Winston-Salem, N.C. – The USC Upstate volleyball team began play at the Demon Deacon Invitational on Friday afternoon by dropping a 3-1 decision to the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks at Wake Forest's LJVM Coliseum.
Upstate falls to 2-6 on the season while Maryland Eastern Shore improves to 6-2 overall.
The Hawks won the match by scores of 22-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-22.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- Maryland Eastern Shore held a .228 to .165 advantage over the Spartans in hitting percentage.
- Lily Dempsey led Upstate offensively with 14 kills while McKenna Kirkpatrick finished the match with a career-high 13.
- Emily Russell also had a career-high six kills in the match.
- Madison Haake compiled her team-leading fifth double-double of the season on 34 assists and 14 digs.
- Callie Yeargin had a team-best 20 digs and Kaleigh Kelley contributed 19.
- Iva Vujosevic and Lucia Babic each registered double-doubles for the Hawks.
- Ivana Blazevic tallied 30 assists and Maja Jankovic 24 digs.
- The Spartans led Maryland Eastern Shore 79-71 in digs.
- Set One: The first set featured a total of 13 ties and seven lead changes to begin the match. Upstate opened on a 5-2 run after Russell connected on a kill. The Hawks came back to take an 8-6 lead before the Spartans evened the score two plays later. The score would be tied eight more times after that with the last coming at 20-20. Upstate finished the set on a 5-2 run, including the final four points, to win 25-22. Haake and Dempsey picked up two kills over the last four points.
- Set Two: The Spartans scored ten of the initial 15 points to start the second set and led 10-5 on a kill from Payton Duncan. Upstate maintained its five-point advantage several plays later when a Maryland Eastern Shore attack error put the score at 17-12. The Hawks came back to take a 21-19 lead after going on a 9-2 run but Kirkpatrick answered for the Spartans with two straight kills. Overall, Maryland Eastern Shore posted a 13-5 run and won the frame 25-22 on a combination block.
- Set Three: The teams traded the first 12 points of the third set with Upstate holding a 6-3 lead early on a UMES attack error. The Hawks would later take the lead and the Spartans stayed within three, 11-8, on another attack error. Maryland Eastern Shore broke the set open with a 14-5 run and went on to take the set 25-13.
- Set Four: The fourth set also saw 11 ties and five lead changes between the two teams. Nine of the 11 ties came within the first 18 points of the set. With the score tied at 9-9, Upstate went on a 9-2 run and held an 18-11 lead when Kirkpatrick connected on a kill. Dempsey and Kirkpatrick each had two kills during the run. The Hawks outscored the Spartans 14-4 down the stretch to win the set 25-22.
- Upstate continues play at the Demon Deacon Invitational on Saturday with matches against Wake Forest and William & Mary.
- The Spartans play Wake Forest at 10 a.m. followed by William & Mary at 4:30 p.m.
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