JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 15, 2002) - The post-season fate of the East Tennessee State volleyball team is still undetermined with just one game left to play. ETSU could have clinched a spot in the Southern Conference tournament with a win over UNC Greensboro, but UNCG came back from a two-game deficit to defeat the Buccaneers 3-2 in Brooks Gym Friday night.
"Tonight was an absolute mental breakdown," said ETSU head coach Deane Webb, whose team falls to 8-21 overall and 6-13 in the SoCon. "We knew we needed momentum towards the end of the season to carry us into the Southern Conference tournament, but this match did not help us in any way."
East Tennessee State took care of the Spartans (7-24, 5-15 SoCon) in game one, 30-26, and kept the advantage in game two in pulling out a 32-30 victory. However, UNCG bounced back with vengeance after the break to win game three 30-24 and followed it up with a 30-27 decision in the fourth game. The decisive game five came down to the wire, but it was the Spartans who clinched the match with the 15-12 victory.
Leading the way for ETSU was sophomore Karen Freeburg (New Castle, Ind.) who registered a career-high 35 digs, two shy of the school record. Freshman Nicole Ryan (Etiwanda, Calif.) paced the Bucs with a match-high 24 kills with a .306 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Renee Vesey (Paw Paw, Mich.) tallied 60 assists and three service aces, matching Junior Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.), who also had three aces. Kate Steidle (Waynesboro, Va.) added 14 kills, while Allen and sophomore Meghan Connolly (Solon, Ohio) had 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
The Spartans, who out-blocked ETSU 11-8 for the match, was led by senior Dawn Bright's (Aberdeen, N.C.) match-high 7 block assists. Bright also led the team with 20 kills. Setter Adrian Hicks (Morganton, N.C.) dished out 47 assists, while defensively Kim Dayton (Fayetteville, N.C.) led UNCG with 17 digs. The Spartans had five other players tally double figures in digs, while Lori Collins (Keeling, Va.) and Dayton added had 12 kills apiece.
Saturday, Nov. 16, is "Pack the Gym" day at 2 p.m. in Brooks Gym, when the Lady Bucs take on Davidson in the final regular season match of the 2002 season. Among the prizes to be given away include a DVD player from Circuit City, ski passes to Beech Mountain, a book scholarship from The College Store, and much more.