SPARTANBURG, S.C. – In USC Upstate volleyball's first "home-away-from-home" match, the Spartans took on conference rival Stetson and kept the Hatters on their losing streak while notching one in the win column, 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 24-26, 25-15).
Upstate (4-7, 1-0) was led by Kelsie Queen who grounded 21 kills. Also helping out the Spartans was Cori Harris with 12 kills and Katie Downey with 10. Emily Sanders picked up her tenth double-double of the season with 49 assists and 12 digs while Megan Healey posted 23 digs.
Stetson (1-10, 0-1) was paced by Brandy Worlton's 17 kills and trio of assists. Notably for the Hatters, Kaley Melville picked up 10 kills and Kelli Carneal had 44 assists.
In the opening set, Upstate picked up the first point off a Downey kill but did not lead long as Stetson pushed a 10-4 run on the Spartans. Picking up steam against its conference foe, Upstate found momentum on a 20-5 run led by Queen to take the lead, 24-15 and close out the first set ahead, 25-19.
Coming out of their first set with some energy, Upstate led 10-7 in the second before allowing Stetson to taste the lead. The Hatters pulled ahead on a couple of occasions and tied it up at 22, but it was Upstate who held on through the battle, taking the remaining trio of points off a Quimby ace, Queen kill and Stetson error, 25-22.
Hoping to put it away in the third, Upstate came out hot, leading 4-1. Stetson, however was not about to be left off the board in the conference opener and rallied in the third set with guidance from Worlton to tie it up 23-23. Although Upstate's Queen put away a pair of kills in the remaining moments of the third set, it was Stetson who had the last say in the third set, 26-24.
Ready to put a "W" in the conference action column, Upstate pulled out the stops in the fourth set, exploding on the court with a 18-9 opening run that was led by Harris and Queen. With the cushion in place, Upstate cruised on through the fourth set to make it final, 25-15, against the Hatters.
Upstate will play Stetson again on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Wofford during the Wofford Tournament. Also on Friday, Upstate will take on host Wofford at 7 p.m. and on Saturday the Spartans will match up against SIU-Edwardsville at 3 p.m.