Spartans Set For Busy Week, Senior Day Festivities
Spartanburg, S.C. – After not playing for a week after taking a 3-0 win over North Carolina Central last Wednesday, the USC Upstate volleyball team will be busy this week, playing three matches and holding Senior Day festivities. Upstate travels to North Carolina A&T on Wednesday night before returning to Spartanburg for its home finale this weekend. The Spartans will play host to A-Sun rival Florida Gulf Coast at 7:00 p.m. on Friday in their A-Sun home finale, while hosting Bethune-Cookman on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. in Upstate's home season finale. Senior Day will be held Friday night against FGCU.
Upstate will play North Carolina A&T and Bethune-Cookman for the first time ever, and looks to secure its first victory over Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles own a 5-0 lead in the all-time series.
Seniors Set To Be Honored
Two seniors, Katie Downey and Megan Healey, are winding down their careers and will play their final two matches in Spartanburg this week. Upstate will honor Downey and Healey in a ceremony prior to the start of the match against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday.
Downey has been at Upstate for five seasons, missing nearly a whole year with an injury in 2008. She has played in 113 matches in her four-plus years. She has totaled 872 kills, 95 aces, 313 digs and 333 total blocks, 79 of which have been solo. Her 254 assisted blocks tops Upstate's career list.
Healey has been at Upstate for four years and will go down as one of the top libero's in the history of the program. She ranks fourth all-time in digs, just one shy of third place on Upstate's all-time list. She also ranks in the top 10 in aces with 133. She will finish her career with 107 assists as well.
Healey Approaching Third All-Time In Digs
Senior libero Megan Healey has been a strong defensive player since stepping onto the court at Upstate. She moved into fourth place all-time at Upstate in digs earlier this season and now has her sights set on third place. She currently owns 1,432 digs, just one shy of third place, owned by Brittany Harry with 1,433. She also ranks in the top 10 in digs per set (7th), aces (9th) and service attempts (3rd).
Spartans Sweep Central
Coming off of a two-match losing streak, Upstate found its stride in blanking North Carolina Central in the only match the team played last week. The Spartans were dominant in winning by scores of 25-18, 25-18 and 25-20. Three Spartans finished with three double figure kill totals with Katie Downey leading the way with 11 and Morgan Thomas and Cori Harris each totaling 10.
Sanders Moving Up Assists List
Though just a sophomore, Emily Sanders has already moved into ninth place on Upstate's all-time assists list with 1,395. Her 7.15 assists per set average ranks fifth all-time at Upstate.
Spartans Notch Three Double-Double
After going nearly a month without posting a double-double, Upstate posted three double-doubles the week ending on Oct. 24. Emily Sanders started things off with 38 assists and 16 digs at North Florida (Oct. 15) before Sanders and Cori Harris both picked up double-doubles at Jacksonville (Oct. 16). Sanders tallied 43 assists and 17 digs, while Harris tallied 21 kills and 13 digs.
North Carolina A&T Notes
North Carolina A&T owns a 2-26 overall record entering Wednesday night's match in Greensboro, N.C. The Aggies are on a 13-match losing streak, having last won on Sept. 25 at Savannah State. In fact N.C. A&T has been swept in each of its last seven contests and nine of the last 10. The meeting between Upstate and N.C. A&T is the first between the two schools.
Spotlight Player: Jeana Daniels
Freshman middle blocker Jeana Daniels tops the Aggies in several categories as both the main offensive and defensive threat. She leads the team with 131 kills and 62 total blocks, including 14 solo blocks. She also ranks second with 18 aces.
Florida Gulf Coast Notes
Florida Gulf Coast enters the weekend with a 4-15 overall record and a 1-4 mark in the A-Sun. The Eagles are on a three-match losing streak, all in the A-Sun. They lost to Campbell, Kennesaw State and Mercer. Prior to the losing streak, FGCU had knocked off North Florida in three games.
Spotlight Player: Camil Dominguez
A freshman setter, Camil Dominguez has been a steady force for FGCU this season. She leads the team and ranks seventh in the A-Sun with 621 assists and 9.0 assists per set. She has 46 kills from her setter position and has collected the third-most digs on the team with 141. In addition, she has the third-most blocks with 31 on the year.
Bethune-Cookman enters the weekend with a 6-20 overall record and is on a bit of a hot streak. The Wildcats have won two of the last three matches, including a sweep against North Carolina A&T and a 3-2 win over North Carolina Central. Prior to the 2-of-3 run, Bethune-Cookman had lost eight in a row. Saturday's meeting between Upstate and BCU is the first between the schools.
Spotlight Player: Jessica Wilson
Junior outside hitter Jessica Wilson is one of five Wildcats to have triple digit kill totals on the year. She tops the club with 184. However, she is not just a kill threat. She ranks third on the team with 161 digs and 14 aces, and has also collected 19 total blocks.