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Nov. 12, 2009
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Juniors Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) and Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) led the USC Upstate volleyball team on Thursday night, with Downey posting 10 kills, seven digs and two blocks, and Healey notching 13 digs and three aces, but it wasn't enough for Upstate to get past Florida Gulf Coast, with the Eagles posting a 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-18) win in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Alico Arena.
Healey moved within seven digs of fifth in the all-time record book, as her 1,088 career digs are just behind Angie Gambrell's mark of 1,095 set from 1986-89.
Sophomore Kelsie Queen (Blythewood, S.C./Ridge View) posted eight kills, hitting .389, to go with five digs and a block and sophomore Morgan Thomas (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) posted five kills and two blocks for the Spartans (7-22 overall, 3-16 A-Sun). Freshman Emily Sanders (Sullivan, Ill./Sullivan) added 20 assists and seven digs and freshman Paige Weiland (Atlanta, Ga./Marist School) also added seven digs.
The Eagles (16-12 overall, 15-5 A-Sun) jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first set, thanks to three kills from Jelena Simic. The Eagles were able to expand the lead to seven points after another kill by Simic made it 16-9, but the Spartans fought back with five straight points, thanks to aces from Healey to close within two at 16-14. However, the Eagles scored the next three points and never let Upstate back within three points, taking the set 25-21.
The teams battled to a tie at 10 in the second set before FGCU went on a 7-3 run, capped by a kill by Emma Racila. The Spartans closed back within a point at 18-17 after two kills from Downey posted two kills during the run. However, the Eagles scored two straight to ignite another 7-3 run, closing out the 25-20 win.
In the third set, the Spartans fought back from a 12-9 deficit to tie the set at 13, keying their run on a kill by Healey. However, the Eagles closed out the set on a 12-5 run, with Julia Lopez posting two kills and Simic notching four.
Simic led the Eagles with 17 kills and 13 digs and Lefever posted 42 assists, nine digs, three kills and two blocks. Ashley Yance added nine kills and five blocks and Holly Youngquist posted 12 digs.
Upstate will wrap up its 2009 campaign by heading to Stetson for an A-Sun match to close the season on Saturday at 3 p.m.