FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Despite double-doubles from a trio of USC Upstate freshmen, the Spartan volleyball team (6-12, 1-5 A-Sun) fell to the Norse of Northern Kentucky 3-1 Saturday inside the Hodge Center by scores of 25-20, 25-21, 21-25 and 25-23.
Down two sets to none, the Spartans fought back and sent the match into a fourth set, taking a 25-21 win in the third game. Northern Kentucky jumped ahead early in the fourth set, earning a 7-1 advantage. A kill from Upstate senior Emily Bingham (St. Petersburg, Fla.) gave the Spartans a spark as Upstate went on to collect three-straight points, moving the score to 7-4. The Spartans slowly chipped away at the NKU lead, until knotting things up at 18-18. Back-to-back Norse kills gave Northern Kentucky a 20-18 lead, resulting in an Upstate timeout.
The Spartans re-grouped after the timeout, taking two points off of a NKU attack error and a kill by freshman Kayla Eversgerd (Breese, Ill.) to even the score at 20-20. The teams exchanged points and tied the set up again at 23-23. However, Upstate couldn't manage to hang on as the Norse edged the Spartans 25-23 in the fourth set off of a Northern Kentucky kill and a Spartan attack error; NKU claimed a 3-1 match victory.
Eversgerd paced Upstate with a match-high 16 kills, while sophomore Kayla McAvoy (Boiling Springs, S.C.) was second on the team with 13 kills. Eversgerd completed the double-double, collecting 18 digs for her fifth double-dip of the season. Freshman Lexi Gober (Edwardsville, Ill.) also registered her fifth double-double on the year, handing out 48 assists and scooping up 14 digs.
Bingham contributed to the Spartan offensive cause with 10 kills, while freshman Shannon Weiss (Highland, Ill.) posted a career-high 10 kills. The freshman also gathered a career-high 14 digs for her first career double-double.
The Norse were led by a trio of hitters as Shelby Buschur and Kelly Morrissey each recorded a team-high 15 kills, while Haley Lippert posted 10 kills. Morrissey also had a team-high 18 digs for the double-double. Jenna Schreiver flirted with a double-double, dishing out 53 assists for Northern Kentucky to go along with nine digs.
Upstate senior Emily Sanders (Sullivan, Ill.) led the squad with a match-high 20 digs, recording her third-straight 20-plus dig contest and fifth overall this season. She leads the team with 257 digs.
Anna Prickel helped the Northern Kentucky defense, tallying 17 digs on the night. Jayden Stewart and Kylee Tarantino added 16 digs each.
The Spartans return to A-Sun action Tuesday, hosting Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. In the teams' first meeting this season on Sept. 18, the Owls picked-up a close 3-1 victory over the Spartans by scores of 29-27, 25-17, 23-25 and 29-27.