Johnson City, Tenn. (September 10, 2002) - Just a few days after Western Carolina's volleyball team defeated Tennessee, the Catamounts captured another big win by defeating East Tennessee State in the Southern Conference opener Tuesday night in Brooks Gym.
The Buccaneers overall record dipped to 2-6 on the season, while Western Carolina improved to 5-3 overall by defeating the Bucs 30-22, 30-26 and 30-27. ETSU, who finished second place in the SoCon last year, didn't hit as well as head coach Deane Webb would have liked. But Webb noted it is going to take some time before his young team will gel, and the Bucs will be seeking revenge the next time around.
"Western Carolina is traditionally a big rival for us," Webb said. "They played a little better than we did tonight, but they are a team we can beat."
Leading the way for East Tennessee State was Nicole Ryan (Etiwanda, Calif.) with 16 kills, while Katie Ralph (Seattle, Wash.) hit .476 with 11 kills. Renee Vesey (Paw Paw, Mich.) saw plenty of action as the set-up person, registering 33 assists to lead the match.
The Buccaneer offense had some trouble getting going against the height and athleticism of the Catamount front line. Tricia Eble tallied four of Western Carolina's 16 team blocks, while five different players garnered double figures in digs. Stefanie Peters led the way with 11 digs and 12 kills.
Despite falling to 0-1 in conference play, ETSU is not concerned since it is early in the season. Coach Webb is confident that once his team gets going full steam, then the wins will follow.
"We need to get a few wins to get the confidence it takes to be successful," Webb added. "We have to be a little smarter in certain situations, and communication has to improve in order for us to get to where we want to be."
East Tennessee State is in action again this Friday, Sept. 13, when the Bucs host Chatanooga at 6:00 p.m. in Brooks Gym.