JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 7, 2013) – Coming off back-to-back five-set road wins, the ETSU volleyball team gears up for a critical four-match homestand, which begins this weekend inside Brooks Gym.
The Bucs (19-7, 13-1 A-Sun) begin weekend play against Lipscomb Friday night at 7 p.m., while the Blue and Gold take on Northern Kentucky Saturday at 3 p.m.
First-place in the Atlantic Sun standings and win streaks will be on the line Friday night as ETSU – who has won 12 straight at home and six consecutive overall – has a one-game lead atop the league standings over the Lady Bisons. Meanwhile, Lipscomb has won nine straight matches since falling to ETSU in five sets back on Oct. 5 in Nashville.
Friday’s promotion is “Beats the Bisons” night and one lucky student will win Beats by Dre, while Fox’s Pizza will pass out FREE pizza (while supplies last) beginning at 6 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
- The Bucs are coming off consecutive five-set road wins at Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson last weekend in the Sunshine State. ETSU defeated FGCU last Friday night, marking its first-ever win over the Eagles inside Alico Arena, while the Bucs remained perfect against the Hatters by improving to 15-0 all-time against Stetson with the win on Saturday.
- Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) is coming off Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday as the Buccaneer middle blocker hit .310 (32-10-71), while averaging 2.46 kills, 1.38 blocks and 0.46 digs per set in three wins last week. Hardy also broke the A-Sun all-time blocks record last week in ETSU’s win over Kennesaw State, and the Kingsport, Tenn. native has 439 career blocks in 91 matches played.
- Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) averaged 4.50 kills (45 total) and 3.30 digs (33 total) per set in the two road matches last weekend. The reigning A-Sun Player of the Year also posted double-doubles in both matches and has now accomplished the feat in eight straight matches.
- Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) also collected double-doubles in both matches and averaged 2.40 kills (24 total) and 2.20 digs (22 total) per set, while Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) added a double-double in the win at Stetson, finishing with 59 assists and 10 digs, to go with three kills and two blocks.
- Following the pair of five-set matches, ETSU’s last five road matches have gone the distance, with the Bucs going 4-1 in those outings.
- Lipscomb has won nine straight and enters the weekend with a record of 18-6, 12-2.
- The Lady Bisons lead the country in kills per set (15.39), rank third in assists (14.32) and are 15th in attack percentage (.276).
- Individually, Lipscomb’s Caitlin Dotson leads the country in assists per set (12.76), while Jewell Dobson ranks sixth in points (5.37) and seventh in kills (4.73) per set.
- Five of the Lady Bisons nine wins during its streak have been sweeps, while the Lady Bisons are 13-3 in three-set matches on the season.
- Lipscomb had won the last three A-Sun Championships, prior to ETSU claiming the 2012 title in Nashville.
ETSU vs. LIPSCOMB
- Lipscomb leads the all-time series, 11-7, but the Bucs have won the last two meetings, including a thrilling five-set victory last month in Nashville.
- In last month’s five-set win, Devine tallied 18 kills, six digs, and three blocks, while Rice added a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) led ETSU’s back row with 18 digs and Rutledge accounted for 48 of ETSU’s 52 assists and pitched in with five blocks.
- The Bucs trailed by three midway through the fifth set (8-5), but the Blue and Gold won the next three points to pull even at eight, and after the teams combined for five more ties down the stretch run, ETSU won the final two points to finish off the comeback.
- Last year, Hardy averaged 3.45 kills and 1.45 blocks per set against Lipscomb, whereas, Devine registered 3.73 kills and 3.91 digs per set.
- Lipscomb is 4-3 all-time against the Bucs in matches played inside Brooks Gym, while the Lady Bisons defeated ETSU in four sets last season, marking the last home defeat for the Blue and Gold.
- NKU has won two of its last three matches and the Norse carry a 10-17, 5-9 mark into Friday’s game at USC Upstate.
