GREENSBORO, N.C. - Forcing visiting Duke to extra points in set number three, UNCG volleyball was unable to force a fourth term on Tuesday night, in a 3-0 loss to the Blue Devils. The Spartans fell to Duke in straight sets by scores of 25-21, 25-16 and 26-24, while junior Holly Behrends notched a match-high 12 kills on the night.
"I thought we had a good start," said Head Coach Corey Carlin in postgame. "Anytime you have the opportunity to play an ACC opponent in your home gym, it's an opportunity to get better and to really find a 'groove' in preparation for conference play. I felt that we came out mentally focused with a good scouting report that let us take advantage of a few things early. We are a fairly young team, with a couple of freshman in key roles, so this was a good opportunity for them to get experience."
The opening set saw four lead changes before the Spartans succumbed to the 25-21 final, leading the first frame of the afternoon by as many as three. Behrends and Lauren Robeck each notched four kills in that period, with the former combining with blocker Elayne Grisbee for a pair of blocks.
The Blue Devils would outhit the home team .278 to .079 in the second, while tallying a team block total of five. Setter Gabriela McHugh added another nine assists to her total, in addition to registering a solo block to get her team back within two points, but Duke would score nine of the last 11 of the set to gain a 2-0 lead on a 25-16 game win.
UNCG picked up play in the third, leading in the majority of the early stages, before falling behind 17-13. Four unanswered points brought Coach Carlin's side level at 17 apiece however, as both teams fought for a set that saw the lead change three times in the waning hour. Tied at 23 all, UNCG forced match point on the Blue Devils twice before falling to the visitors by a total of 26-24.
Three Things To Know From Match Vs. Southern
-- Behrends' 12 kills were a match-high, while Lauren Robeck tallied eight on just 19 attempts
-- Behrends also led the Spartans with three blocks, while McHugh, Grisbee and Lobeck had two apiece
-- After opening their first six matches of the season with their best start since 2010, the Spartans' 5-2 record still ties as their best start in the past nine years
-- UNCG gets back on the road for its second straight weekend tournament road trip, competing against William & Mary, Georgetown and Iona in the Colonial Classic in Williamsburg, Va. this Friday and Saturday.
UNCG Volleyball is celebrating 50 years of wonderful memories dedicated to celebrating current and former student-athletes, coaches and staff who have made an impact on our family. The program will be hosting a special celebration the weekend of Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19.