The UNCG Volleyball team faced off against two opponents last week, the first being versus The Citadel Bulldogs on Friday night, and the other versus the Mercer Bears on Saturday night. Coming into Friday, UNCG was half a game behind first place in the Southern Conference and was riding the tide of a six game win streak.
Game 1: UNCG vs. The Citadel
The Blue and Gold defeated The Citadel Bulldogs in a four set match on Friday night. The first set found both teams tied at 12 points apiece, before UNCG used a 6-0 run to go up 18-12. From here, the two sides traded points, and UNCG took the first set 25-17. In the second set, the Spartans jumped out to a 12-6 lead, and the Bulldogs were unable to bring the deficit any closer than four points at 17-13. UNCG then rode an 8-2 run to win the set 25-16. Coming out of the intermission, the Spartans found themselves up 10-5. The two teams traded points and UNCG was up 18-14 before The Citadel used 6-0 run to take a 20-18 lead. The Spartans came up just short of sweeping the Bulldogs, and dropped the set 22-25. The fourth set was a much better outing for the Blue and Gold, as they won the fourth set by a comfortable ten point margin, 25-15.
Game 2: UNCG vs. Mercer
Saturday’s match against Mercer was senior night, the four Spartan seniors, Jessica Brezwyn, Sara Hohman, Alexis Mourier, and Chinwendu Ngwadom were honored before the match tipped off. “All four are terrific young ladies,” said UNCG head coach Corey Carlin, “they all have good character, and have really worked hard.”. The game action started with the Spartans leading the Bears 12-6 in the first set. Mercer was able to come back and take the lead at 22-23, and closed out the first set with a 23-25 win. The second set was a very similar story, as UNCG led 18-15 before Mercer used a 6-1 run to take a 19-21 lead. The Spartans were able to tie the match up at 22 and again at 24, but ultimately came up short and dropped the set 24-26. The third set was close much like the other sets, and featured 10 ties. After the set was knotted up at 16. UNCG used a 4-1 run to take a 20-17 lead. Mercer fought back and tied the match up at 24, but a Mercer error and Spartan kill saw UNCG win the set 26-24. The fourth set was another battle, as both teams were tied at 11 points each. From here, the Bears used a 5-0 run to take a 16-11 lead. The Spartans brought the game back to a two point deficit at 16-14, but Mercer used another 5-0 run to extend their lead to 21-14. UNCG responded strongly with a 5-0 run of their own to bring themselves only down one point at 21-22. The two teams exchanged points before Mercer was able to earn back-to-back points and win the set 24-26. “This [loss] is going to be a real challenge for for our team,” explained coach Carlin, “to be able to mentally put this match behind us and focus on the path ahead, that’ll be a challenge for us.”
The Spartans (15-11, 9-4) will travel on the road to face off against two opponents in the next week to end the season. The first will be Friday night, when they face off against fourth place Samford (17-12, 8-6) then at fifth place Chattanooga (15-12, 8-6) on Saturday. The Spartans had already defeated both university earlier in the season and remain a game behind the ESTU at the top of the Southern Conference.