ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville volleyball team opens Big South Conference play at Justice Center Friday night when the Bulldogs host Gardner-Webb starting at 7 p.m.
Friday’s match can be seen for free on the Big South Digital network at uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville has an 8-6 record entering league play, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs have a 6-9 overall record. Both teams faced tough non-conference schedules in the first part of the season.
Third-year head coach Frederico Santos is looking forward to the start of the Big South Conference season.
“We’re really looking forward to getting our Big South Conference schedule started,” stated Santos. “Gardner-Webb will be a difficult opponent for us. We had some great league wins last year, but we lost to Gardner-Webb twice. We’ll need to be at our best to have a chance at winning on Friday.
“However, our girls are looking forward to playing at home,” added Santos. “We are anxious to play in front of our friends and fans. It should be a great environment Friday night.”
Asheville went 1-2 the College of Charleston Classic last weekend. The Bulldogs fell to Ball State and College of Charleston before beating Alabama A&M in three sets.
“We faced some really good teams in Ball State and College of Charleston,” explained Santos. “In each of those matches, we came close to winning the first set but didn’t do it and struggled a little bit after that opening set.
“Our team just needs to stay consistent and play that way for a whole match,” added Santos. “We played a tough non-conference schedule to prepare us for Big South Conference play and hopefully we’re ready.”
Senior blocker Anna Moore is enjoying a great season for the Bulldogs. She made three of four All-Tournament teams and was the MVP of Western Carolina Invitational to start the season. Moore leads Asheville in hitting percentage (.341), blocks (1.12) and is tied for the team lead in service aces (18). Sophomore Christine Lakotos tops the Bulldogs in kills with a 3.35 average. Rachel Wells is averaging 4.88 digs per set. Sophomore setter Katie Davis is averaging 9.88 assists per set.
UNC Asheville has lost its last three meetings to Gardner-Webb.
The Bulldogs have won six straight five-set matches dating back to last year. Asheville is 1-0 in five-set affairs this season with a 3-2 victory over Boston College on Aug. 31 in Cullowhee.
Asheville has played 13 of its first 14 matches away from Justice Center.
Anna Moore is third in the Big South in hitting percentage (.341), fourth in blocks (1.1) and sixth is kills (3.1).
Christine Laktos is second in the Big South in kills at 3.4 per set. Rachel Wells is fourthSouth in digs at 4.88 per set. Setter Katie Davis is third in the league in assists at 9.88.
Asheville leads the Big South in service aces with a 1.57 average. The Bulldogs are second in the league is digs with a 16.76 mark.