JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 26, 2010) - The ETSU volleyball team, fresh off a sweep of Presbyterian on Saturday afternoon, will step away from league play for the final time this season to take on longtime rival Western Carolina. Opening serve from the Ramsey Center is slated for 7 p.m.
The Bucs (20-6, 4-1 A-Sun) have won five consecutive matches and 12 of their last 13 overall. In fact, ETSU is only one of 13 teams in the country to have reached the 20 win plateau at this point in the season.
In ETSU's 3-0 win over Presbyterian, the Bucs hit .316 for the match, marking the third time this season that they have hit better than .300. Freshman Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) and senior Erin Ryan (Davie, Fla.) led the way offensively as the two combined for 21 kills.
The Bucs continue to be a force on the defensive end this season as they lead the A-Sun in opponent's hitting percentage (.141), blocks per set (2.53 bps), and total blocks (240). In fact, the Bucs are the only team in the league that has recorded more than 200 blocks on the season.
Senior middle blocker Alysa Long (Romulus, Mich.) leads the A-Sun in blocks (119.0), blocks per set (1.25), and hitting percentage (.338). Junior Jamie Stancliff (Advance, N.C.) follows close behind ranking second in the league with 98 blocks.
The Bucs and Catamounts will meet for the 69th time in the history of the two programs, marking the longest rivalry in ETSU annals. WCU holds a 39-29 advantage in the all-time series and the Catamounts have won the last two meetings. In their last meeting back in 2008, WCU defeated ETSU 3-2 in Johnson City.
Western Carolina is coming off two straight losses this past weekend at home. The Catamounts fell to Georgia Southern 3-1 on Friday night, before falling to Davidson 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. The Catamounts have lost seven consecutive matches and are currently 6-19 on the season.
The Catamounts are led by Paloma Alvarez as she ranks seventh in the SoCon with 2.96 kills per set. Emily Franklin ranks seventh in the league in assists at 7.04 assists per set. Morgan Cochran leads WCU defensively with 4.24 digs per set, which ranks her third in the league.
The Bucs are back home this weekend as they return to A-Sun play against Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast. Friday night's match against Stetson will be Dig for a Cure night for breast cancer awareness. Fans that wear pink can get in for a Buc ($1). First serve is set for 7 p.m. Saturday's match against FGCU is set for 2 p.m. and will be the Buccaneers' Senior Day.
For more information on the ETSU volleyball team please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.