ETSU volleyball drops 3-1 decision to Mercer
ETSU volleyball drops 3-1 decision to Mercer
Friday, October 28, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 28, 2005) - Jennifer Sartor's (Toronto, Ontario) match-high 17 kills were not enough to lift the East Tennessee State volleyball team to victory on Friday night, as the Lady Bucs dropped a 3-1 decision to Mercer, in Atlantic Sun Conference action in Brooks Gym.  With the loss, ETSU falls to 16-10, 2-5 in the A-Sun, while Mercer improves to 8-15, 2-5 in league play. 


Mercer came out strong, winning game one 30-24, before the Lady Bucs rebounded with a 30-28 victory in the second frame.  Mercer then captured games three and four with 30-26 and 30-23 wins to earn the victory.  The loss was only the second home defeat of the year for ETSU, which has won nine of 11 matches in Brooks Gym this season.


It looked as though the Bears would dominate early on, as Mercer shot out to a 14-7 lead in game one.  The Lady Bucs would then mount a rally to come within one, at 20-19.  But the Bears wouldn't allow the Lady Bucs to come any closer, pulling away for the 30-24 win. 


Mercer's Jackie Viren was on fire in game one, posting eight kills on 15 attempts.  Sarah Buhr (Stockton, Calif.) led the way for ETSU in the opener, tallying five kills.  Mercer hit an impressive .378 for the frame, while holding ETSU to .170.


"We broke down in our serving," said head coach Lindsey Devine.  "We looked tired, and we've got to understand the importance of communication."


Serving was an issue for both teams during the match, as ETSU committed 14 serving errors, and Mercer tallied 12 miscues.


Game two was a battle from the start, as neither team was able to lead by more than three points.  With the score at 27-24, it looked as though the Bears would take the 2-0 lead, but the Lady Bucs fought back, closing the gap to 27-25 on an attack error by Mercer's Kelly Jansen.  Sara Scandiffio (Purcellville, Va.) would bring the Bucs within one at 27-26, as the senior connected for a kill on an assist from Brittany Kessel (Libertyville, Ill.).


Mercer took the next point as the scoreboard showed 28-26, but Scandiffio and Callie Kiselich (Colorado Springs, Colo.) combined for a block to make it a one-point game, bringing the Homecoming weekend crowd to its feet.  Scandiffio and Kiselich combined for another block on the following play, evening the score at 28.  Junior Crystal Palmer (Chico, Calif.) then belted back-to-back kills, both on Kessel sets, to give the Lady Bucs the win.  Palmer posted five kills in the frame, as did Mercer's Claire Tucker.


Three ETSU miscues would allow the Bears to take a 28-25 lead in game three.  A kill by Tucker brought the Mercer lead to four, before Sartor kept the Bucs alive with a kill from Kessel.  Julie Darty would guarantee the game for the Bears, with a kill on an assist by Jansen.  Attack errors were rampant on both sides of the net in the frame, with Mercer hitting .000, and ETSU at -.022.  The Bears ended the evening with a 30-23 win in game four, hitting .216 to ETSU's .087.


On the ETSU scoresheet, Buhr notched a double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs.  Palmer added 10 kills, while Kessel and Jennifer Emerson (Santa Clara, Calif.) totaled 12 and 11 digs, respectively.  ETSU's setting duo split the assists once again with Kessel contributing 27, and Emerson tallying 23.


ETSU hosts another A-Sun contest on Saturday, as Stetson comes to Brooks Gym for a 12 p.m. start.  Senior Day festivities will be held prior to the match.