Asheville (10-8, 3-2 BSC) is coming off a tough loss at home to Winthrop last Saturday, 3-1. The Bulldogs battled hard against the league-leading Eagles. Asheville didn't have the services of leading hitter Cindi Miller and libero Alex Stewart against Winthrop but still managed to make a competitive match against the Eagles. Miller will play tonight, while Stewart is questionable.
"We want all of our players to be versatile and ready to play anywhere if need be," stated first-year coach Frederico Santos. "We're going to have to be at our best to have a chance at winning."
Gardner-Webb (5-14, 1-4 BSC) knocked off Winthrop last Friday for its first BSC win of the season. Santos is quite impressed with the Runnin' Bulldogs. Both times Asheville has played Gardner-Webb this season the match has gone five sets with the Bulldogs winning each time. On Sept. 23 at Justice Center, Asheville rallied from two sets down to win, including a dramatic 16-14 fifth game win.
"Gardner-Webb has a good team. They're young but learning fast and have given everyone fits all year long," declared Santos. "We lost at Liberty in three a few weeks ago. The next day Gardner-Webb took Liberty to five sets. We may have beaten them twice but both matches could have gone either way. I expect a tough match tonight."
Tonight's match will be the only match the Bulldogs will play this weekend. They'll be on the road next weekend at Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern.
UNC Asheville is 3-0 in five-set matches this season. Two of those wins have been against Gardner-Webb.
Cindi Miller leads the Big South in kills per set (3.67). She has posted eight double-doubles.
Alex Stewart is second in the league in digs (4.51). Stewart has missed the last two matches and is questionable for tonight's match.
Setter Hallie Morse is third in the Big South in assists (8.89). Jaimie Dorfman is fourth in service aces (0.34).
As a team, the Bulldogs are second in the conference in hitting percentage (.184).
Asheville is 3-4 in true road matches this season.
The Bulldogs are 27-10 in Big South Conference matches since the 2009 season.