ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville volleyball team hits the road tonight when the Bulldogs travel to USC Upstate for a non-conference battle with the Spartans at the Hodge Center starting at 7 p.m.
Tonight's match can be seen via video-streaming at http://asun.neulion.com/asc/.
Asheville (4-8) enters the USC Upstate match with wins in three of its last four matches. The Bulldogs knocked off Western Carolina and UNC Greensboro in five sets last week before downing North Carolina A&T in three sets Saturday. The only loss was to defending Patriot League champion American on Saturday.
The Bulldogs are playing with a lot of youth on this year's club. Asheville has had three freshmen in the line-up much of the time. Second-year coach Frederico Santos has always believed this year's team has a chance to be good in 2012 but there would be some growing pains.
"I like the team we have this year," explained Santos. "We have the potential to be very good this season. However, we have a lot of young players playing for us and it takes time. I think we saw some of our potential last week."
The Bulldogs rallied from two sets down to beat Western Carolina last Tuesday. Last Friday at UNC Greensboro, Asheville led 2-1 and 24-21 in the fourth set before the Spartans rallied to send the match into a fifth set. In the final set, the Bulldogs trailed 12-9 but roared back to win the match, 15-13.
"I was really pleased with how we handled adversity last week," stated Santos. "We never gave up after being down two sets to Western Carolina. We looked like we had the Greensboro match wrapped up in four sets, but we didn't get it done. In the fifth set, our team kept plugging away and found a way to win in a tough atmosphere."
USC Upstate is 2-4 on the year and hasn't played in 11 days. This is the home opener for the Spartans. The Bulldogs are at Charlotte this weekend at the Hilton University 49er Invitational where they'll face Towson, Charlotte and Kennesaw State.
"This is another tough week," declared Santos. "USC Upstate will be tough to beat at home tonight. Our opponents in Charlotte are all good teams. However, these matches are going to prepare us our Big South Conference schedule."
- 1. UNC Asheville is 4-0 all-time against USC Upstate. The teams have not played since the 2009 season at Upstate with the Bulldogs winning in three sets.
- 2. Freshman setter Katie Davis was named Big South Rookie of the Week on Monday.
- 3. Senior Holly Shelton posted back-to-back matches with 23 kills. She had a career-best 23 kills vs. Western Carolina and then tied her career mark at UNC Greensboro Friday night.
- 4. The Bulldogs are 2-1 in true road matches this season.
- 5. Katie Davis is sixth in the Big South in assists (7.95) and eighth in service aces (0.33).
- 6. Holly Shelton is fourth in the league in kills (2.93).
- 7. Meredith Foster is eighth in the BSC in hitting percentage (.269).
- 8. Anna Moore is eighth in blocks (0.93).
- 9. Alex Stewart is 10th in digs (2.95).