Johnson City, Tenn. (November 14, 2003) - East Tennessee State senior Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.) set a school record with a .727 attack percentage, as the Buccaneers rolled to a 30-26, 30-16, 30-18 victory over UNC Greensboro from Brooks Gym Friday. With a win over Elon tomorrow night at home, the Buccaneers would clinch a spot in the Southern Conference tournament next week in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"We've been preparing all week, and we knew if we passed the ball well and if key players did their job, then we would be successful," said first-year head coach Lindsey Devine.
Allen led the ETSU offense, which tallied a season high .403 attack percentage opposed to just .092 by the Spartans. The 6-foot-0 middle blocker recorded 16 kills and no errors on 22 attacks, while freshman Kelsey Sherich (Ogallala, Neb.) hit .550 for the match, including 12 kills. Freshman setter Kristi Robinson (Knoxville, Tenn.) contributed her part by dishing out 50 assists.
On the defensive side of the net, the Buccaneers got a career-high seven blocks out of freshman Jen Sarter (Toronto, Canada). Meanwhile, freshman Natalie Pittenger (Gaston, Ind.) led all players with 12 digs, followed by 10 digs from senior Kate Steidle (Waynesboro, Va.).
"Lissa and Kate did a fantastic job tonight, and Natalie Pittenger was just as solid as could be," said Devine. "This was a true team victory, because everybody was involved."
LaJean Morrow shined for the Spartans with 12 kills and Abbi Meyer flirted with a near double-double by registering 10 digs and nine kills. Lori Brooks and Lauren Richards each totaled three blocks, and Stephanie Elbe tallied 30 assists.
ETSU will now take on Elon Saturday night in Brooks Gym, which also happens to be "Senior Night" for the Bucs. The match will begin at 7 p.m., and will decide which team is the fourth and final representative from the North Division at the SoCon tournament. The Phoenix enter the match with a 7-10 conference mark after falling 3-1 to Chattanooga on Friday. With an ETSU victory over Elon, both teams would finish the 2003 regular season with a 7-11 mark in league play, but the Buccaneers would get the tiebreaker due to a better head-to-head record versus division opponents.
"We're going to come out to play no matter what tomorrow as if it was our last game," said Devine. "We are a competitive team and each time we step out on the court we want to win."