SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate volleyball team opens the month with a pair of matches this week, traveling to non-conference foe N.C. Central Wednesday, Nov. 2 for a 7 p.m. match and hosting Atlantic Sun Conference opponent ETSU Saturday, Nov. 5 in the Hodge Center at 3 p.m., for Senior Day.
The Spartans hold a 2-0 advantage over the N.C. Central. In the teams' most recent meeting, Upstate claimed a 3-0 victory over the Eagles in Spartanburg, S.C., Oct. 20, 2010. This will be the first meeting between the two in Durham, N.C.
Upstate squares-off with ETSU for the second time this season Saturday in the Hodge Center for Senior Day. The Buccaneers lead the all-time series 8-4, including a 2-1 mark at the Hodge. ETSU beat the Spartans in Johnson City, Tenn., 3-0 Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Thomas and junior Mindy Quimby lead the Spartans with 277 and 179 kills, respectively. Junior Emily Sanders has dished out 717 assists, averaging 8.15 per set this season. Defensively, sophomore Morgan Page has a team-best with 392 digs, followed by Sanders with 297. Thomas leads the defensive charge at the net with 54 total blocks on the season, while freshman Kayla McAvoy tallies 48.
Sanders is the A-Sun's active leader in career-assists with 2,315. She ranks third in Upstate history after recording 86 assists last week, passing Morgan Bucciferro's (2006-09) fourth-place mark of 2,279.
Thomas registered her 900th career-kill Oct. 14 at Florida Gulf Coast. She has 999 career-kills, ranking third among conference active career-kill leaders. She is just one shy of the 1,000-kill milestone. The senior is also making record waves on defense as well. After recording one block against Kennesaw State Oct. 29, Thomas took sole possession of 10th all-time in Upstate history, passing Trina Beaty's (1990-91) mark of 302 career-blocks with 303 career-denials. She is six rejections shy of Kendall Harper's (1998-01) ninth-place mark of 309. The senior ranks fifth all-time in career-block assists at Upstate with 233, just two shy of Harper's fourth-place mark of 235.