JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 9, 2002) - College of Charleston extended its current winning streak to 17 games with a 3-0 win over East Tennessee State Saturday afternoon in Brooks Gym.
"Right now College of Charleston is the best team in the Southern Conference," said ETSU head coach Deane Webb. "They are on an amazing roll right now. We wished we would have gotten the win, but I am encouraged that even though we didn't play our best, we were right in there."
The Cougars (23-5, 15-2) were neck-and-neck with ETSU in game one. The Buccaneers took a 20-19 lead on a block assist by Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Nicole Ryan (Etiwanda, Calif.), but Charleston rallied back with six consecutive points to eventually escape with the 30-24 victory.
Game two was just as close, but the Lady Bucs enjoyed a three-point advantage, 28-25, following an attacking error by the Cougars Tara Greene (Greensburg, Pa.). However, Charleston came back to tie the game at 28-28 on a kill by Mary Sabatino (Glen Ellyn, Ill.). The visitors finished out the game with a 30-28 win after an attacking error by the Bucs Meghan Connolly (Solon, Ohio) brought the two teams into the break.
East Tennessee State (7-19, 5-12 SoCon) jumped out to an 8-5 lead in game three on a kill by freshman setter Renee Vesey (Paw Paw, Mich.), but the Cougars battled back to tie the game 8-8 on a block assist by Greene and Shawn Beckham (Summerville, S.C.). From there it was all Charleston as the Cougars gradually increased their lead to 27-14 before clinching the match with a 30-22 victory.
"We definitely worked hard out there, but we just made some mental errors at crucial points in the match to prevent us from winning," Webb said. "Lissa Allen brought a lot of intensity to the court, and played very well."
Allen led the Bucs with a modest 12 kills, but had only one attacking error on 20 attempts for a hitting percentage of .550, which was a match-high for both teams. Vesey dished out 32 assists, while Karen Freeburg (New Castle, Ind.) led ETSU's defensive effort with 17 digs.
College of Charleston was led by Alisa Long's (Columbia, S.C.) 14 kills and three block assists. Sabatino carried the Cougars with a match-high 41 assists and three service aces. Defensively, three players tallied double digits in digs led by Greene who led the team with 15, followed by Sara Davis (Lakeville, Minn.) and Stephanie Ballard (Muncie, Ind.), who registered 14 and 12 digs, respectively.
East Tennessee State continues its battle for a bid to the Southern Conference Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 10, when the Bucs host The Citadel in Brooks Gym beginning at 2 p.m. ETSU will then play host to the Tennessee Volunteers on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.