JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 8, 2009) - The ETSU volleyball team had a season-high 69 kills as the Bucs downed USC Upstate in the conference opener Tuesday night at Brooks Gym, 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 22-25, 25-23).
"It's great to win the home opener," said head coach Lindsey Devine. "I am very happy for Amanda and Kristan Provchy (Norton, Ohio) to win their last home and conference opener. We talked about winning big points, and I think we really handled those and capitalized on them tonight. Offensively, Amanda did a good job of using our different attack patterns."
Senior Amanda Youell (Middleburg, Fla.) ran the ETSU offense almost to perfection tallying 52 assists, eight digs and four blocks. The Bucs were led offensively by Erin Ryan (Davie Fla.) and Whitney Cogburn (Kingsport, Tenn.) as Ryan had a team-high 19 kills in the match, while Cogburn had a career best 17 kills and nine digs.
"Whitney had a hot hand for us again like she did last weekend, and Erin did a solid job on the outside," Devine said. "We were able to get all four of our middles in the match, and that is going to make it hard for opponents to scout us because they won't know what is coming at them. I think defensively were we solid and kept ourselves in the game. We also responded well to pressure situations."
Junior Lauren Baufield (Plymouth, Minn.) had a good all-around performance posting eight kills and ten digs on the night.
In the first set, play was tight until the Bucs went on a 5-1 run to take a 14-10 lead. USC Upstate battled back to even the set at 15-all. After falling behind 18-16, the Buccaneers went on a 9-1 run to win the first set 25-19.
Both teams battled back-and-forth in the second set until ETSU went on a 6-2 run to take a 14-9 advantage. After giving a couple points back to the Spartans, the Bucs used a 5-2 run to extend their lead to 19-13. USC Upstate attempted to make a comeback, but the Bucs held on to win the set 25-18 and take a 2-0 lead into the break. Ryan led the way for the Bucs with seven kills in the set.
The Spartans took an early 7-3 lead in the third set. Later in the set, USC Upstate took five-straight points to extend its lead to 18-11. ETSU cut the Spartans lead to 20-18 after kills by Alysa Long (Romulus, Mich.) and Ryan, but couldn't get any closer as USC Upstate went on to win the set 25-22. USC Upstate's Kelsie Queen had six kills in the set.
The Bucs answered in the fourth set as they went on a 7-2 run to break a 10-all tie and take a 17-12 lead. USC Upstate used a 6-1 run late in the set to cut the ETSU lead to 24-23, but the Bucs got a big kill from Baufield to win the set 25-23.
ETSU (2-5, 1-0 A-Sun) is back in action on Friday at 7 p.m. as the Bucs host conference opponent Stetson. For more information on Buccaneer volleyball and all other athletic news, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.