Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate volleyball team picked up its second straight win in conference play on Tuesday evening as the Spartans earned a 3-1 victory over the UNC Asheville Bulldogs inside the G.B. Hodge Center.
USC Upstate improves to 7-14 overall and 3-4 in the Big South while UNC Asheville falls to 6-10 on the season and 1-5 in conference play.
The Spartans won the match by scores of 25-18, 27-25, 11-25 and 30-28.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- USC Upstate compiled a season-high 15.0 total team blocks marking its third straight game with double-digit blocks.
- The Spartans held a .179-.178 advantage over the Bulldogs in team hitting percentage.
- USC Upstate hit a match-high .267 in the second set.
- Both teams finished with 54 kills.
- Madison Haake recorded her 11th double-double of the season, and 59th of her career, after finishing with 41 assists and 19 digs.
- Emily Russell led the Spartans offensively with a career-high 15 kills while adding 10.0 total blocks on four solo and six assisted. It is her fourth straight match with 10 or more kills.
- Gloria Ikenegbu contributed her third consecutive match with double-digit kills after finishing with 11 while hitting a team-best .455.
- McKenna Kirkpatrick also had 11 kills.
- Payton Duncan was one of four players, along with Haake, to have double-figure digs with a team-high 20.
- Mikenzie Young-Mullins had 15 digs while Lauren Phillips set a new career-high with 14.
- Cara Guthrie paced UNC Asheville with a double-double of 15 kills and 12 digs.
- Kailey Hackett and Carter Kennedy combined for 44 assists.
- Madisen Zyburt led all players with 25 digs.
- The match featured 16 ties and eight lead changes.
- Set One: USC Upstate scored eight of the first nine points and opened the set on a 10-2 run capped by Russell's kill. The Bulldogs later cut the deficit down to 11-6 with a kill. The Spartans followed with a 9-6 run and stretched their lead out 20-12 on a solo block from Russell. UNC Asheville would get as close as five, 21-16, after that off a service ace. Ikenegbu connected on a kill to give USC Upstate a 25-18 victory.
- Set Two: After the teams exchanged the opening eight points, the Spartans used a 9-3 run to go ahead 13-7 on a Bulldog attack error. USC Upstate maintained its six-point lead a few plays later at 16-10 on a UNC Asheville attack error. The Bulldogs charged back with an 11-3 run and took a 21-19 lead after three kills and a Spartan attack error. Back-to-back errors by UNC Asheville evened the set for the Spartans at 21-21. The score would be tied three more times after that with the last coming at 25-25 on a Bulldog kill. USC Upstate scored the last two points, capped by Kirkpatrick's kill, to capture the set 27-25.
- Set Three: For the second straight set, the score sat tied at 4-4 early after a UNC Asheville attack error. The Bulldogs broke the set open with a 19-5 run and held a 23-9 lead late. UNC Asheville would go on to win the set 25-11 on a kill.
- Set Four: The Bulldogs started out on a 10-5 run to hold an early five-point lead. The Spartans answered with a 7-2 run and tied the score at 12-12 on a kill by Kirkpatrick. UNC Asheville would lead by as many as three points midway before a kill put it ahead 21-17. USC Upstate came back to tie the score at 22-22 on a kill from Kirkpatrick. The score would be tied a total of five times over the next 12 plays as the Bulldogs evened things at 28-28 with a kill. Russell and Haake both connected on kills to give the Spartans the 30-28 win and 3-1 match victory.
- USC Upstate travels to High Point on Friday evening for a 7 p.m. match against the Panthers.
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