August 30, 2014

Upstate Goes 1-1 on Final Day of Big Orange Bash

Troy Box Score (.pdf)  |  Austin Peay Box Score (.pdf)

Clemson, S.C. –
The USC Upstate volleyball team concluded play at the Big Orange Bash Saturday by going 1-1 as it fell to Troy in the opener before sweeping Austin Peay in the finale from Jervey Gym.

The Spartans began the day by dropping a five-set heartbreaker to Troy 3-2 (25-20, 13-25, 25-21, 12-25, 9-15), but responded in their final match of the tournament with a 3-0 (25-15, 28-26, 25-21) victory over Austin Peay.

Upstate improves its record to 2-2 on the season and head to Lynchburg, Va. next weekend (Sept. 5-6) for the Liberty Invitational. The Spartans face UNC Greensboro on Sept. 5, and Murray State and Liberty on Sept. 6.

Upstate vs. Troy
Upstate controlled the tempo offensively in the first set with a .351 hitting percentage, led by Shannon Weiss with six kills. The Spartans had 17 kills to Troy's 13 as Upstate took the opening set 25-20 and a 1-0 lead in the match. The opening points went back-and-forth with the teams tied 8-8 after a kill by the Trojans' Kiah Cheatham. After a kill by Weiss made it 9-8, the Spartans went on a 12-6 run to take their largest lead of the set at 21-14 following a kill by Emily Koelling. Troy managed to cut its deficit to 23-18, but Alexa Lagaley sealed the victory with her kill.

The Trojans answered back in the second set with a 25-13 score to even the match at 1-1. Troy recorded eight of the first 11 points to begin set two and led 10-4 as Cheatham and Blair Winston teamed up for a combination block. Upstate was able to cut its deficit down to 16-11 on a service ace by Dominique Arnold, but would not get closer as it was held to eight kills in the set. The Trojans finished the set on a 9-2 run.

The beginning of the third set was close throughout with neither team leading by more than three until midway when Troy took a 16-12 lead after an attack error by Kayla McAvoy. The Spartans stayed close and would tie the set 22-22 courtesy of a kill by McAvoy. After the teams traded points, Upstate recorded the final two points with Weiss sealing the set win on a solo block. The Spartans took the third set 25-23 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Troy raced out to a 9-3 lead to open the fourth set and led to a 25-12 win in the frame, and force a fifth, and deciding, set. The Trojans used that opening run to lead 15-5 sparked by a 6-2 run midway. Upstate got to within eight at 18-10, but Troy finished the set holding the Spartans to two points en route to the win.

Upstate traded the first four points of set five with Troy to sit tied at 2-2. The Trojans came back with five consecutive points including three kills from Reina Terry to take a 7-2 lead. A kill by Lagaly and service ace by Arnold trimmed the Troy lead to 7-4, and later got to 8-6 with a bad set by the Trojans. Troy returned with three points in a row to extend its lead to 11-6. The Spartans got back to a four-point deficit, only to see the Trojans score the final two points and win the set 15-9, and match 3-2.

Weiss, Kayla Eversgerd and Lexi Gober each had double-doubles against Troy. Gober dished out 45 assists to go with 15 digs, while Weiss had a team-high 14 kills with 12 digs. Eversgerd added 11 kills and 15 digs.

Upstate vs. Austin Peay
Upstate opened the match by cruising to a 25-15 victory in the first set to take the 1-0 lead. After splitting the set's opening ten points, the Spartans went on a 12-4 run to take an 18-9 lead on McAvoy's kill. Upstate took its largest lead of the set, 21-10, on a service error by Austin Peay's Sammie Ebright. From there the Spartans sailed to the set win capped off by a service ace from Gober.

The second set proved to be exciting as it required extra points, but Upstate took advantage late for the 28-26 win to go in front 2-0 in the match. The set was close the entire way with the largest lead held by the Lady Govs at 11-6 on a service error. The Spartans answered back to lead 21-19 with a kill from Lagaly. Austin Peay responded to sit at set point, 25-24, but Upstate kept battling and tied the set back at 25-25. Gober recorded the final two points for the Spartans with kills.

Upstate had to hold on in the third set to take the match as a late run gave it a 25-21 win and the 3-0 match victory. The Spartans jumped out to a quick 4-2 lead on a Lady Govs service error, and later held a 10-6 advantage. Austin Peay managed to tie the set at 15-15 and the two teams traded points midway. After the Lady Govs took a 17-16 lead off Eversgerd's attack error, Upstate finished the set on a 9-4 run including the final three on Austin Peay errors.

Eversgerd led the Spartans offensively with eight kills, while Kaleigh Kelley had 13 digs and Gober 27 assists.

Gober Named to All-Tournament Team
Gober was awarded for her play this weekend in the Big Orange Bash by being named to the All-Tournament Team. The junior setter from Edwardsville, Ill. finished second among the five teams in service aces and was third in assists. For the tournament, Gober tallied one double-double, 150 assists, 38 digs, eight service aces, eight kills and seven total blocks.

Follow Upstate volleyball on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.