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.
MATCH ONE – USC UPSTATE 1, NORTH FLORIDA 3
The Ospreys won the match by scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- 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.
MATCH TWO – NEW MEXICO 3, USC UPSTATE 1
The Lobos won the match by scores of 25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- 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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