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Sept. 17, 2007
ORANGEBURG, S.C. - Thanks to three players reaching double-digit digs, the USC Upstate volleyball team closed out the Spikefest Tournament at South Carolina State with a 3-1 (30-23, 27-30, 30-18, 30-24) victory over the hosts on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans were led by sophomore Jesicah Ambrisco (Iowa City, Iowa/Regina Catholic), who made the All-Tournament Team after she posted 37 kills to help the team to a 2-1 record during the tournament.
Sophomore Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) led the Spartans with 15 kills and four blocks in the match while Ambrisco added 10 kills and a service ace. Sophomore Morgan Bucciferro (Minooka, Ill./Minooka Community) added her second straight double-double with 23 assists and 10 digs while junior Jovana Lubura (Beograd, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) chipped in 14 digs and freshman Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) added a team-high 16 digs.
The Spartans (4-6) got out to an 18-12 lead in the first game after Healey served for five points and from there, the Lady Bulldogs (5-10) could get no closer than five points. The game was sealed on a block from Downey and Lubura.
In the second game, the Bulldogs took a 5-1 lead and were able to maintain at least a one-point lead for the rest of the match, closing the game with a kill by Monique Walker just two plays after a kill from freshman Sandra Campbell (Orlando, Fla./Pilot Point (Texas)) made it 28-27. During the game, Bucciferro became just the ninth player in school history to reach 1,000 career assists.
The Spartans built a 20-16 lead in the third game and from there, Healey served for six straight points, as kills from Lubura and junior Holly Mauldin (Columbia, S.C./Irmo) highlighted the run. Bucciferro closed the match with an ace.
In the fourth game, Upstate took a 21-14 lead before the Bulldogs closed to within three points. However, Lubura served up two points with help from Ambrisco kills to give the Spartans a 25-19 lead and they never looked back, clinching the match on an ace from junior Jennifer Joraskie (Southington, Conn./Southington).
The Spartans racked up 15 aces in the match, with five coming from Healey and three from Downey.
South Carolina State was led by Walker, who posted 20 digs, and Jarne Gleaton and Laura Waters-Brown, who each had 10 kills. Erinn Phillips posted 25 assists.
Upstate will stay on the road, as it travels to Presbyterian on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. start for its last non-conference match before the Atlantic Sun Conference season opens on Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Hodge Center against North Florida.