November 2, 2012
Volleyball Falls Short At Chattanooga, 3-2
Chattanooga 3, UNCG 2 (PDF)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – After winning the first two sets at Chattanooga Friday night, the UNCG volleyball team could not hold off the Mocs, falling 3-2 inside Maclellan Gymnasium. The Spartans fall to 13-12 overall and 7-6 in Southern Conference play while Chattanooga picked up a key victory to move to 11-17 and 5-8. The Mocs now occupy fourth place in the North Division alone, putting them in position to grab a bid to the conference tournament.
It was the 11th five-set match for the Spartans this season, matching the single-season program record. UNCG fell to 4-7 in those matches this year.
"It was a tale of two teams for UNCG tonight," head coach Patrick Nicholas said. "We were running our offense and working our block really well in the first two sets. We made a ton of unforced errors in the last three sets and didn't really show any heart. A majority of the teams in our league are beating up on each other. Hopefully we can rebound from this and put in a good showing at Samford tomorrow."
Junior Olivia Humphries
led four UNCG players in double figures with 17 kills, completing a double-double by adding 15 digs. Classmate Karrian Chambers
turned in her team-leading eighth double-double of the year with 15 kills and 17 digs. The Spartans also received a career-high 13 kills from freshman Julia Westerbur
while junior Morgan Freeman
chipped in with 12. Westerbur was an efficient offensive force for UNCG, hitting at a .393 clip.
Defensively, junior Kellie Orewiler
eclipsed the 30-dig plateau for the third time this year, racking up a match-high 34 digs. Freshman Katherine Santiago
contributed 20 while senior Ari Lysacek
notched a double-double with 54 assists and 13 digs.
Chattanooga ended up with the edge in hitting percentage at .206-.200 while also holding the upper hand in digs (114-112). The defensive output marked the first time UNCG hit triple digits in the dig column this year. The Spartans got the best of the blocking despite the defeat, out-blocking the home team 10.0-5.0.
The Blue and Gold jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set thanks to kills from Lysacek and Chambers, as well as a Humphries ace. Chattanooga was able to respond with three-straight points to tie things up, but Chambers stopped the run with another kill. The Mocs eventually took their first lead of the match at 6-5 when Westerbur committed an attacking error, but UNCG rallied by scoring seven of the next points to take a 12-8 advantage and force a Chattanooga timeout.
Feeding off of its home crowd, the Mocs produced an 8-2 run to move in front by a 16-14 count, but the Spartans settled down and tied the score on a Humphries kill that gave each team 18 points. UNCG reached set point at 24-22 when Westerbur put down a kill. Chattanooga was able to stave the Spartans off once with a kill by Heather Parman, but Chambers sealed the set with a kill of her own to propel UNCG to a 25-23 first set victory.
Humphries put the Spartans ahead 3-1 in the second frame with a kill, and the UNCG block took over from there – allowing the Spartans to move in front 8-5. UNCG fell behind 14-10 when Westerbur committed an attacking error and the Spartans would have to call for timeout. Fighting back, UNCG scored eight of the next 12 points to forge an 18-18 deadlock.
It was the Spartans who forced the home side to take a timeout of its own when Parman miscued offensively as UNCG led 22-19 at that point. A bad set by Paula Passmore made the score 24-22 before an attacking error by Briana Reid gave the Spartans set two 25-22.
UNCG fell behind early in the third set, trailing 6-4 on a Christina Teter kill. The Spartans answered with a 6-4 which knotted the score at 10, but a Chambers attacking error capped a 4-1 run for Chattanooga and allowed the Mocs to build a 14-11 advantage. UNCG trailed by as much as 20-16 late, but dug down and scored five of the next six points to tie the set at 21. The Spartans could only score one more point however, as a Sarah Batterton kill notched a 25-22 win for the Mocs and sent the match to a fourth interval.
Chattanooga established a 13-8 lead in the fourth frame and did not look back, taking advantages of 20-12 and 23-15 on the way to a 25-19 victory to force the deciding set.
UNCG called a timeout early in the fifth frame as the Mocs scored four of the first five points. The Spartans pulled within 8-6 on a Humphries kill, but Chattanooga recovered to build a seemingly insurmountable 13-8 cushion. Down 14-11, UNCG benefitted from a service error to draw within two, but Reid slammed the door shut with a kill – completing the Mocs' comeback.
The Blue and Gold closes out the weekend tomorrow night (Nov. 3), traveling to Birmingham, Ala. for a matchup with Samford. First serve is set for 8 p.m.
- UNCG -