October 26, 2012
Volleyball Takes Care Of Western Carolina, 3-1
UNCG 3, Western Carolina 1 (PDF)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team hit for a high percentage Friday night inside Fleming Gymnasium, downing Western Carolina 3-1 in a key Southern Conference showdown. The Spartans improve to 12-11 overall and 6-5 in league play, holding on to second place in the North Division, while the Catamounts drop to 8-18 and 4-7.
The victory avenged an earlier 3-0 loss to Western in Cullowhee – a match in which UNCG was playing without senior setter Ari Lysacek
and junior outside hitter Karrian Chambers
. Head coach Patrick Nicholas also moved to within four victories of 200 for his career.
"I am really proud of the team in pretty much all facets of the match tonight," Nicholas said. "Our hitting was really good and I was happy with our blocking and defense. We have been working hard and I really feel we are on the upswing with some good performances the last few weekends. The North Division in our league has so much parity, but we are putting ourselves in a good position to hopefully grab a high seed in the conference tournament."
The Spartans racked up a .292 hitting mark in the four sets, aided by a .462 showing in the fourth set. A big reason for the high percentage was junior middle hitter Morgan Freeman
who fired at a .609 clip with 15 kills on 23 attempts with just one error.
Lysacek and Chambers produced a pair of double-doubles with the senior posting 51 assists and 12 digs. Chambers chipped in with a match-high 21 kills and 14 digs – her team-leading seventh double-double of the season. Freshman Julia Westerbur
enjoyed a career night as she recorded seven kills, six digs and five blocks. Other standout performances for UNCG included 12 kills from redshirt junior Olivia Humphries
and a 23-dig effort by classmate and libero Kellie Orewiler
In addition to hitting at a far better percentage than the Catamounts, the Spartans held the upper hand in kills (62-49), assists (57-42), aces (4-2) and digs (80-65). UNCG limited Western Carolina to just one player in double figures offensively as Caitlin Piechota posted 10 digs in her team's defeat.
The Spartans jumped on top at the beginning of the first set as the Catamounts opened the match with a hitting error. Chambers aced the Western defense a few points later to help the Spartans open up a 3-1 advantage, but a kill by Addy George capped a 7-2 run, putting the Catamounts ahead by three points. It was then UNCG's turn to rally, scoring five of the next seven points to forge a 10-10 deadlock.
Western Carolina moved in front 14-12 when Jordan Timmerman notched a kill. However, Lysacek answered with one of her own to tie the score again at 16. The Catamounts lost their way on offense the next two rallies, committing a pair of attacking errors to give the Spartans an 18-16 edge. The visitors tried to call timeout to quell the UNCG momentum, but the Spartans would have none of it, scoring five more points consecutively to effectively seal the set. A Freeman ace ended the frame in UNCG's favor, 25-17.
The Spartans built leads of 5-0 and 8-3 to begin the second interval, forcing Western Carolina to call an early timeout. Abby Scroggins cut the Catamounts' deficit to 11-7 with a kill, but UNCG raced ahead, scoring six of the next eight points to build a 17-11 cushion. Western summoned up one more surge, but could only come as close as 21-17 the rest of the way as the Spartans entered the intermission with a 25-19 set two win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third frame was played close for a while, but the Catamounts managed to pull themselves in front 17-14 on an attack error by Westerbur. Western Carolina looked in control of things when a Piechota kill made it 22-17, but UNCG stunned its guests with a 6-0 run that made the score 23-22 in favor of the Spartans. The Catamounts recovered just in time however, scoring the final three points of the set to stay alive and force a fourth frame.
Whatever momentum Western enjoyed disappeared as the fourth set began. UNCG put down nine kills in the first 16 points of the interval to open up an 11-5 advantage. The Spartans asserted themselves from there, stifling the Catamounts all the way to a 22-13 scoreline. UNCG finished them off shortly after as a kill by Freeman ended the match 25-14.
The Spartans close their current four-match homestand tomorrow (Oct. 27), hosting Appalachian State at 7 p.m. inside Fleming Gymnasium.
- UNCG -