Statesboro, Ga. – The USC Upstate volleyball team hit a season-best .341 on Friday afternoon, while Lily Dempsey tied her season-high of 13 kills, as the Spartans began play at the GATA Challenge with a 3-0 victory over the Savannah State Tigers at Hanner Fieldhouse.
USC Upstate improves to 2-9 on the season while Savannah State falls to 1-9 overall.
The Spartans won the match by scores of 25-17, 25-17 and 25-18.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- USC Upstate hit over .300 in all three sets highlighted by a .393 mark in the first. The Spartans hit .312 in the second set and .321 in the third.
- USC Upstate's defense also limited the Tigers to a .079 hitting percentage including a .000 mark in the second set.
- The Spartans led 39-25 in kills, 36-24 in assists and 38-34 in digs.
- USC Upstate also held a 4.0-3.0 advantage in total team blocks.
- Dempsey led the Spartans offensively after matching her season-high of 13 kills and hit .400 overall.
- Madison Haake dished out 28 assists.
- Payton Duncan collected a team-leading 15 digs for USC Upstate.
- Salma Gonzalez led SSU with 10 assists, eight kills and eight digs.
- The win marked the 349th for Spartan head coach Jennifer Calloway and puts her two away from becoming the program's all-time leader in victories.
- Set One: USC Upstate scored nine of the first 11 points and opened the set on a 12-4 run as Dempsey gave it an eight-point lead with her kill. The Spartans held their largest lead of the set at 19-9 on a Savannah State service error. The Tigers would get as close as six, 22-16, after a solo block. USC Upstate recorded three of the final four points to win 25-17 following a service error.
- Set Two: The Spartans began on a 5-1 run capped by a combination block from Duncan and McKenna Kirkpatrick. Savannah State answered with the next five points and tied the score at 6-6 on a service ace. A USC Upstate attack error put the Tigers down 12-11 midway. The Spartans responded with a 6-0 run and held an 18-11 lead off an attack error. USC Upstate led by as many as eight points twice with the first coming at 20-12 on Haake's kill. The Spartans scored the last three points, capped by Duncan's service ace, for the 25-17 victory.
- Set Three: The teams traded the first 14 points as the score sat tied at 7-7 on a USC Upstate service error. The Spartans then scored the next three points to lead 10-7 after a Savannah State attack error. Mackenzie Lauer kept USC Upstate ahead 13-10 midway with her kill. The Spartans broke the set open courtesy of a 7-3 run to lead 20-13 on a kill from Kirkpatrick. The Tigers got as close as 23-18 but USC Upstate scored the last two points on kills by Lauer and Haake for the 25-18 triumph and 3-0 match victory.
- The Spartans continue play at the GATA Challenge at 6 p.m. against host Georgia Southern.
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