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Oct. 20, 2007
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate volleyball team had a season-high five players with at least 10 digs and added 10 blocks, but Gardner-Webb used a .308 hitting percentage to post a come-from-behind 3-2 (30-24, 25-30, 25-30, 31-29, 15-12) win in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Hodge Center on Saturday night.
USC Upstate (8-14 overall, 1-7 A-Sun) got double-doubles from its pair of setters, with sophomore Morgan Bucciferro (Joliet, Ill./Minooka Community) posting 31 assists and 16 digs and junior Holly Mauldin (Columbia, S.C./Irmo) added 26 assists and 16 digs. Junior Tijana Knezevic (Indija, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) added 14 digs and two blocks and junior Jenna Leslie (Houston, Texas/Westfield) added 15 digs, four assists, five kills, two aces and three blocks. Freshman Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) added three aces and 10 digs.
Sophomore Jesicah Ambrisco (Iowa City, Iowa/Regina Catholic) posted 22 kills to lead the Spartans and junior Jovana Lubura (Beograd, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) tied a season-high with 18 kills and three digs. Sophomore Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) chipped in 13 kills, three aces, five digs and five blocks and freshman Sandra Campbell (Orlando, Fla./Pilot Point (Texas)) added nine kills and tied a career-high with five blocks.
The duo of Audra Harrison and Heidi Steinebrunner combined for 57 of the Runnin' Bulldogs' 89 kills on the night and Regina Feagin added 73 kills and 18 digs. Steinebrunner took control of the fourth game, posting 11 kills, including three kills out of the last four points to clinch the game. She added four powerful kills in the fifth game.
Gardner-Webb (14-14 overall, 4-4 A-Sun) won the first game as it went on a 13-7 run to close the game, thanks to two kills each from Steinebrunner and Harrison. The Spartans retaliated in the second game with a 30-25 win, led by five kills and four blocks from Campbell and five kills from Ambrisco. The Spartans used just three hitting errors in the game to its advantage, as the Bulldogs posted eight errors and allowed three Spartan service aces.
After the break, the Spartans kept rolling in the third game. After falling behind 16-13, Upstate scored five straight points thanks to a strong service from Healey. The Bulldogs fought back, taking a 23-22 lead, but a kill from Ambrisco led to four straight Spartans points, as Lubura and Leslie each added kills. The Spartans held on for the 30-25 win after a kill from Lubura ended the game.
The Bulldogs opened up a four point lead late in the fourth game at 26-22, but the Spartans roared back after kills from Lubura, Knezevic, an ace from Leslie and a kill from Lubura tied the game. The teams traded points to 29, but Steinebrunner posted two hard-hit kills to close the game out.
Upstate took a 5-1 lead in the fifth game after a block from Leslie and Campbell, but Gardner-Webb responded, tying the match at eight. With the score tied at nine, a kill from Bethany Martin and another from Steinebrunner put the Bulldogs in control. A Spartan attack error closed out the 15-12 fifth game.
The Spartans will get back in action as they hit the road for the last time this season on Saturday when they head to Campbell for a 3 p.m. match.