JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 3, 2010) - Riding an eight match winning streak, the ETSU volleyball team hits the road one final time during the regular season as they take on Kennesaw State and Mercer, this weekend in Atlantic Sun action. The Bucs will clinch a first-round bye and at least the number-two seed in the upcoming Atlantic Sun Championships with two victories.
The Bucs take on Kennesaw State on Friday night at 7 p.m. before making the short trip to Mercer on Saturday at 3 p.m. ETSU and Kennesaw State are currently tied for second in the league with matching 6-1 conference marks.
ETSU (23-6, 6-1 A-Sun) is fresh off a 2-0 weekend in league play this past weekend. The Bucs knocked off Stetson 3-1, before sweeping Florida Gulf Coast 3-0 on Senior Day, Saturday afternoon. With the two victories during the weekend, the Bucs clinched a birth in this month's Atlantic Sun Tournament at Ft. Myers, Florida. ETSU is one of only three teams in the league to have already punched a ticket.
ETSU senior middle blocker Alysa Long (Romulus, Mich.) finished the night against Stetson with a double-double that included 13 kills on .333 hitting and 10 blocks. Freshman Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) also finished the night with 13 kills, while also adding 11 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. Jamie Stancliff (Advance, N.C.) finished the night with 11 kills on .333 hitting. Erin Ryan (Davie, Fla.) was the fourth member of the squad in double figures as she notched 10 kills.
Lauren Baufield (Plymouth, Minn.) had eight kills and 19 digs, while Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) recorded a game-high 23 digs to lead the ETSU defense. Senior Whitney Cogburn (Kingsport, Tenn.) dished out a game-high 47 assists, while also recording seven kills, four digs, and five blocks.
Longcelebrated Senior Day with another strong performance as she recorded 13 kills on .478 hitting with five blocks in the victory over Florida Gulf Coast. Long recorded her second straight double-digit kill match and maintained the top spot in the A-Sun for hitting percentage and blocks. In addition, Long currently stands 22nd nationally in blocking at 1.30 blocks per set.
ETSU out-blocked FGCU 14.0 to 7.0 on the afternoon and are a perfect 11-0 this season when recording 10 or more blocks. The Bucs also recorded 14 blocks against Stetson on Friday night.
Devineand Baufieldeach recorded eight kills on the afternoon. Baufield also added 10 digs and six blocks. Ryanhad six kills and eight digs, while Stancliffhad five kills, seven blocks, and three digs.
Kennesaw State (14-9, 6-1 A-Sun) enters the weekend riding a six match winning streak of their own. The Owls defeated Campbell 3-1 last Friday night on the road in A-Sun play. Sabrita Gulley and Alyssa Lang lead the way for KSU offensively with over three kills per set each. Gulley has recorded 298 kills (3.77 kps), while Lang has 238 (3.13 kps) on the season.
ETSU owns a 4-2 advantage all-time against Kennesaw State, which dates back to 2006. Kennesaw State won the last meeting, however, 3-2 this past season in Johnson City.
Mercer (12-16, 4-3 A-Sun) enters the weekend following a 1-2 week. The Bears fell to UNC Asheville in non-conference action 3-0 last Tuesday before dropping a league match against Campbell 3-2. Mercer did defeat UNC Wilmington on Sunday in non-conference play 3-1.
The Bears are led by the trio of Amiee Frutchey, Jamie Duffy, and Krista Hurley as they each average over two kills per set. Mercer leads the A-Sun in digs thanks to libero Charlotte Harris, who leads the league individually in digs at 5.35 per set. Mercer also stands in second behind ETSU in blocking at 2.04 blocks per set.
ETSU is 5-3 all-time against Mercer and are coming off two straight wins against the Bears. The Bucs swept the two matches last season against Mercer, winning both in three sets.
The Bucs will return home for the final time in 2010 as they welcome in USC Upstate, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
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.