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Oct. 30, 2007
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate volleyball team used a total team attack that featured 12 aces and eight blocks to post a 3-0 (30-16, 30-18, 30-13) sweep of Division I Independent Savannah State on Tuesday night at the Hodge Center. Freshman Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) led the Spartans with match highs of five service aces and 12 digs and sophomore Jesicah Ambrisco (Iowa City, Iowa/Regina Catholic) added 14 kills and two blocks.
Both junior Angie Varnum (Salinas, Puerto Rico/New Mexico Military Institute) and sophomore Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) posted a match-high three blocks for the Spartans (9-15 overall). Freshman Sandra Campbell (Orlando, Fla./Pilot Point (Texas)) added 10 kills and two blocks and junior Tijana Knezevic (Indija, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) added a career-high eight kills to go with three aces and 11 digs. Sophomore Morgan Bucciferro (Joliet, Ill./Minooka Community) chipped in with 24 assists and junior Holly Mauldin (Columbia, S.C./Irmo) added 14 assists and six digs.
Led by four kills from Ambrisco, the Spartans got off to a good start, winning the first game 30-16. After falling behind 9-8 on a kill from April Hayes, Ambrisco answered with a kill that lit Upstate on a 16-4 run that concluded with five straight points off the serve of Downey. The Spartans wrapped up the game on a sneak attack from setter Bucciferro.
The Spartans jumped out to a 20-10 lead in the second game before the Tigers (4-21 overall) scored five of the next eight points. However, Healey posted three aces during her four-point service to give the Spartans a 28-15 lead, leaving little doubt to the outcome. Bucciferro again ended the game on a sneak attack off the service return of Healey.
Upstate slammed the door shut in the third game, taking a 28-9 lead. Although the Tigers came back to score the next four points in a row, kills from Knezevic and junior Jovana Lubura (Beograd, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) posted kills to end the match. Ambrisco hit .600 in the final game, posting six kills in 10 attempts with no errors and Campbell added five of her kills and hit .500 in the game.
Savannah State was led by seven kills from Danielle Simpson and Shawannda McClain added nine digs. Kari Parker posted five kills and Hayes posted 11 assists and eight digs.
The Spartans will wrap up the Atlantic Sun Conference season this weekend, hosting Mercer on Friday at 7 p.m. before Kennesaw State comes to the Hodge Center at 3 p.m. on Saturday.