Statesboro, Ga. – USC Upstate head coach Jennifer Calloway reached a career milestone on Saturday morning with her 350th career victory as the Spartan volleyball team wrapped up play at the GATA Challenge with a 3-2 win over the Savannah State Tigers at Hanner Fieldhouse.
USC Upstate improves to 3-10 on the season while Savannah State falls to 1-10 overall.
The Spartans won the match by scores of 14-25, 25-16, 18-25, 25-19 and 15-8.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- With the win, Calloway ties Joe Bowman (1978-87, 1995) for the most wins in program history with 350.
- USC Upstate hit over .200 for the fourth time this season after posting a team percentage of .226.
- The Spartans held a 64-62 advantage in digs while both teams recorded 48 kills.
- USC Upstate also registered 5.0 total team blocks.
- Payton Duncan led the Spartans offensively with 13 kills and added nine digs.
- Lily Dempsey contributed 10 kills.
- Dylan Herb, making her first collegiate start, collected her first career double-double on 36 assists and 22 digs.
- Karissa Tatum had a team-high 12 kills for the Tigers.
- Ashley Jordan compiled 28 assists and Leiri Melendez 20 digs.
- The match featured 13 ties and five lead changes.
- Set One: Savannah State opened by scoring the first seven points and led 7-0 following back-to-back blocks. Salma Gonzalez kept the Tigers ahead by seven, 11-4, with her kill. USC Upstate answered with a 10-3 run and trailed 14-11 when Dempsey and Emily Russell teamed up for a block. The Spartans would be held to three points the rest of the way as Savannah State finished the set on an 11-3 run and won 25-14 off a service ace.
- Set Two: USC Upstate came back to win the second set 25-16 and even the match at 1-1. The Spartans began by posting a 5-1 run and led by four off a Tiger attack error. Dempsey pushed USC Upstate's lead out to 10-4 several plays later with her kill. Russell made the score 14-7 after connecting on a kill. Savannah State came back with an 8-2 run and cut the lead down to 16-15. The Spartans held the Tigers to just one point after that, finishing on a 9-1 run for the 25-16 victory on Mackenzie Marcum's service ace.
- Set Three: The teams traded the first 12 points when McKenna Kirkpatrick tied the score at 6-6 with her kill. Savannah State followed with seven straight points and led 13-6 off a kill. The Tigers led by seven points two more times with the last coming at 19-12. USC Upstate got as close as three, 19-16, after registering four consecutive points capped by a Savannah State attack error. The Tigers concluded the set on a 6-2 run to win 25-18.
- Set Four: Mackenzie Lauer tied the set for the Spartans early at 5-5 with her kill. The score would be tied several times until midway when back-to-back kills from Lauer gave USC Upstate a 16-14 lead. After Savannah State cut its deficit to 17-15, the Spartans responded with a 6-2 run and went in front 23-17 on Marcum's service ace. Duncan won the set for USC Upstate at 25-19 with her kill.
- Set Five: Russell gave the Spartans an early 5-2 lead on her service ace. The Tigers would then trim the lead down to 6-4 but USC Upstate answered with another 5-2 run and held an 11-6 advantage off a Savannah State attack error. The Spartans scored the final three points to take the set 15-8 and win the match 3-2.
- USC Upstate returns to the G.B. Hodge Center for the first of three straight games beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 18 when they open conference play against High Point at 6 p.m.
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