Asheville, N.C. – Lily Dempsey recorded a career-high 21 kills on Friday evening as the fifth-seeded USC Upstate volleyball team fell to the host UNC Asheville Bulldogs, the tournament's No. 4 seed, in the quarterfinals of the Big South Volleyball Championship from the Justice Center.
USC Upstate's season ends with a 13-19 overall record while UNC Asheville improves to 16-11 overall.
The Bulldogs won the match by scores of 25-16, 22-25, 21-25, 25-19 and 15-10.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- Dempsey led the Spartans offensively with a career-best 21 kills and was one of two players to finish with double-digit kills.
- Dempsey recorded her sixth double-double of the season after adding 15 digs.
- Madison Haake collected her 19th double-double of the year, and 67th of her career, on 43 assists and 16 digs.
- Emily Russell tallied 11 kills and five total blocks.
- Mikenzie Young-Mullins totaled 17 digs while Payton Duncan contributed 16.
- Gloria Ikenegbu combined for seven blocks in the match consisting of three solo and four assisted.
- Cara Guthrie had a team-high 19 kills for UNC Asheville.
- Ansley Rooks and Grace Volk each finished with double-doubles.
- Volk dished out 49 assists while Madisen Zyburt collected 26 digs.
- USC Upstate finished the match with a .138 team hitting percentage.
- The Spartans also held a 14.0-12.0 advantage in total team blocks.
- The match featured 17 ties and eight lead changes.
- Set One: The Bulldogs opened the match on a 5-1 run and held an early four-point lead. USC Upstate followed with a 9-6 run and trailed 11-10 on Dempsey's kill. A combination block from Ikenegbu and Dempsey kept the Spartans within two points at 13-11. UNC Asheville broke the set open with a 10-4 run and held a 23-15 lead. The Bulldogs scored the final two points to win 25-16.
- Set Two: The teams traded the first 10 points as USC Upstate tied the score at 5-5 after Russell's kill. The Spartans would then go on a 9-3 run and took a 14-8 advantage off a UNC Asheville attack error. Another Bulldog attack error kept USC Upstate ahead by six points at 20-14. UNC Asheville made a late charge and trailed 20-19 after scoring five straight points. The Bulldogs stayed within one point at 23-22 forcing the Spartans into a timeout. USC Upstate scored the last two points on kills by Ikenegbu and Dempsey for the 25-22 victory.
- Set Three: The first 16 points were split evenly when Ikenegbu made the score 8-8 with her kill. UNC Asheville would take a 13-12 lead midway. The Spartans responded with a 5-1 run and went ahead 17-14 on a combination block from Haake and Ikenegbu. The Bulldogs would then take another one-point lead at 19-18. USC Upstate finished on a 7-2 run and captured the set 25-21 on Russell's solo block.
- Set Four: UNC Asheville began the set on a 9-4 run before the Spartans recorded the next two points to trail 9-6 on a solo block from Ikenegbu. The Bulldogs took their largest lead of the set at 18-10 on a USC Upstate ball handling error. The Spartans fought back and cut their deficit to 21-17, leading to a UNC Asheville timeout, after an attack error. A kill by Dempsey put the score at 23-19. The Bulldogs scored the final two points for the 25-19 triumph.
- Set Five: UNC Asheville scored six of the first eight points and led 6-2. USC Upstate then answered with five of the next six and trailed 7-6 after a kill by Haake. Ikenegbu later made the score 10-8 after her kill. The Bulldogs outscored the Spartans 5-2 the rest of the way and took the set 15-10 and won the match 3-2.
Follow USC Upstate volleyball on Facebook (UpstateAthletics), Twitter (@UpstateVB), Instagram (@upstatespartans), YouTube (USCUpstateAthletics) and text/e-mail alerts (www.upstatespartans.com/list-signup).