After spending the last four matches on the road, the USC Upstate volleyball team returns to the Hodge Center for the first of five straight contests Saturday afternoon as it hosts the Kennesaw State Owls at 3 p.m.
All fans attending the match are encouraged to wear pink as Upstate will be holding its annual “Dig Pink” match in support of breast cancer awareness. A raffle will held during the match with the winner taking home an autographed pink volleyball signed by the Spartans.
Upstate improved to 13-10 overall and 1-6 in the conference after defeating NJIT 3-0 on Oct. 18 for its first A-Sun victory of the season. Madison Haake collected her ninth double-double of the season against NJIT on 28 assists and 11 digs, while Emily Koelling added a team-high 11 kills.
As a team this season, the Spartans lead the nation in digs per set and attacks per set, and is in the top five in digs and attacks. Upstate tops the A-Sun in service aces by 19 over North Florida and digs by 268 over Florida Gulf Coast.
Haake and Lexi Gober both lead the conference in service aces with 29 each. Haake also ranks sixth in digs while Shannon Weiss is right behind her in seventh place. Koelling is third in total blocks and seventh in kills, and Gober sits fifth in assists.
Kennesaw State enters the weekend 12-6 on the season and 4-3 in league play under the direction of third-year head coach Keith Schunzel. Anaiah Boyers leads KSU offensively with 194 kills and Kristi Piedimonte has added 625 assists. Maddie Jones has logged a team-leading 183 digs while Liesl Engelbrecht boasts 48 total blocks.
The Owls lead the all-time series over the Spartans 11-4 including a 3-2 victory in Kennesaw, Ga. on Sept. 26 to open A-Sun play.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. The match is being televised on ESPN3. Updates will also be posted on the Upstate volleyball Twitter page (@UpstateVB).
Upstate will remain at home Oct. 30-31 as it faces Lipscomb and NJIT.