JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 23, 2010) - Following a tough 3-1 road victory over longtime rival Chattanooga on Wednesday night, the ETSU volleyball team closes out regular season tournament play this weekend as they take part in the North Carolina Central University Tournament.
The Bucs will open the tournament on Friday against host North Carolina Central at 3 p.m. before taking on Maryland Eastern Shore shortly after at 5:30 p.m. The tournament will continue on Saturday with ETSU facing off against Hampton at 9 a.m. before the Bucs conclude the event against South Carolina State at 3 p.m. from McDougald-McLendon Gym on the campus of NCCU.
ETSU (10-5) enters the tournament having won its last two matches and they are winners in six of their last seven matches overall. The Bucs are coming off a tough victory against Chattanooga in which they trailed following the opening set.
Alysa Long (Romulus, Mich.) and Erin Ryan (Davie, Fla.) led the Bucs offensively with 14 kills apiece. Long finished the match with a .370 hitting percentage while also adding a solo block and five block assists. Ryan also added seven digs on the night. Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished with a double-double of 13 kills and 12 digs. Whitney Cogburn (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the Bucs with 44 assists and also came in with four kills, two aces, and five block assists. Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) led the ETSU defensive efforts with 14 digs, while also dishing out five assists.
NCCU (2-13) comes into the tournament following a 3-0 midweek loss at Campbell. The Eagles also finished 1-3 last weekend at the South Carolina Spikefest. Belinda Behncke-Biney leads the Eagles offensively with 148 kills (3.02 kps) on the year. Jzima-Malaki Kalao paces NCCU in assists with 333 (6.80 aps). Raven King leads the defensive efforts with 144 digs on the season. The Bucs lead the all-time series against the Eagles 1-0. ETSU defeated NCCU 3-1, in the only meeting back in 2007.
Fresh off a 2-1 weekend at the Kristen Dickmann Memorial Tournament hosted by Navy, the Maryland Eastern Shore (5-8) volleyball team enters the weekend with victories in four of their last six matches. The Hawks are led offensively by Zoe Bowens and Maline Vaitai. Both players have recorded 167 kills at an average of 3.09 kills per set. This will be the first meeting in volleyball between the Bucs and Hawks.
The Hampton Pirates (1-14) enter the tournament this weekend following their first victory of the season. The Pirates defeated this weekend's host N.C. Central last weekend at the South Carolina State Spikefest. Hampton is led offensively by Aaryn Harrison as she has recorded 113 kills (2.51 kps). Ivana Suput leads the defensive efforts of the Pirates with 109 digs (3.89 dps) on the year. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
South Carolina State (4-11) is fresh off hosting the South Carolina Spikefest that featured many of the same teams participating this weekend. The Bulldogs finished the event with a 3-1 record that included wins against N.C. Central, Hampton, and Mercer. S.C. State is led by a trio of players that have compiled over 100 kills on the season. Shabree Roberson (119), Elizabeth Webb (111), and Desire Waller (108) have all eclipsed the 100 kill plateau to lead the Bulldogs offensively. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
The Bucs will return to action on October 1 as they will travel to Buies Creek, N.C. to take on Campbell in the first Atlantic Sun Conference match of the season. The match is set for 7 p.m.
For more information on the ETSU volleyball team please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.