USC Upstate Falls Twice on Final Day of UNF Invitational

USC Upstate Falls Twice on Final Day of UNF Invitational

North Florida Box Score (.pdf)

New Mexico Box Score (.pdf)

Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate volleyball team closed out play at the UNF Invitational on Saturday afternoon dropping a pair of matches by 3-1 scores to the North Florida Ospreys and New Mexico Lobos at UNF Arena.

USC Upstate falls to 1-9 on the season while North Florida improves to 2-7 and New Mexico 5-4.


The Ospreys won the match by scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17.


  • Emily Russell led the Spartans offensively with 13 kills to go with five digs and four assisted blocks.
  • Madison Haake contributed 40 assists and nine digs.
  • Payton Duncan added 17 digs and nine kills.
  • Duncan and Morgan Deaville both had a team-high 17 digs for USC Upstate.
  • Gabby O'Connell was one of four UNF players to record double-digit kills collecting a team-high 13. She finished with a double-double after tallying 18 digs.
  • Madilyn McCarty also had a double-double of 44 assists and 11 digs.
  • Asante Lopez led all players defensively with 22 digs.
  • The Spartans hit a match-high .225 in the second set.
  • USC Upstate finished the match with 68 digs, 51 kills and 46 assists.
  • The match featured 25 ties and nine lead changes.


  • Set One:  The teams exchanged the first 10 points before a UNF attack error gave the Spartans a 6-5 lead. The Ospreys followed with a 7-0 run and went ahead 12-6 on a kill. Lily Dempsey cut USC Upstate's deficit down to 13-11 a few plays later with her kill. Russell kept the Spartans within two when her kill made the score 16-14. North Florida broke the set open with a 7-3 run and held a 23-17 advantage late. The Ospreys recorded back-to-back kills to win the set 25-19.
  • Set Two:  The set started in similar fashion as the first with the opening 20 points going both ways as a UNF ball handling error tied the score at 10-10. USC Upstate recorded four straight points and held an early 12-10 lead. The lead changed hands over the next few plays until a Duncan service ace and kills from Dempsey and Gloria Ikenegbu put the Spartans in front 19-16. USC Upstate led by as many as five points, 21-16, on another service ace by Duncan. The Ospreys came back to even the score at 23-23 forcing the Spartans into a timeout. USC Upstate scored the final two points on a combination block and kill by Russell to give it the 25-23 triumph.
  • Set Three:  The Spartans scored four of the first five points and led 4-1 off back-to-back kills by Russell. North Florida followed with the next three points to tie the score. USC Upstate would go ahead by four, 11-7, after going on a 7-3 run capped by a solo block from Ikenegbu. An Osprey attack error kept the Spartans in front 13-9. UNF tied the score again at 13-13 after a combination block. USC Upstate led by two points several times midway with the last coming at 20-18 on another solo block from Ikenegbu. North Florida concluded the set on a 5-3 run and earned the 25-23 victory on an attack error. The Spartans got as close as one the previous play.
  • Set Four:  The Ospreys began the set on an 11-4 run and took a seven-point lead off a USC Upstate attack error.  USC Upstate would get as close as 12-7 on a UNF attack error. After North Florida took an eight-point lead, Ikenegbu got the Spartans down 18-12 following her kill. The Ospreys finished the set scoring seven of the last 12 points for the 25-17 victory and secured the match 3-1.


The Lobos won the match by scores of 25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25.


  • Haake and Mikenzie Young-Mullins both had double-doubles for USC Upstate as Haake contributed 43 assists and 11 digs while Young-Mullins compiled career-highs on 11 kills and 12 digs.
  • It was the first career double-double for Young-Mullins.
  • Haake picked up her seventh double-double of the season and 55th in her career.
  • Duncan added a team-high 13 kills to go with nine digs and Russell had 10 kills.
  • Deaville collected her second straight match with double-digit digs after finishing with 13.
  • Lauren Twitty and Tai Bierria both had double-doubles for UNM as Twitty posted 22 kills and 14 digs while Bierria added 20 kills and 12 digs.
  • Sabrina Bianco dished out 37 assists and Morgan Schreckler had 13 digs.
  • The Spartans hit over .200 in three of the four sets including a .270 mark in the second.
  • USC Upstate compiled a team attack percentage over .200 for the second time this season after hitting .227 overall.
  • The match featured 21 ties and six lead changes.


  • Set One:  The first 12 points were split evenly as Ikenegbu and Dempsey combined for a block to tie the score at 6-6. Dempsey followed two plays later with a kill to keep the score even at 8-8 and Haake made it 11-11 with a kill. After New Mexico extended its lead to 15-13, the Spartans got a kill from Ikenegbu and Haake's service ace to put the score at 15-15. USC Upstate then went on a 5-1 run and held a 20-16 advantage. The Spartans fought back to even the score again at 22-22 on Ikenegbu's solo block. The Lobos scored three of the final four points to secure the 25-23 triumph.
  • Set Two:  Russell gave USC Upstate an early 5-4 lead with her kill. New Mexico answered with a 6-1 run and led 10-6 on a Spartan service error. Ikenegbu and McKenna Kirkpatrick combined for three consecutive kills and got USC Upstate down to 12-11. The Lobos came back with four straight points and held a 16-11 lead. The Spartans got as close as one, 19-18, after that when Duncan connected on a kill. New Mexico wrapped up the set scoring six of the final nine points to win 25-21.
  • Set Three:  USC Upstate answered by winning the third set 25-23 and cutting its deficit to 2-1. The Spartans started by collecting 10 of the opening 15 points and led 10-5 on Ikenegbu's kill. A USC Upstate attack error got the Lobos down 11-9. The Spartans broke the set open courtesy of a 9-2 run and went in front 18-11 on a combination block by Russell and Duncan. USC Upstate led by as many as nine, 22-13, on Haake's kill. New Mexico made a late charge and trailed 24-23 off a combination block. Haake answered for the Spartans on the following play giving them the two-point victory with her kill.
  • Set Four:  Duncan put USC Upstate ahead 5-4 early after her kill. Following a 6-1 run by the Lobos, the Spartans rallied to take the lead back at 12-11 on an attack error. New Mexico posted an 8-4 run and held a 20-15 advantage on a kill. Duncan responded with back-to-back points on a service ace and kill to put the score at 20-17. The Lobos tallied a 5-2 run to close out the set and won 25-19 to record the 3-1 match victory.


  • USC Upstate plays its final tournament of the season next weekend, Sept. 14-15, facing Savannah State and Georgia Southern at the GATA Challenge.

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