November 3, 2012
Volleyball Drops 3-1 Decision At Samford
Samford 3, UNCG 1 (PDF)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UNCG volleyball team wrapped up its weekend Saturday night with a match against newly-crowned Southern Conference North Division champion Samford, falling to the Bulldogs in four sets at the Pete Hanna Center.
The news is not all negative for the Blue and Gold, however, as Elon lost in five sets at Chattanooga – keeping UNCG (13-13, 7-7) in second place in the North Division. If the Spartans can knock off the Phoenix Thursday evening at Fleming Gymnasium, they will clinch second place by virtue of earning the season sweep of Elon. Additionally, with Western Carolina's five-set defeat at Georgia Southern, UNCG officially secured its bid to the conference tournament.
Both squads hit over .200 in the match with Samford (20-8, 12-2) finishing with a .230 to .205 advantage in the statistic. The Bulldogs also held the upper hand in kills (68-45), digs (80-70) and service aces (3-0). UNCG ended up with the lead in total blocks 10.0-8.0.
The Spartans built a 4-2 lead at the beginning of the match when Erika Devaughn committed an attacking error, but Samford ripped off a 5-3 run to knot the score at seven. The Bulldogs would move in front 14-8 on a kill by Michaela Reesor and led by as much as 17-12 before UNCG rallied. A ball-handling error by Casey Garvey capped a 9-4 run by the visitors as the Spartans were able to forge a 21-21 deadlock. The momentum stopped there, however, as the Bulldogs scored the final four points of the interval to win it 25-21 and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
It was UNCG which fell behind 5-3 in the second set on an attacking error by Vicky Harley
. The Spartans would eventually build a 10-8 cushion when Reesor miscued from the service line, but Samford was able to recover and take a 17-13 advantage when Westerbur was blocked. That run proved fatal for UNCG in the frame as the Bulldogs took the set 25-17 and entered the locker room with a 2-0 match advantage.
Samford carried its momentum into the third interval, finding itself ahead 10-5 on a Casey Garvey kill. Down 12-6, the Spartans scored six-straight points thanks to a number of attacking errors by the Bulldogs. A Harley kill left the score knotted at 20 before UNCG dug down and netted five of the final nine rallies to win the third set 25-22 and force a fourth frame.
The fourth interval was tight at the beginning, but Samford began to pull away when, with a 10-9 lead, it scored three-straight points to draw a timeout from the Spartan bench. UNCG was able to draw within 21-18 on a ball-handling error by Alicia Roth, but the Bulldogs had enough to shut down the Spartans and win set four 25-20 – clinching the match in the process.
The Blue and Gold will play its home finale Thursday, Nov. 8 against Elon. First serve at Fleming Gymnasium is set for 7 p.m. The Spartans will honor lone senior Ari Lysacek
before the match.
- UNCG -