NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 25, 2012) – The ETSU volleyball team wraps up its four-game road swing this weekend when the Bucs take on Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky. The Lipscomb game is set for 7:30 p.m. (Eastern) Friday night inside Allen Arena, while the Blue and Gold square off with NKU Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in Regents Hall.
The Bucs head into the critical conference weekend with a record of 16-9, 7-4, and are tied for third with NKU and sit two games behind Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun standings.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU had its four-game winning streak come to an end last Friday night when the Blue and Gold dropped a five-set (25-16, 17-25, 24-26, 27-25, 10-15) heartbreaker at USC Upstate. After the Bucs rallied back to even the match at two and jumped ahead 3-0 in the fifth, USC Upstate answered with seven straight points and eventually led 11-4. From there, ETSU was only able to pull within four points three different times and the Spartans pulled out the 15-10 victory to claim the match. Junior Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) recorded a double-double after finishing with 23 kills and 16 digs, while sophomore Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) tied a career high with 15 kills. Meanwhile, Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) recorded her 1,000th career assist after posting 55 against the Spartans and also tallied nine digs. As a team, the Blue and Gold tied a season high with nine service aces and posted 10 blocks, marking the 14th time this season ETSU registered double figures in blocks.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Lipscomb has won nine of its last 11 matches and has a record of 12-10, 9-2. The Lady Bisons – who have won the last three conference tournament titles – are coming off a split last weekend in Jacksonville as Lipscomb defeated Jacksonville (3-1) and dropped a four-setter to North Florida. Lipscomb ranks second in the A-Sun in assists (13.0) and kills per set (14.0), while Kaycee Green and Caitlin Dotson are among the conference leaders in those statistical categories. Green, a senior outside hitter, ranks second behind Devine in kills per set (3.79) and Dotson, a junior setter, is second in assists per set (11.1).
Northern Kentucky has enjoyed the transition to Division I play as the Norse are 20-5, 7-4 in A-Sun play. Like Lipscomb, the Norse also came away with a split in Jacksonville last weekend as NKU defeated Jacksonville in five before falling to UNF in four. Most recently, NKU swept Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday night in Highland Heights, Ky. The Norse lead the A-Sun three statistical categories, and individually Jenna Ruble and Jenna Schreiver are atop the rankings in hitting percentage and assists. As a team, NKU is first in the league in hitting percentage (.248), assists (13.0), and kills (14.1), while Ruble’s .358 hitting percentage and Schreiver’s 11.4 assists per set top the A-Sun.
SERIES HISTORY WITH LIPSCOMB
Lipscomb leads the all-time series, 10-5, including a four-set win over the Bucs back on Oct. 6 in Brooks Gym. ETSU took the opening set from the Lady Bisons, 25-17, but Lipscomb rallied by taking the next three sets to pull out the win. Devine (13 kills/16 digs) and Rutledge (38 assists/10 digs) both recorded double-doubles, while the Blue and Gold out-hit (.266 to .224) and out-blocked (14-5) their in-state conference rival. ETSU snapped its eight-game losing skid to Lipscomb last season with a thrilling five-set win.
SERIES HISTORY WITH NORTHERN KENTUCKY
The Bucs defeated Northern Kentucky in five on Oct. 5, thanks freshman Khadijah Wiley’s (Columbus, Ga.) .696 hitting percentage, which marked the highest attack percentage by an ETSU player with at least 20 attempts in a single match. Wiley finished with a career high 18 kills on 23 swings, while only tallying two errors and also added four blocks. Devine collected a double-double after totaling 19 kills and 22 digs, and Rutledge quarterbacked the Buccaneer offense by registering a career-best 64 assists and 11 digs. As a group, ETSU compiled season highs in kills (75) and assists (70) versus NKU.
Live video for both matches will be available for free on ASun.TV, while live stats will be provided on LipscombBisons.com and NKUNorse.com.
ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com.