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Oct. 13, 2007
DeLAND, Fla. - With the fourth game tied at 21, a kill by sophomore Jesicah Ambrisco (Iowa City, Iowa/Regina Catholic) sparked three straight points en route the win in the game and set up a 15-12 win in the fifth game, as the USC Upstate volleyball team downed Stetson, 3-2 (30-22, 22-30, 21-30, 30-27, 15-12) for the program's first Atlantic Sun Conference win on Saturday evening at the Edmunds Center.
Upstate (7-13 overall, 1-6 A-Sun), which won both its first five-game match in the Division I era and its first match in its new conference, got big lifts from with career-high kills from freshman Sandra Campbell (Orlando, Fla./Pilot Point (Texas)), who had 13, and junior Jovana Lubura (Beograd, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute), who had 18 and a .349 hitting percentage. Junior Jenna Leslie (Houston, Texas/Westfield) added a career-high 16 digs.
Ambrisco led the Spartans with 19 kills and a hefty .341 hitting percentage and freshman Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) added 21 digs. Junior Tijana Knezevic (Indija, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) also had a solid match with 12 digs and four blocks and sophomore Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) also posted a solid match with nine kills, two aces and a match-high five blocks. Sophomore Morgan Bucciferro (Joliet, Ill./Minooka Community) added 27 assists and seven digs and junior Holly Mauldin (Columbia, S.C./Irmo) posted 26 assists and seven digs.
The Spartans hit a robust .436 in the first game en route to a 30-22 win. After a Hatters' kill brought Stetson within two at 8-6, the Spartans went on a 12-4 run, led by five points off the serve of Bucciferro and three kills from Ambrisco during the run. The Hatters couldn't close within seven points after that.
However, the Hatters got a 15-9 lead in the second game and although, the Spartans closed within two after five points of the serve of Knezevic, they could get no closer. The Hatters hit .342 in the game en route to the 30-22 win. In the third game, the Hatters used seven straight points off the serve of Rebecca Orzechowicz to take a 15-5 lead and never looked back en route to the 30-21 win.
The fourth game was a back-and-forth battle, as Stetson tied the game seven times, including at 21, but the Spartans never relinquished the lead. Ambrisco's kill gave Upstate a 22-1 lead and two straight Hatter attack errors gave the Spartans a three-point lead. The Hatters came within one-point three times after that, last at 28-27, but a Hatter service error and attack error closed out the game for the Spartans.
In the fifth game, the Spartans and Hatters fought to a 7-7 tie before a kill from Campbell gave Upstate the lead. Healey served for two points, with each point ending on a kill from Lubura to take a 10-7 lead. A kill from Ambrisco gave the Spartans a 14-10 lead and after two points for the Hatters, Leslie finished the game with a kill to give the Spartans the win.
Stetson (7-13 overall, 2-5 A-Sun) benefited from 21 kills and 13 digs from Orzechowicz and 61 assists and 19 digs from Kayla Readshaw. Beth Slabaugh added 13 kills, 10 digs and four assists for the Hatters.
Upstate returns to the Hodge Center on Friday when it hosts Winston-Salem State in non-conference action at 6 p.m.