JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 11, 2011) – The ETSU volleyball ticket clinched a spot in next week’s Atlantic Sun Championship with a thrilling 3-2 (20-25, 26-24, 25-23, 9-25, 15-10) victory over league-leading Lipscomb on Friday night inside Brooks Gym.
The Bucs extended their winning streak to three straight as they move to an even 14-14 on the season and 7-5 in the A-Sun. Meanwhile, Lipscomb falls to 17-9 overall and 10-2 in the A-Sun. The loss is just the second in conference for the Bisons in the last three plus seasons.
Sophomore Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the ETSU offense with a match-high 23 kills, while also adding 14 digs and two blocks. Devine picked up her 13th double-double of the season and third straight as she hit an impressive .353 on the night. Kayla Williams (El Paso, Texas) had a stellar performance at the setter position – falling just short of a triple-double - as she dished out 49 assists to go along with 11 digs, nine blocks and two kills. Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) added 12 kills and 11 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) finished with a team-high 17 digs to lead the ETSU defense.
The opening set was a back and forth affair, but ETSU broke a 15-15 tie by reeling off three straight points to take an 18-15 advantage. Lipscomb rallied back to eventually tie the score at 19 apiece. Following an ETSU timeout, Lipscomb took six out of the next seven points to take the set, 25-20.
Lipscomb jumped out to a 15-11 lead in the second set. ETSU went on a 4-0 run to tie the score at 15. The Bisons took the next three points to extend out the lead once again. Lipscomb earned set point at 24-21 after an ETSU attack error. The Bucs chipped away by winning the next two points to cut the lead, which forced a Lipscomb timeout. After a Devine kill tied the score at 24 apiece, a Lipscomb attack error suddenly gave ETSU set point. A Kaycee Green attack attempt was blocked by Williams and Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) to give the Bucs the victory in the set.
After falling behind early in the third set, Lipscomb took the lead at 15-12. ETSU rallied, however, by taking the next three points to tie the score at 15. After the two teams traded the next two points, ETSU went on another 3-0 run to take a 19-16 advantage. Lipscomb pulled within one on several occasions, but the Bisons could not get the equalizer until a Charlyn Ursell kill tied the score at 23. After an ETSU timeout, Rice gave the Bucs set point with a kill. A Lipscomb error clinched the set for the Bucs, 25-23. ETSU hit an impressive .310 in the set.
Lipscomb jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the fourth set and ETSU could never cut into the lead. The Bisons cruised to a 25-9 victory in the set after hitting .480 in the frame.
The decisive fifth set opened up with ETSU getting off to a quick 4-1 lead, which forced a Lipscomb timeout. After the break, ETSU took three of the next four points to force another Lipscomb timeout. The Bisons chipped into the lead as they won three straight points to trail 9-7. ETSU maintained the lead and after Lipscomb pulled within three at 13-10, the Bucs won the next two points to clinch the victory. A Devine kill and a Williams block wrapped up the win in the set. The Bucs hit an impressive .500 with just one error in the set, while holding the Bisons to .050.
Katie Rose led four Lipscomb players with double-digit kills as she had 17 scores on the night. Kaycee Green and Lauren Ford both added 16 kills, while Jewell Dobson had 14 kills. Rose finished the night with a match-high 22 digs.
The victory over Lipscomb was the first for ETSU since a 3-2 win back in 2007. The Bucs had dropped the previous seven meetings to the Bisons.
ETSU will close out the regular season tomorrow against Belmont for Senior Day. The first serve is set for 3 p.m.
For more information on ETSU volleyball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link.