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Oct. 24, 2008
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The dynamic was there for a perfect night, as the USC Upstate volleyball team got two double-doubles in a thrilling five-set match and raised more than $500 for the Upstate South Carolina chapter of Komen for the Cure in its first Dig For The Cure match. However, Stetson was able to use an 8-2 run to open the fifth-set to hold on for the 3-2 (20-25, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 15-10) win to disappoint the Spartans in Atlantic Sun Conference action on Friday night at the Hodge Center.
The Spartans (7-15 overall, 3-10 A-Sun) played in pink jerseys in support of the fight against breast cancer, as they joined in on Dig For The Cure, started by Charlotte coach Lisa Marston in 2003, along with 400 other collegiate, high school and club volleyball teams across the nation. Before the match started, the Spartans had received more than $400 in pledges and were able to earn several hundred more dollars during the match as other fans pledged a certain amount for each of Upstate's 72 kills, 77 digs, six blocks, eight service aces and 67 assists. A final cumulative tally of the amount raised and the total donation to Susan G. Komen For The Cure will be released early this week.
Senior Jovana Lubura (Belgrade, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) posted her third straight double-double with 19 kills, 16 digs and three blocks. Senior Holly Mauldin (Columbia, S.C./Irmo) added her seventh double-double of the season, thanks to 38 assists, 10 digs and three kills. Sophomore Sandra Campbell (Orlando, Fla./Pilot Point (Texas)) tied a career-high with 19 kills, hitting .351, and adding two blocks and freshman Kelsie Queen (Blythewood, S.C./Ridge View) also tied a career-high with 15 kills and she added seven digs. Senior Jenna Leslie (Houston, Texas/Westfield) posted four kills, five assists and she also tied a season-high with 10 digs and sophomore Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) tied a career-high with five aces and added 13 digs. Freshman Jane Hawryliw (North Battleford, Saskatchewan/North Battleford) added three aces and seven digs and junior Morgan Bucciferro (Shorewood, Ill./Minooka Community) posted 19 assists and seven digs.
Upstate finished the match with 72 kills, 17 more than the Hatters, but 11 more attack errors and six more service errors made up the difference in the five-set thriller.
Three Upstate attack errors helped Stetson to a 5-1 lead in the fifth set, a lead that was too big for Upstate to overcome. Down 8-2, the Spartans got two kills from Lubura as Upstate made a 5-2 run to close within three, but that was as close as they could get. Rebecca Orzechowicz led the Hatters with three kills in the set.
The Spartans got out to a hot start in the first game, taking a 10-4 lead thanks to three kills from Lubura. From there, the Hatters (3-17 overall, 1-12 A-Sun) were able to get only as close as two, closing within 22-20 before Upstate got a kill from Campbell to spur three straight points to end the set.
Down two sets to one and down 12-10 in the fourth set, the Spartans made a 15-8 run to close the set and take a 25-20 win. A kill from Campbell got Upstate tolling, as Queen, Campbell and Lubura each posted two kills in the run to help Upstate to the win. Service aces from Healey and Hawryliw also kept momentum with the Spartans.
The Spartans fell behind 17-15 in the second set before a kill from Lubura capped a 9-6 run to give the Spartans a shot at a set point. However, Melanie Boyer posted a kill for the Hatters to tie the match at 24 and two Upstate attack errors ended the set in Stetson's favor.
A block from Lubura and freshman Morgan Thomas (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) helped Upstate take a 23-22 lead in the third set, but kills from Stephanie Canfield and Orzechowicz helped Stetson take a 24-23 lead. Canfield closed the set on an ace.
The Hatters were led by Orzechowicz's 17 kills, 25 digs and three blocks. Canfield added 10 kills and five digs. Melanie Bower posted 23 digs and Jennica Hagberg added 42 assists and 14 digs. Sam Freeman posted five blocks and five kills.
Upstate will be back on the court on Saturday at 3 p.m. as it takes on conference-leading Florida Gulf Coast.