GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 31, 2014) – The ETSU volleyball team couldn’t pull off the season sweep over UNC Greensboro as the Spartans cruised past the Blue and Gold in straight sets (16-25, 20-25, 19-25) on Friday night inside Fleming Gym.
Despite getting a match-high 11 kills and a .385 attack percentage by senior middle blocker Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.), the rest of ETSU’s offense was held in check. The remaining 11 Buccaneers combined for 19 kills and totaled a .048 hitting percentage (19-15-83).
Meanwhile, UNCG had four players finish with at least eight kills and an attack percentage over .333, as the Spartans were led by Ashley Muench’s 10 kills and 13 digs. Sara Hohman also registered a double-double as she finished with 35 assists and 13 digs, while Jessica Brezwyn just missed a double-double (nine kills/10 digs).
As a team, ETSU hit .128 (30-16-109) and committed eight service errors, while UNCG posted a .287 clip (45-14-108). The Spartans also held the Bucs – who entered the night leading the Southern Conference in blocks – to 3.5, while UNCG was plus-14 in digs, 57-43.
ETSU – who returns to Greensboro at the end of the November for the SoCon Championship, dipped to 11-15, 5-5. UNCG earned its third straight win and improved to 15-9, 7-4.
UNCG got off to a strong start as the Spartans hit .406 (16-3-32) en route to taking the opening set, 25-16. The Bucs won the first point of the night, but things went downhill after that, as UNCG won eight of the next nine points to grab an 8-2 lead. From there, the Blue and Gold inched within four when a kill by Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) made it a 10-6 score, but the Spartans mounted a 9-4 run to build 19-10 lead and walked away with the nine-point victory.
Despite holding a four-point early in the second set, ETSU couldn’t hold on as UNCG rallied for a 25-20 win to take a firm 2-0 advantage in the match. The Bucs led 11-7 – and after the Spartans recorded four unanswered points to pull even at 11 – ETSU continued to battle by going up 16-15 following an UNCG attack error. Unfortunately, that marked the Bucs’ final lead of the set as the Spartans closed the frame on a 10-4 run to earn the comeback win.
The Bucs were unable to gain any momentum after intermission as UNCG completed the sweep with a 25-19 victory in the third. ETSU won the first three points of the stanza, and play was tight until the Spartans used a 7-2 spurt to turn a 9-all tie into a five-point lead, 16-11. The Bucs had one last run in them as ETSU inched within one, 17-16; however ETSU was unable to get over the hump as UNCG closed the set on an 8-3 run to pick up its 10th sweep of the campaign.
Senior Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) led all players with 17 digs and the Buccaneer libero is only 12 digs shy of breaking ETSU’s career record. Sophomore Kristen Favre (Plano, Texas) led the Blue and Gold with 17 assists and added four digs in the setback.
The Bucs have a quick turnaround as ETSU hosts in-state rival Chattanooga Saturday night at 7 p.m., inside Brooks Gym.
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