CHARLESTON, S.C. – The UNCG volleyball team played three close sets with the College of Charleston Saturday night, but dropped each of them as the Spartans ended the regular season with a 3-0 (22-25, 21-25, 21-25) loss to the Cougars at TD Arena.
The Blue and Gold enters the 2012 SoCon Championship as the No. 4 seed in the North Division and will play Georgia Southern, which won the South Division championship with a 3-1 victory over Wofford, in the first round Saturday.
Junior Karrian Chambers notched her 13th double-double of the season and sixth in as many matches with a team-best 17 kills and 13 digs. She also hit for a high percentage, committing just four errors on 41 attempts for a .317 mark. Junior Kellie Orewiler also reached double figures in digs, pacing the squad with 18.
College of Charleston hit .214 for the match while limiting UNCG to a .175 percentage. The Cougars also enjoyed advantages in kills (51-34), assists (47-34), digs (60-57) and service aces (3-0). The Spartans out-blocked an opponent for the fourth consecutive contest, owning the upper hand 7.0-4.0.
An attacking error by junior Morgan Freeman capped off an 8-3 run for the Cougars to begin the match. UNCG responded by scoring seven of the next nine points to tie the set at 10 apiece. Chambers put down four kills to help the Spartans make the run. College of Charleston put some distance between the teams from there as a hitting error by Chambers made the score 16-12 and prompted a timeout by UNCG. A kill by Julia Westerbur helped the Spartans tie the frame at 20, finishing off an 8-4 run, but the Cougars recovered to score five of the final seven points of the interval.
College of Charleston scored the first three points of the second set and stretched the advantage to 10-7 when Chambers misfired at the net. UNCG kept it close, pulling to within 15-14 on an attacking error by Darcy Dorton, but could not catch the Cougars completely as the home team found itself ahead 21-15 on a kill by Sloane White. That would be enough for College of Charleston to fend off the Spartans and win the second frame 25-21.
With the third set tied at six, the Cougars went on a 4-0 run to force a timeout from the UNCG bench. A block by sophomore Vicky Harley and freshman Julia Westerbur cut the College of Charleston's lead to 11-10, but the Cougars answered by scoring four of the next five points. The home team's lead grew to as big as 19-13 on a kill by Emily Niedeffer, but the Spartans made one last charge. A kill by senior Ari Lysacek made it a 20-17 scoreline, giving UNCG new life. However, College of Charleston slammed the door shut by out-scoring the Blue and Gold 5-4 the rest of the way.
UNCG will learn the time of its match against the Eagles when the official conference tournament bracket is finalized tomorrow.
- UNCG -