Weiland, Sanders, Bucciferro Post Double-Doubles As Upstate Downs Stetson, 3-1
Oct. 2, 2009
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - A complete team effort that included a Division I-era record three double-doubles helped lead the USC Upstate volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-15, 25-16) win over Stetson in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Hodge Center on Friday night. Senior Morgan Bucciferro (Joliet, Ill./Minooka Community) posted 22 assists and 10 digs and fellow setter, freshman Emily Sanders (Sullivan, Ill./Sullivan) posted 25 assists and 12 digs and freshman Paige Weiland (Atlanta, Ga./Marist School) added 11 kills and 14 digs to lead Upstate.
The Spartans (5-12 overall, 1-7 A-Sun) also got solid performances from junior Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) and sophomore Kelsie Queen (Blythewood, S.C./Ridge View), who each added 13 kills, four digs and two blocks. Junior Erin Jacobsen (Virginia, Minn./Iowa Lakes C.C.) posted nine kills, five blocks and four digs and junior Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) added 10 digs and two aces. Senior Karla Andree (Cypress, Calif./Cypress C.C.) added eight digs.
"It felt so good," Downey said. "We played together as a team. We did it against Wofford, as well, but (Friday), it just felt amazing to get out there and work together to execute."
With the score tied at 10 in the third set, a Downey kill helped ignite a 6-1 run Spartan rally that saw a service ace by freshman Mindy Quimby (Keenesburg, Colo./Weld Central) and kills from both Weiland and Quimby. The Hatters (1-14 overall, 0-8 A-Sun) cut the lead to three points at 16-13, but Upstate closed the set on a 9-2 run punctuated by two kills from Queen to close out the 9-2 win.
"We've taken the mentality in the last few matches that no matter how down we are, we just need to pick each other up and never give up on a ball," Weiland said. "We just wanted a clean slate. We wrote on the locker board, `We're 2-0' and it's only going to go up."
Weiland's five kills in the fourth set paced the Spartans to a 25-16 win. The teams battled out to a 9-8 Spartans lead before two kills by Jacobsen sandwiched a kill by Weiland, igniting a 7-1 run. The Hatters could get no closer than four points the rest of the way and a sneak attack kill by Bucciferro on a broken play that saw Andree post three spectacular digs in a row helped give Upstate a 21-14 lead and give the Spartans an extra emotional lift. Downey and Jacobsen closed out the match with back-to-back hard kills.
"Karla had a great match," Weiland said. "She had so many great digs. One play, she dove and dug a ball over the net from five feet past the end line. Everybody talked about if we did one thing better, we'd accomplish our goals and that's what we did."
The Spartans opened the match by smashing 17 digs in the first set to take a 25-20 win. Three straight kills by Downey helped Upstate take a 12-6 lead and force a Hatters' timeout.
"This year, I've had trouble jumping and I could jump (Friday)," Downey, whose previous season-high was eight kills thanks to a myriad of lower-body injuries, said. "It gave me so much more confidence, knowing I could go out there and jump. I think that played a big part in it, knowing I could go out there and jump and kill the ball."
The Hatters closed the gap to three points at 18-15, but a service error and an attack error was followed by two kills from Jacobsen and one from Weiland, giving Upstate a 23-16 lead. Stetson could get no closer than four the rest of the way.
The Hatters used nine straight points in the second set off the serve of Sam Freeman to take a 12-3 lead. The Spartans fought back with an 16-9 run to close within two points at 21-19, but they could get no closer than a point, as 24-23 after a kill by sophomore Morgan Thomas (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas). However a kill by Kaylee Ream closed the set.
Kelli Carneal led the Hatters with an impressive performance, racking up 13 kills, 24 assists, eight digs and three blocks, narrowly missing the triple-double. Stephanie Canfield added 10 kills, four digs and three blocks and Anna Becker posted 16 digs. Laura Boyd added six kills and seven blocks.
Upstate gets back on the court on Friday, Oct. 9 when it heads to Lipscomb for a 7 p.m. A-Sun clash. The Spartans will wrap up their trip to the Music City on Saturday, when they face Belmont at 2 p.m.