TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (Sept. 6, 2012) – The ETSU volleyball team wraps up tournament play this weekend when the Bucs head to Tuscaloosa for the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, beginning Friday morning inside Foster Auditorium.
The tournament is a two-day, four-game format with ETSU facing Alabama State (10 a.m.) and Austin Peay (3 p.m.) on Friday, while taking on Lamar (3 p.m.) and Alabama (8 p.m.) Saturday. The game times listed are all in Eastern Time.
ETSU improved its record to 7-2 after defeating Marshall in four sets (18-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-23) on Monday night in the home opener. Junior outside hitter Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) reached a special milestone in the win over the Thundering Herd as she recorded her 1,000th career kill in the third set of the match. Devine posted a double-double in the win, finishing with 22 kills and 15 digs, while moving her career kills total to 1,008. Meanwhile, sophomore setter Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) also notched a double-double after she ended with 41 assists and a career-high 15 digs.
The Bucs are currently at or near the top in four statistical categories among Atlantic Sun teams. ETSU leads the conference in blocks per set (2.79), while ranking second in attack percentage (.244), and third in assists (11.79) and kills per set (12.82). In addition, ETSU’s 18 blocks versus Presbyterian are the most by any A-Sun team this season, whereas, the Bucs’ .289 attack percentage (61-22-135) and eight service aces against UNC Asheville are the highest by any conference team in a five-set match as well.
Fans unable to make the trip to Alabama can watch all the action online or can follow live stats on Gametracker by visiting RollTide.com. A fee of $12 will give fans the opportunity to watch every match this weekend.
Scouting the Opponents
The Hornets are still searching for their first win after dropping the first seven matches of the season. After finishing third in the Eastern Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2011, Alabama State was again pegged third, while junior Luiza Griz was named all-conference in the preseason. Griz leads the team with 73 digs and ranks third in the SWAC with 3.32 digs per set.
The Lady Govs (2-8) have lost three straight since defeating Arkansas Little-Rock, 3-2, last weekend in Springfield, Mo, while Austin Peay began the season with a five-set win over Memphis in the Memphis Invitational. The Lady Govs, who won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title in 2010, were tied for ninth with Eastern Illinois in the preseason coaches’ poll. Senior outside hitter Nikki Doyle was a preseason all-conference selection and she currently ranks second on the team with 2.50 kills per set. As a team, Austin Peay leads the OVC with a .197 hitting percentage; however, they rank last in opponent hitting percentage (.295).
Lamar (6-4) is riding a three-game winning into Tuscaloosa after beating South Carolina State (3-0), Tulane (3-2), and most recently Louisiana-Lafayette (3-1). The Cardinals went 9-7 in the Eastern Division of the Southland Conference in 2011 and were picked third in 2012, along with Sierra Whittaker, