JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 21, 2011) – The trio of Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.), Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) each recorded double-digit kills and ETSU rallied from a set down to defeat Mercer, 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-15), Friday night inside Brooks Gym.
ETSU now moves to 11-13 overall and an even 4-4 in Atlantic Sun play, while Mercer falls to 8-16 overall and 1-6 in the A-Sun.
The Bucs out-hit the Bears .232 to .133, despite Mercer’s .405 attack percentage in the opening set. ETSU held a decisive 58-44 advantage in kills, while gaining a 52-42 edge in assists.
Devine finished with a match-high 14 kills, while also adding 12 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. She also ended the night with four blocks. Hardy was the most efficient Buccaneer on the night as she recorded 13 kills on 22 attempts with just two errors for a .500 attack percentage. Rice added 10 kills and four digs on the night for the Bucs. Jamie Stancliff (Advance, N.C.) recorded eight kills to go along with a match-high seven blocks. Kayla Williams (El Paso, Texas) had a solid match for the setter position as she dished out a match-high 49 assists to go with five digs and four kills. McKayla Barber (Columbus, Ind.) had seven kills and digs on the night.
Meanwhile, Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) continued her strong play on the defensive end by tying for match-high honors with 20 digs – leading four Buccaneers with double-digit digs. Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) and Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) each had 12 digs on the night.
The Bucs got off to a slow start to the match by trailing from the very first point in the opening set. After ETSU tied the match at 2-2, Mercer jumped right back in front and never looked back. The Bears won the set, 25-18, thanks to a .405 attack percentage, while limiting the Bucs to a .209 percentage.
ETSU came out in the second set by going on a 7-2 run – forcing an early Mercer timeout. Devine led the charge by recording four of the first seven Buccaneer points. ETSU maintained the advantage until Mercer reeled off four straight points to tie the score at 19 apiece. From there, ETSU took the next three points thanks to kills by Barber and Williams and a service ace by Muey. Mercer cut the lead to one at 24-23, but Hardy clinched the set for the Bucs with a kill – tying the match up at 1-1.
Mercer started the third set just like ETSU did in the second – by taking a 7-2 advantage thanks to several ETSU attack errors. The Bucs chipped away at the lead and finally tied the match up at 11 apiece after a Barber kill. ETSU went in front on the very next point after a Mercer attack error, but the Bucs could not maintain the lead. The Bucs finally gained a two-point advantage at 16-14, following a Mercer attack error. The Bears were unable to catch up as ETSU closed the set on a 5-0 run to take the set, 25-17. ETSU out-hit Mercer .344 to .000 in the frame.
The two teams battled back and forth to start the fourth set until ETSU reeled off three straight points to take an 8-5 lead. The Bucs never looked back from there as they eventually extended the lead and cruised to a 25-15 set victory, while also clinching the match. ETSU hit .270 in the frame, while limiting Mercer to just -.026 hitting.
Jamie Duffy led Mercer offensively with 11 kills on the night, while Charlotte Harris led the defensive efforts with 20 digs.
The Bucs look for another victory on Saturday as they host Kennesaw State in the annual “Pink Zone” match. To raise money for cancer awareness, fans that wear pink will receive $1 admission. First serve is set for 3 p.m.
For more information on ETSU volleyball please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link.