JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (September 1, 2011) – After getting off to a strong start at the UNCG Invitational to open the season, the ETSU volleyball team returns to action for the Blue Raider Bash hosted by MTSU, this weekend in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The Bucs begin the three-day tournament against host MTSU on Friday at 8:30 p.m. inside Alumni Gym. ETSU continues the tournament on Saturday with a match against Missouri at 1 p.m. and a contest with Austin Peay at 5:30 p.m. The Bucs conclude the tournament on Sunday against FIU at 11 a.m. The tournament will be played at both Alumni Gym and the Murphy Center. The Bucs will play each of their matches at Alumni Gym aside from their match against Missouri, which will be played at the Murphy Center.
ETSU performed well at the season opening UNCG Invitational this past weekend. The Bucs opened with a 3-1 loss against Evansville, but they won the next three contests to finish the tournament with a 3-1 record. ETSU defeated UNC Greensboro (3-1), North Carolina A&T (3-0) and Coastal Carolina (3-2).
Sophomore outside hitter Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) had a stellar weekend as she compiled 67 kills and 35 digs on her way to being named to the all-tournament team. In addition, her performance earned her Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honors. After the first weekend of play, Devine ranks second in the league in both points (4.87 p/set) and kills (4.47 p/set).
As a team, the Bucs rank at or near the top of the Atlantic Sun in nearly every statistical category. ETSU leads the league in blocks (1.88), opponent’s hitting percentage (.148), while ranking second in hitting percentage (.223).
For fans unable to attend the tournament in Murfreesboro, live video and live stats will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com.
Scouting the Opponents
MTSU heads into the weekend with an 0-2 record after a tough opening weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. The Blue Raiders dropped a pair of 3-0 matches to No. 15 Colorado State and SEC opponent Arkansas. Ashley Adams leads the MTSU offense with 5.00 kills per set. MTSU is coming off a remarkable 29-5 season in which it advanced to the NCAA Tournament. ETSU leads the all-time series against MTSU 2-1. The two teams last met in 1997 with MTSU winning 3-0.
Missouri enters the weekend with a perfect 4-0 record after winning its own tournament over the weekend. The Tigers defeated Binghamton, Idaho State, Tulane and North Dakota State each by a 3-0 score. Setter Molly Kreklow had a tremendous weekend with 12.42 assists per set, earning her Tournament MVP honors and being named AVCA National Player of the Week. The Tigers advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament just a year ago. Saturday’s contest will be the first ever meeting between the two teams.
Austin Peay opened the season with a 1-2 record after competing at the Hampton Inn Bama Bash. The Governors fell to Alabama and Texas State, while earning a victory against Alabama State. Nikki Doyle leads the Austin Peay offense with 3.55 kills per set, while setter Cami Fields is dishing off 9.18 assists per set. Austin Peay is also coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the Ohio Valley Conference in 2010. Austin Peay leads the all-time series against the Bucs 2-1. The Governors defeated the Bucs 3-1 last season in the ETSU Buccaneer Classic.
FIU enters the weekend with a 2-1 record after opening the season at California. FIU defeated Fairfield and UC Riverside before falling to California. Jovanna Bjelica leads a balanced FIU offense with 3.33 kills per set, but there are three other players on the squad averaging more than 2.00 kills per set. The Pantehers are coming off a solid 20-11 season in 2010. FIU leads the all-time series against ETSU 2-1. The last time the two teams faced each other was in 2005 with FIU earning a 3-1 victory.
Blue Raider Bash Full Tournament Schedule
Friday, Sep. 2:
Austin Peay vs. FIU - Alumni Memorial Gym - 1 p.m.
FIU vs. Auburn - Alumni Memorial Gym - 6 p.m.
Missouri vs. Austin Peay - Murphy Center - 6 p.m.
Middle Tennessee vs. ETSU - Alumni Memorial Gym - 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sep. 3:
Auburn vs. Austin Peay - Alumni Memorial Gym - 1 p.m.
ETSU vs. Missouri - Murphy Center - 1 p.m.
Austin Peay vs. ETSU - Alumni Memorial Gym - 5:30 p.m.
Middle Tennessee vs. Auburn - Alumni Memorial Gym - 8:30 p.m.
Missouri vs. FIU - Murphy Center - 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sep. 4:
FIU vs. ETSU - Alumni Memorial Gym - 11 a.m.
Auburn vs. Missouri - Alumni Memorial Gym - 1:30 p.m.
For more information on ETSU volleyball please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link.