- Freshman setter Taylor Snyder ranks fourth in the A-Sun in assists (10.42) and ninth in service aces (0.27), junior middle blocker Jenna Ruble ranks seventh in attack percentage (.308), and senior defensive specialist Anna Prickel is ninth in digs (3.59).
- Seven of NKU’s 10 wins have been in five-set matches, where the Norse are 7-2 on the campaign; however, NKU has dropped all five of its three-set matches in 2013.
ETSU vs. NKU
- The Bucs are 3-0 against the Norse in three A-Sun matches, with two of the three being decided in five sets.
- This season, the Bucs took down NKU in four. Back on Oct. 4 at NKU, Devine and junior Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) posted double-doubles in the four-set win. Devine ended with 19 kills and 16 digs, along with adding a season-high six blocks and two service aces. Gesell earned her first collegiate double-double by registering 11 kills and a career-high 12 digs.
- Devine has registered double-doubles in all three matches against the Norse and is averaging 4.00 kills (56 total) and 3.71 digs (52 total) per set, while Hardy is hitting .385 (48-13-91) against NKU. Rutledge has totaled 181 assists (12.93 per set) in the three matches, and sophomore Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) is hitting .357 (35-10-70) in the series. Wiley recorded a record-setting .696 clip (18-2-23) in last season’s home win versus the Norse, which broke the ETSU single-match attack percentage mark.
- Friday’s game will be broadcast live on ASun.TV.
- Live stats for both matches will be provided through StatBroadcast, by visiting ETSUBucs.com. Live stats can also be accessed on your mobile devices and tablets by visiting BucsStats.com.
- Twitter updates can be accessed by following @ETSUVolleyball and @ETSUAthletics.
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!
- The Bucs are 6-0 at home this season and have won 12 straight inside Brooks Gym dating back to last season. In its six home matches this year, ETSU has earned five, three-set wins, and are averaging 14.32 kills, 13.05 assists, 1.79 service aces, 14.74 digs and 3.42 blocks per set. The Bucs are also hitting .261 (272-98-667), while holding the opposition to a .116 (198-122-656) clip. ETSU is also out-blocking its foes, 65-34, at home. Individually, Meredith Hardy is hitting .433 (67-15-120) and averaging 3.53 kills and 1.89 blocks per set in the six home matches, while Megan Devine is posting 4.63 kills and 3.95 digs per set. Katie Muey is also averaging 4.53 digs per set and Khadijah Wiley is hitting .403 (35-6-72) at home.
- ETSU carries a six-match win streak into Friday’s match and during this run, three of the Bucs’ six wins have been decided in five sets. In the six matches, the Blue and Gold are holding their opponents to a .152 attack percentage (268-140-842) and out-blocking them by a plus-20 margin, 71-51.
- In ETSU’s 19 wins, the Bucs are averaging 14.19 kills, 3.02 blocks, and hitting .270 (1036-350-2507), while the opposition in averaging 11.15 kills, 1.78 and hitting at a .155 (814-429-2487) clip. Meanwhile, in the Bucs’ seven setbacks, the Blue and Gold are averaging 11.96 kills, 1.96 blocks and hitting .192 (335-171-855).
- Megan Devine and Meredith Hardy both broke all-time Atlantic Sun records earlier this season. Devine, ETSU’s all-time leader in kills, also ranks first all-time among A-Sun leaders with 1,852 kills in 126 matches played. Hardy is the all-time A-Sun leader in blocks with 439, while Hardy has recorded at least one block in 88 consecutive matches. Meanwhile, Devine has played in all but two of the 128 matches in her collegiate career.
- Megan Devine moved into fifth-place all-time in ETSU history for digs with 1,403 in her career. Devine is 38 digs shy of passing Jennifer Manchester (1992-95) for fourth.
- Jamie Rutledge also moved into fifth on the ETSU career leaders list for assists at 2,619. Rutledge, who ranks second in the A-Sun this season with 11.00 assists per set, has played in 79 career matches for the Blue and Gold.
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com.