NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 30, 2011) – Maggie Johnson recorded 15 kills and 20 digs to lead Belmont past ETSU, 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-13, 25-14), Friday night in Atlantic Sun volleyball action inside the Curb Event Center.
With the victory, Belmont moves to 12-6 on the season and remains atop the A-Sun with a perfect 3-0 conference mark. Meanwhile, ETSU falls to 7-9 overall and an even 1-1 in conference play.
Freshman Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) led the Bucs with nine kills and nine digs on the night. Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) recorded eight kills and 14 digs, while Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) chipped in seven kills and two blocks. Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) led the ETSU defense with 21 digs, which tied for match-high honors.
In the opening set, ETSU won the first point to take the 1-0 lead, but Belmont reeled off the next four points to take a 4-1 advantage. After ETSU cut the lead to 7-6, the Bruins went on a 5-0 run to take a 12-6 lead. Belmont extended the lead to 21-13, but the Bucs tried to crawl back into the match by winning the next two points. However, Belmont reeled off the next four points to take the set, 25-15. Belmont out-hit ETSU .357 to .037 in the set, while also out-blocking the Bucs 3-0. Maggie Johnson and Amy Van Buren combined for nine kills in the set for the Bruins. Devine led the way for the Bucs in the frame with three kills.
Each team traded points at the beginning of the second set, but it was ETSU that went on the first significant run as the Bucs reeled off four straight points to take a 9-6 advantage. After Belmont cut the lead to 9-8, ETSU went on another 4-0 run to extend the lead back out to 13-8, forcing a Belmont timeout. The Bruins rallied to cut the ETSU lead to 21-20, but Hardy led the Bucs to a 4-0 run to take the set, 25-20. Hardy had two kills during the sequence, while also leading the way for the Bucs in the set with four total kills. ETSU out-hit Belmont, .133 to -.021 in the frame.
Belmont jumped out to a quick 7-1 advantage in the third set, which forced an early ETSU timeout. ETSU could never put together a rally as Belmont won the set, 25-13. The Bruins out-hit the Bucs .172 to -.030 in the frame.
The Bruins got off to a similar start in the fourth set as they jumped out to the 8-2 lead, forcing a quick ETSU timeout for the second straight set. Once again, the early Belmont advantage was too much for the Bucs to overcome as the Bruins took the set, 25-14, while also clinching the match.
ETSU returns to action tomorrow with an afternoon showdown with Lipscomb at 3 p.m. (ET).
For more information on ETSU volleyball please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link.