By Daniel Johnson, Staff Writer
Published in print Sept. 17, 2014
This weekend’s Spartan-Aggie Invitational included the first home game of the season for the UNCG’s volleyball team.
The team had opened the year with back-to-back weekend tournaments that saw them win two out of three games in both competitions.
In the first home games of the season, the Blue and Gold swept through the competition in impressive fashion, winning every match this past weekend as well as each set in each game.
Game 1: UNCG v. Alabama A&M
In the first game of the tournament on Friday night, the Spartans battled Alabama A&M.
The Spartans won each set in scores of 25-16, 25-11 and 25-12. The game saw Vicky Harley and Julia Westerbur both led the team with 11 kills. Katherine Santiago contributed with 16 digs. Following the game, Coach Corey Carlin talked about the momentum the win brings.
“ Anytime we win on the home floor and you are hosting a tournament, you feel you have a shot to win it” Carlin said. “Its all about momentum and carrying that from one night to the next and I feel we took a great step tonight.”
On the victory, Coach Carlin spoke briefly on the win against Alabama A&M.
“[We set out to] Establish our brand and style of volleyball we want to play” Carlin said. “We know that Alabama A&M have great athletes and we made sure to key on them and the net. We took care of the ball and kept our block was solid. We pride ourselves on a quick tempo offense and ball control”.
However, the game did not go completely without a hitch.
Defensive specialist, Leah Wells left with an injury and did not return. Following the game, Coach Carlin talked about his injured player.
“ She is still being evaluated and we have to wait and see for the rest of the tournament.” Wells would not play again in the rest of the tournament.
Game 2: UNCG v. N.C. A&T
The Saturday morning game saw the Spartans win in straight sets 25-22, 25-28 and 25-6.
Sophomore Jessica Brezwyn led the team with 11 digs and finished tied with second on the team with eight kills along with Freshmen Ashley Muench.
Extending their tradition of excellence against their crosstown rival, UNCG improved to 20-2 against the Aggies and 42-2 against opponents in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Game 3: UNCG v. UMES
The final game of the tournament saw the Spartans compete against the Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Similar to the last two games, the Blue and Gold won in straight sets 25-20, 25-13 and 25-18. Sophomores Sara Hohman and Jessica Brezwyn both finished with double-doubles as Hohman ended up with ten digs and 38 assists and Brezwyn with 12 digs and 14 kills.
The three games were not only the first home games of the season for the Spartans, but also the first home games for new coach, Corey Carlin. Following his first home victory, Coach Carlin said.“ It feels great. Anytime you can open the season at home with a victory, especially in front of a great home crowd, and the support we had tonight, it’s an awesome feeling”.
At this point in the early season, UNCG has begun the year at a 7-2 record and sit atop the Southern Conference. Carlin spoke upon the hot start for his team.
“ We’ve had some kinks and injuries lately, but I feel the girls have kept their spirits up” Carlin expressed.
“They understand the type of volleyball we are striving for and it is all about doing well in the SoCon. Establishing a brand in the Southern Conference and pushing towards the conference championship.”
Continuing their string of weekend tournaments, the Spartans will travel to Miami, Florida to participate in the Hurricane Challenge for their third consecutive weekend series.
Categories: daniel johnson, madison wyker, Sports
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