JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 25, 2011) – The ETSU volleyball squad will get its 2011 campaign underway this weekend when it travels to Greensboro, N.C. for the UNCG Invitational on August 26-27 at Fleming Gymnasium.
The Bucs will play four matches during the weekend as they open with Evansville at 3 p.m. on Friday and then UNC Greensboro at 7 p.m. ETSU will then turn around and play North Carolina A&T on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will close the tournament against Coastal Carolina at 5 p.m.
ETSU returns five letterwinners, including two starters and its libero, from a squad that advanced to its first ever trip to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament final. Highlighting the list of returning players are senior middle blocker Jamie Stancliff (Advance, N.C.), senior libero Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) and sophomore outside hitter Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.). Stancliff finished the 2010 season ranked second in the league in blocks at 1.07 per set, while Tamblyn led the team and ranked third in the A-Sun in digs with 4.20 per set. Meanwhile, Devine was the 2010 Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year after leading the Bucs in kills and points. In addition, senior McKayla Barber (Columbus, Ind.) is back after being plagued by an injury for much of last season. Barber still managed to record 123 kills and 52 blocks during the 2010 season.
The Bucs went 26-9 with a 7-3 Atlantic Sun record in 2010. The 26 wins were the most for the program since the 1978 season. In addition to the five returnees, ETSU welcomes seven highly touted newcomers to the squad.
For fans unable to attend the tournament in Greensboro, live stats will be available throughout the tournament on UNCGSpartans.com.
Scouting the Opponents
Evansville enters the weekend fresh off a 17-13 overall record in 2010. The Purple Aces return 10 letterwinners and six starters from last year’s squad that finished seventh in the Missouri Valley Conference. Evansville returns its top attacker from last season in outside hitter Brooke Maher. Maher finished the 2010 season by leading the team in kills (331), while finishing second on the squad in service aces (18) and digs (322). The Purple Aces also return middle hitter Kaisi Nixon as she led the 2010 squad in blocks (91), while also recording 233 kills and an attack percentage of .249. Evansville leads the all-time series against ETSU 3-2. The two teams last met in 2006 with Evansville winning 3-2.
UNC Greensboro is coming off a solid 22-12 season in 2010. The Spartans also advanced to the Southern Conference semifinals. UNCG returns libero Kellie Orewiler, who was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team and Ariel Newman, who led the team in kills per set (2.97). The squad also returns setter Ari Lysacek, who led the squad in assists. ETSU faced UNCG last year in the Buccaneer Classic with the Bucs pulling out a 3-1 victory. ETSU leads the all-time series against UNCG 13-7.
North Carolina A&T is one year removed from a tough 2-31 campaign. The Aggies do return their top attacker from a year ago in sophomore Jeana Daniels. Daniels led the squad in both kills (146) and blocks (65). N.C. A&T just recently announced the hiring of new head coach Earl Hilton, who was an assistant coach at Elon for the past six seasons. The Bucs lead the all-time series against the Aggies 3-0. The two teams last met in 2006 with ETSU earning a 3-1 victory.
Coastal Carolina enters the 2011 season following a 14-18 overall record last season. The Chanticleers return eight letterwinners and four starters from last season’s squad, while also adding six newcomers. Erika Lightsey is a key returner for Coastal Carolina after finishing second on the squad in kills (267) and third in digs (296). ETSU defeated Coastal Carolina on the final day of the season opening Deacon Invitational last year, 3-0. The Bucs lead the all-time series against the Chanticleers 3-2.
For more information on ETSU volleyball please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link.
UNCG Invitational Full Schedule
Friday, Aug. 26:
North Carolina A&T vs. Evansville, 11 a.m.
UNCG vs. Coastal Carolina, 1 p.m.
Evansville vs. East Tennessee St., 3 p.m.
Coastal Carolina vs. North Carolina A&T, 5 p.m.
UNCG vs. East Tennessee St., 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27:
East Tennessee St. vs. North Carolina A&T, 11 a.m.
Evansville vs. Coastal Carolina, 1 p.m.
UNCG vs. North Carolina A&T, 3 p.m.
Coastal Carolina vs. East Tennessee St., 5 p.m.
UNCG vs. Evansville, 7 p.m.