ETSU volleyball battles back to split day two at the Liberty Invitational
Alysa Long
Alysa Long

Saturday, September 05, 2009

LYNCHBURG, Va. (Sept. 5, 2009) - After dropping a tight match to Elon 3-2 (20-25, 28-26, 18-25, 25-22, 11-15), the ETSU volleyball team battled back to defeat Howard 3-2 (24-26. 25-27, 25-17, 25-22, 15-11) Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Invitational in Lynchburg, Va.

 

"We made a small step in the right direction today," said head coach Lindsey Devine. "When we mentally show up to play a match, I am confident we will be happy with the outcome. The Howard match was evidence of that."

 

Alysa Long (Romulus, Mich.) led the way offensively for the Bucs with 27 kills overall including 14 in the win over Howard as Long hit an impressive .636 against the Lady Bison. Long's performance earned her a spot on the Liberty Invitational All-Tournament Team.

 

Lauren Baufield (Plymouth, Minn.), Whitney Cogburn (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Amanda Youell each posted a double-double for ETSU. Baufield had ten kills and 17 digs, Youell had 43 assists and 11 digs against Elon, while Cogburn had 11 kills and 28 assists against Howard.

 

Youell quarterbacked the Buccaneer offense tallying 73 assists 15 digs and 11 kills on the day, while Cogburn had 36 assists, 18 digs and 16 kills. Junior Erin Ryan (Davie, Fla.) posted 22 kills - 13 coming in the win over Howard.

 

"Long contributed tremendously, and Cogburn proved to be a hot hand for us," Devine said. "With a number of our girls getting double-doubles, it shows that our players are following the game plan and putting it into action. We need to use these last two weekends to realize what level we are capable of playing at, and translate that into conference play."

 

In the Elon match, the Phoenix jumped out to an early 10-3 lead in the first set. The Bucs battled back to cut the Elon lead to 20-19 after an 8-2 run, but the Phoenix went on a 5-1 run to take the first set, 25-20.

 

The Phoenix came out strong in the second set by getting out to an 8-3 lead, but again ETSU battled back to tie it at 13-all. Play was tight until with the score tied at 16-16, the Bucs rallied to take five straight points to take a 21-16 lead. From there, Elon came back to tie the set at 24-all; however, ETSU got a kill from Kristan Provchy (Norton, Ohio) and a service ace from Baufield to take the second set 28-26.

 

In the third set, play was back and forth until the Phoenix got six straight points to go ahead 17-10. Elon went on to win the set 25-18 to take a 2-1 lead.

 

The fourth set saw 10 ties and four lead changes as neither team could get out in front until the Buccaneers got four straight points to take a 20-16 lead. ETSU held on to take the fourth set 25-22 on a kill by Ryan.

 

Elon used a 5-1 run to take a 9-5 lead in the final set. The Bucs cut the lead to 11-9, but the Phoenix held on to take the set, 15-12, on a Jessica Borrow kill to win the match.

 

ETSU fell behind early in the first set of the Howard match as the Lady Bison went on a 5-1 run to take a 10-5 lead. The Bucs battled back to tie the set at 17-all after a 6-1 run, but could not take the lead as Howard held on to win 26-24.

 

Howard jumped out to a 5-3 lead after taking four straight points in the second set. ETSU answered with a 7-2 run to take a 10-7 lead, but the Lady Bison battled back to tie the set at 13-all. The set remained tight until with the Bucs up 24-22 the Lady Bison went on a 5-1 run to take the second set 27-25.

 

In the third set, the Bucs jumped out to a 19-11 lead after going on a 9-3 run. ETSU went on to win the third set 25-17 as Ryan and Cogburn each had four kills in the set.

 

The two teams battled back and forth in the fourth set as there were ten ties and five lead changes in the set. The Bucs went on to win the set 25-22 after winning three straight points to force a fifth set.

 

With the score tied at 5-all in the final set, ETSU went on a 7-3 run to take a 12-8 lead. The Bucs held on to win the set 15-11 on a Jen Niece (Allen, Texas) service ace beating Howard 3-2.

 

The Bucs (1-5) open the conference season Tuesday at 7 p.m. as they host USC Upstate in the home opener. For more information on Buccaneer volleyball and all other Buccaneer athletic news, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

 

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