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Balanced Attack Helps Spartans Set D-I Records In 3-0 Sweep Of Stetson

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Senior Morgan Bucciferro posted 33 assists on Saturday at Stetson to finish her career fourth on Upstate's assists' list.

Senior Morgan Bucciferro posted 33 assists on Saturday at Stetson to finish her career fourth on Upstate's assists' list.

Nov. 14, 2009

Final Stats

DeLAND, Fla. - Hitting a season-high .381 and using a balanced offensive attack that set a D-I era record with 53 kills in a three-set match thanks to five players posting at least nine kills, the USC Upstate volleyball team closed the season on a high note, sweeping Stetson, 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-22), in the Atlantic Sun Conference action on Saturday afternoon in the season finale at the Edmunds Center.

Junior Erin Jacobsen (Virginia, Minn./Iowa Lakes C.C.) led the way with 10 kills and a hefty .643 hitting percentage while also posting a block for the Spartans (8-22 overall, 4-16 A-Sun). Sophomore Morgan Thomas (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) added 10 kills and four blocks and sophomore Kelsie Queen (Blythewood, S.C./Ridge View) also added 10 kills and hit .600. They weren't the only heavy contributors on offense, as both freshman Mindy Quimby (Keenesburg, Colo./Weld Central) and junior Katie Downey (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) each posted nine kills and hit .400.

Pacing the offense in her final collegiate match was senior Morgan Bucciferro (Joliet, Ill./Minooka Community), who notched 33 assists, two kills and three digs. Bucciferro, who played all four seasons in a 6-2 setting rotation, finished her career fourth in school history in assists with 2,279, as she passed Lisa Wilson (1989-92) with her final assist, the match-winner on a kill by Thomas.

Defensively, the Spartans got a match-high 14 digs from junior Megan Healey (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy), as she also moved up on the all-time digs list, passing Angie Gambrell, who posted 1,095 digs from 1986-89. Healey will enter her senior year with 1,102 digs.

Also playing her final collegiate game, senior Karla Andree (Cypress, Calif./Cypress C.C.) posted 10 digs to finish her career with 180 career digs. The win was also a milestone for head coach Jennifer Calloway, who won her 100th conference match. Calloway won 89 matches in the Peach Belt Conference before Upstate moved to the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2007.

The two teams battled out to a tie at 12 in the first set before two Hatters' points gave Stetson a 14-12 lead. After a Spartan timeout, the Spartans came alive, tying the set at 16 before a kill by Thomas gave Upstate a 17-16 lead. The Hatters (1-27 overall, 0-20 A-Sun) tied the set at 17, but a kill by Quimby and another by Queen ignited a 5-0 run. With a 22-17 lead, the Spartans were able to hang on for the 25-19 win, with Downey posting a solo block to clinch the set.

The Spartans kept momentum in the second set, getting out to a 9-3 lead, thanks to three kills from Jacobsen, but the Hatters fought back to come within two at 9-7. From there, the Spartans once again went on a run, building the lead to seven points at 17-10 after a kill by Downey. From there, Upstate cruised with two more kills late in the set by Jacobsen and one by Queen clinching the 25-15 win.

The two teams once again battled closely early in the third set until a sneak attack kill by freshman Emily Sanders (Sullivan, Ill./Sullivan) gave Upstate a 10-9 lead, which Upstate never relinquished. An ace by freshman Paige Weiland (Atlanta, Ga./Marist School) gave Upstate two-point cushion and back-to-back kills by Thomas and Quimby put Upstate up 16-12. From there, Upstate took a lead as large as six before the Hatters closed within two points at 24-22 after a block by Laura Boyd and Brandy Worlton. However, Bucciferro set up Thomas with the match-clinching kill, as Upstate swept its season series with Stetson, the first time in school history that Upstate has swept a home-and-home series since joining the A-Sun.

Anna Becker led the Hatters with seven kills and five digs and Megan Stewart added six kills and 22 assists. Madison Anderson also notched six kills and Boyd notched five kills and four blocks. Monique Russell posted seven digs.

USC Upstate Women's Volleyball
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