Southern Conference in junior Kellie Orewiler, the reigning SoCon Libero of the Year, and freshman Katherine Santiago
have combined for 493 total digs while averaging 3.55 and 4.03 per set respectively.
TRIPLE YOUR FUN (ALMOST)...
Senior setter Ari Lysacek
put on an impressive performance against Liberty, falling just one kill shy of a triple-double. She tallied 44 assists, 12 digs and nine kills to account for UNCG's first double-double of the season. The lone senior on this year's roster also hit for an efficient percentage - picking up the nine kills on 13 attempts with just one error (.615). Sophomore Emily McMurtrey also came tantalizingly close to a triple-double against The Citadel, racking up 56 assists and career-high marks in digs (13) and kills (seven). Additionally, in the win over Chattanooga, junior Morgan Freeman tallied 14 kills, 10 digs and nine blocks to fall just short of the feat.