JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 16, 2002) - East Tennessee State's volleyball team wrapped up its regular-season Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 loss to Davidson in Brooks Gym. The Buccaneers, who finished 8-22 overall and 6-14 in the Southern Conference, would have automatically qualified for the SoCon tournament with a win, but Davidson (22-10, 15-5 SoCon) refused to back down.
"We played much better than we did last night," said ETSU head coach Deane Webb in reference to the Buccaneers' 3-2 loss to UNC Greensboro Friday evening. "We lost some momentum after losing game one. From that point on it was like we were playing from behind."
Both teams played a sloppy first game with four service errors each; however, it was the Wildcats who persevered with the 30-28 victory. ETSU retaliated in game two, at one time enjoying a 19-10 advantage, but the ‘Cats managed a late rally to tie the game 29-29, before the Buccaneers escaped with the 31-29 win. Davidson controlled much of game three with a 30-24 decision and sealed the match with a 30-25 victory in game four.
The Bucs were led by junior Kate Steidle (Waynesboro, Va.), who had a team-high 18 kills followed by freshman Nicole Ryan's (Etiwanda, Calif.) 17 kills. Setter Renee Vesey (Paw Paw, Mich.) led the team with 50 assists for the match, served up four aces, and put forth a good defensive effort with 12 digs. Freshman Katie Ralph (Seattle, Wash.) had 7 block assists, while Sara Scandiffio (Purcellville, Va.) registered five block assists and one solo block.
Senior Roberta Quis (Southern Pines, N.C.) paced the Wildcats with 23 kills and a match-high hitting percentage of .459. Nicole Tonelli (New Lennox, Ill.) dished out 55 assists. Defensively, Kaitlyn Martin (Kalamazoo, Mich.) led Davidson with 18 digs.
East Tennessee State's tournament hopes are still alive. The Bucs will finish seventh in the SoCon standings and receive the seventh spot in the SoCon tourney if Appalachian State defeats UNC Greensboro. If UNCG were to defeat the Mountaineers, then the Spartans will receive the No. 7 slot and ETSU finish ninth in the regular season standings and will not qualify for the tournament. Appalachian State hosts UNC Greensboro tonight at 7 p.m. in Boone, N.C.
More details regarding the Southern Conference Tournament (Nov. 22-24 in Davidson, N.C.) will be released once the final draws are set.