Volleyball impresses at Liberty Invitational

By Daniel Johnson, Staff Writer

Published in print Sept. 10, 2014

This past weekend saw UNCG’s Volleyball team enter their second tournament of the year as the Spartans competed in the Liberty Flames Invitational this past weekend. 

Similar to the Charlotte Invitational two weeks ago, the Blue and Gold won two out of the three games in the tournament, falling only to the host team.

Improving to a perfect 4-0 neutral record, while at the same time, falling to a 0-2 away record, UNCG has opened the season strong under first year head coach Corey Carlin.

Though defeated in the final game of their three game weekend contests,  the Spartans can consider the tournament a success as the team’s steady performances over the weekend carried them to the final game of the Liberty hosted competition.

In their first game last Friday night, the fans in attendance were in view of a battle between Spartans, as the UNCG Spartans battled the USC Upstate Spartans.

In a hard fought match which exemplifeid the fierceness of a Spartan, UNCG lost the first set of the match, then came back resilient to win the next two sets of the game.

The USC Spartans were able to force a fifth set by winning the fourth set 25-22. In a compelling final and fifth set, UNCG won 15-12.

Senior middle hitter Vicky Harley rose to the challenge with one of her best games of the early year. Harley was responsible for a personal career high, 21 of the school’s 26 kills.

The game was also a good showcase for sophomores Sara Hohman who registered 12 digs and a career high 59 assist, and Jessica Brezwyn who also joined the double-double club with 16 kills and 17 digs.

Junior Katherine Santiago contributed with 30 digs, only three away from a career high, while both Anne Romaniszyn and Leah Wells both set career highs 10 and 20 digs.

The second game UNCG would play was against the Howard Bison.

The Spartans finished off the Bisons almost a half an hour faster than the Upstate Spartans, winning in only four sets.

Again, setter Sara Hohman recorded double-double figures with 33 assist and 11 digs. Both seniors Kelsey Sidney and Vicky Harley led the team with a combine 29 kills, (15 from Sidney, and 14 from Harley). Freshmen defensive specialist Cayce Bell led the team with 13 digs.

In the final game of the tournament, the Spartans went up against the tournament’s host, the Liberty Flames.

The Spartans took the first two sets of the game, winning 25-18 and 25-17.

However, Liberty was able to comeback and win the next three games 25-22, 25-18 and 15-8.

The game featured a strong attack from UNCG with five Spartans having double digit kills.

Redshirt junior Julia Westerbur set a career high and led the team with 13 kills, as Sara Hohman had her fourth straight double-double with 52 assist and 12 digs.

The solid performance could not stop the hot streak of the Flames though. In the final set of the match, Liberty took a 4-1 lead and closed out the match with a 6-0 run to win the game.

Vicky Harley, because of her performance over the weekend, made the Liberty Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Her performance included an average of 3.36 kills and 1.57 blocks per set.

This Friday, UNCG kicks off their first home game when they will be participants and co-host the Spartan-Aggie Invitational.

The tournament will see UNCG play three games this weekend. The Spartans will play one game Friday night against Alabama A&M at 7 p.m., followed  by two games on Saturday against North Carolina A&T at 11:30 a.m. and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) at 6 p.m.

Categories: daniel johnson, Sports

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