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Nov. 6, 2007
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Despite 10 team blocks and a match-high 14 kills from sophomore Jesicah Ambrisco (Iowa City, Iowa/Regina Catholic), the USC Upstate volleyball team couldn't find its rhythm in non-conference action at the Hodge Center on Tuesday night, falling to Presbyterian, 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 32-30), in front of 238 fans on Faculty Appreciation night.
Freshman Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) paced the Spartan back row with 25 digs and junior Holly Mauldin (Columbia, S.C./Irmo) added her team-high seventh double-double of the season with an 11-dig, 14-assist effort. Junior Jovana Lubura (Beograd, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) posted 10 kills, five digs and two blocks and fellow Serbian, junior Tijana Knezevic (Indija, Serbia/New Mexico Military Institute) added two kills, two aces, eight digs and a block. Sophomore Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) paced the Spartans at the net, adding six blocks and also posting six kills.
The Blue Hose (20-12 overall) benefited from 11 Spartan attack errors in the first game. Presbyterian found separation in the game after it was tied at 17, as kills by Justine Lanchester and Lauren Mason gave it a lead it wouldn't relinquish en route to the 30-25 win.
Lubura posted five kills and Healey posted seven digs in the second game, but seven kills from Kelsey McKee paced the Blue Hose en route to the 30-24 win. The Spartans pulled within one point at 23-22 after a kill from Ambrisco, but Amanda Kettles answered with a kill for the Blue Hose, leading the team on a 7-2 run to close the game.
Upstate fought valiantly to avoid the game-ending kill in the third game, fighting off four match points. With the score 29-26, freshman Sandra Campbell (Orlando, Fla./Pilot Point (Texas)) smashed a kill from the center of the net to reduce the Blue Hose lead to two. An attack error cut the lead to one and Ambrisco followed with a kill on a set from junior middle blocker Angie Varnum (Salinas, Puerto Rico/New Mexico Military Institute), tying the game at 29. After a kill from Presbyterian's Lauren Mason, Ambrisco answered with a kill to tie the game at 30. The Blue Hose followed with the next two points to close the match, including the match-clinching kill from Lanchester.
McKee paced the Blue Hose with 13 kills and Mason followed with 10 kills and eight digs. Elizabeth Heineman posted 25 digs and Ashley Dunlap added 13. Rachel Lewis posted a match-high 40 assists and seven digs.
Before the match, all 13 members of the volleyball team recognized their favorite members of the USC Upstate faculty in a short ceremony.
The Spartans will close out the season with a non-conference match on Thursday at the Hodge Center, hosting UNC Asheville at 7 p.m.