DURHAM, N.C. (Sept. 25, 2010) - The ETSU volleyball team won the title at the North Carolina Central Tournament by defeating Hampton and South Carolina State on Saturday, to finish with a perfect 4-0 record for the weekend at McDougald-McLendon Gym on the campus of N.C. Central.
"Overall a strong weekend of blocking as a team," said ETSU head coach Lindsey Devine. "The team is recognizing that when we are aggressive at the net it creates big momentum plays."
The Bucs have now won their second tournament title of 2010 after winning the Radford University Tournament earlier in the season. The Bucs are now 14-5 on the season and they are off to their best start to a season since 2006.
ETSU dominated the event both offensively and defensively as they outhit each of their four opponents, while also out-blocking all four opponents. The Bucs continue to excel at the net as they finished with a 44-15 advantage in blocks for the weekend.
Additionally, Alysa Long (Romulus, Mich.) was named Tournament MVP, while Whitney Cogburn (Kingsport, Tenn.) was named to the All-Tournament Team.
ETSU 3, Hampton 0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-21)
Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the Bucs offensively with 11 kills (11-5-19), while hitting .316. Cogburn had a well-rounded match of 27 assists, five kills, four digs and two blocks. Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) led the ETSU defense with 10 digs to go along with three assists and two service aces.
The Bucs finished with a .225-.156 advantage in hitting, while finishing with an 8.0-7.0 in blocking. ETSU continues to lead the A-Sun in that category.
In the opening set, Hampton jumped out to a quick start as they led for much of the set. With the Pirates up 18-15, The Bucs turned it up and put together a string of four straight points to take a one point lead at 19-18. With the score tied 22-22, ETSU tacked on two points to make it set point. Following an ETSU attack error that cut their lead to two, junior McKayla Barber (Columbus, Ind.) provided the Bucs with a kill that would give them the 25-23 opening set victory.
The second set started out in back and forth fashion as the score was tied 10-10. However, the Bucs went on a 15-6 run from that point on to take the set 25-16.
With the Bucs needing to win one more set to take the match, they jumped out to a big advantage in set number three. ETSU had a 22-16 lead and looked to be close to wrapping up the match; however, Hampton put together four straight points to cut the ETSU lead to 24-21. ETSU senior Erin Ryan (Davie, Fla.) responded by closing the match with a kill.
Aaryn Harrison led the Pirates offensively as she recorded a game-high 12 kills (12-3-27), while hitting .333 and adding a game-high six blocks.
ETSU 3, South Carolina State 0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-21)
The trio of Devine (8-4-21), Ryan (8-6-21), and Long led the way for the Bucs in the final match of the day as each recorded eight kills. Long hit for a game-high .615 for the match as she recorded no errors on 13 attempts, while also leading the team with five blocks. Cogburn had another solid performance of 33 assists, four kills, three aces, four digs, and four blocks.
The Bucs outhit S.C. State .250-.06 during the match, while also out-blocking SCSU 7.0-5.0.
ETSU got off to a quick start to the match by controlling the first set the entire way. The Bucs hit .206 in the frame while holding SCSU to a .042 percentage, in taking the set 25-14.
The Bucs again started strong in the second set as they got out to a 15-9 start. The Bulldogs bounced back to cut the lead to one, but the Bucs closed the set strong to take the victory, 25-20.
S.C. State started set number three by taking a quick 6-3 lead. However, the Bucs rallied to tie up the match and eventually take the lead. ETSU closed the match strong to take the 25-21 victory to close out the match.
The Bulldogs were led by Elizabeth Webb as she recorded seven kills in 23 swings, while also adding seven digs. SCSU fell to 4-15 on the season.
ETSU returns to action next Friday as they travel to Buies Creek, N.C. for their Atlantic Sun Conference opener against Campbell. The match is set to begin at 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.