Statesboro, Ga. (September 22, 2002) - East Tennessee State put together one of its better efforts of the season, but it wasn't enough get past Georgia Southern, as visiting ETSU fell to the Eagles 3-1 on Sunday in four very close games.
"The last two games of the match were the best two games that we have played this year," said ETSU head coach Deane Webb, "We didn't win, but it was a very close match and I was pleased with how well we played against one of the best teams in the Southern Conference."
Georgia Southern came back from a 12-8 deficit to tie game one at 15 off an ETSU hitting error. Neither team took more than a one-point advantage until another hitting error by the Bucs gave GSU a 19-17 lead. GSU pulled out to a four-point lead (29-25) before winning the game 30-27. In game two, the Eagles led the entire way in winning 30-22.
East Tennessee State, determined not to go down without a fight, pulled away with a 30-27 victory in game three after the Eagles recorded a hitting percentage of only .021. The Buccaneer defense played a key role led by Karen Freeburg's (New Castle, Ind.) match-high 22 digs. As a team, the Bucs out-blocked Georgia Southern 14-7. Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.) finished the day with one block solo and seven block assists, while Katie Ralph (Seattle, Wash.) tallied six block assists.
"It was definitely a very good blocking effort out of our team," Webb said. "It's perhaps the best blocking I have seen in the one and half years I've been at ETSU."
After a 10-10 tie in game four kills by Georgia Southern's Martina Veiglova and senior Tyra Ciuni gave GSU a 23-21 lead. The two teams battled to a 28-28 tie when a kill and service ace by Lauren McClain gave the Eagles a one-point (31-30) lead. McClain put down eight kills and a .462 hitting percentage in game four to lead the Eagles to a 33-31 victory.
Georgia Southern was led in kills by McClain with 22 while Veiglova added 21. ETSU's Nicole Ryan (Etiwanda, Calif.) led the Bucs with 21 kills and Rachel Shifflet (Axton, Va.) had 13. Sara Scandiffio (Purcellville, Va.) added eight kills on 12 attempts, converting a match-high .667.
East Tennessee State will travel to The Citadel, Friday, September 27 for a 7:00 p.m. contest against the Bulldogs.