Bucs take on Mercer Friday, Kennesaw State Saturday
MACON, Ga. (Sept. 19, 2013) – In the midst of its 13-match road swing, the ETSU volleyball team opens Atlantic Sun Conference play this weekend in Georgia. On Friday, the Blue and Gold take on Mercer at 6 p.m., inside The University Center, while the Bucs face Kennesaw State Saturday at 3 p.m., inside the KSU Convocation Center.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
- ETSU (6-6) won its last two games at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic as the Blue and Gold took down Austin Peay (3-1) last Friday and snapped a 19-match losing streak to Tennessee with a four-set win to close out non-conference play on Saturday.
- The win over the Lady Vols was the Bucs’ first win against Tennessee in nearly 35 years, while head coach Lindsey Devine registered her 171st career victory, tying her for the most wins in program history.
- Junior setter Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) was named to the Lady Vol Classic All-Tournament Team, while senior outside hitter Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) picked up her third A-Sun Player of the Week honor on Monday.
- Rutledge averaged 11.86 assists and 1.36 digs in four matches at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic. The Buccaneer junior recorded 166 assists, 19 digs, seven blocks, and six kills in 14 total sets played in Knoxville.
- Devine, the ETSU all-time leader in kills, totaled 80 kills, 43 digs, six blocks, and a .324 attack percentage (80-19-188) in four matches (16 total sets) last week for the Bucs. In addition, the Kingsport, Tenn. native tallied a pair of double-doubles, moving her career mark to 58.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS
- The Bears are currently 1-9 after completing the non-conference portion of their schedule last week. After defeating Jacksonville State in its second match of the season back on Aug. 30, Mercer has suffered eight straight setbacks.
- Early on, senior libero Emily Rochefort and sophomore outside hitter Molly Locke have been Mercer's standout players. Rochefort leads all A-Sun players in digs per set, averaging 5.23 while powering the Orange and Black back line that tops the conference at 16.11 digs per set. Locke comes into the weekend 10th in the conference in kills per set (2.94) and eighth among A-Sun players in service aces per set (0.31).
- Mercer, who played in the UAB Invitational, Auburn Invitational, and UNC Wilmington Courtyard Classic, is playing its home opener on Friday night.
- The Bears were picked seventh in the A-Sun Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
- ETSU and Mercer met three times in 2012, with the Bucs taking two of the three matches, moving their all-time series lead to 9-5 against the Bears. Friday marks the second straight year the Bucs and Bears will square off in the conference opener as Mercer swept the Blue and Gold last September in Macon. However, ETSU responded by defeating the Bears in four sets in Johnson City, before ending Mercer’s campaign in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament in Nashville.
Kennesaw State (5-5)
- Kennesaw State carries a four-match win streak into its conference opener Friday night against USC Upstate.
- KSU claimed the Owl Invitational title for the second straight year as the Black and Gold defeated Tennessee Tech, Stony Brook, Coastal Carolina and Samford last week in their home tournament.
- The Owls are 3-2 in its last five A-Sun openers and Kennesaw State is led by a pair of veteran players in Camille Pedraza and Sara Metroka. Pedraza, the current A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week, is ranked among the nation's top career active leaders in digs, checking in nationally at No. 40 with 1,383 career digs. Metroka is also ranked among career active leaders nationally, checking in at No. 15 in assists with 3,661 for her career.
- Kennesaw State is 4-0 inside the KSU Convocation Center this season, while the Owls were picked to finish eighth in the preseason coaches’ poll.
- In the series, ETSU has won five of the last six meetings and lead the series, 9-4.
- Mercer will offer live video for free on ASun.TV, along with live stats by visiting MercerBears.com or by clicking the links above.
- On Saturday, Kennesaw State will offer live stats for the match by visiting KSUOwls.com or by clicking the live stats link above.
- Click here to access the A-Sun Volleyball scoreboard.
- Twitter updates can be accessed by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSUVolleyball.
- Coach Devine is one win away from becoming the all-time winningest coach. Devine enters the weekend with 171 career victories.
- Megan Devine currently ranks second all-time in career kills in the A-Sun. Devine, who has 1,603 career kills, needs just 143 to become the conference’s all-time leader. Meanwhile, Devine ranks second in the NCAA among active leaders in kills. This season, Devine ranks 12th nationally in kills per set (4.6) and 15th in points per set (5.1).
- Junior middle blocker Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) has recorded 351 total blocks, which ranks fifth among A-Sun active leaders. The Kingsport, Tenn. native has recorded at least one block in 74 career matches and Hardy ranks 29th nationally in blocks per set (1.36) in 2013.
- Jamie Rutledge is 11 assists shy of posting number 2,000 for her career. Rutledge is averaging 9.17 assists per set in her career, while tallying 10.69 assists per set this year, placing her 49th nationally.
- As a team, ETSU leads the A-Sun in blocks per set (2.33).
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For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball page.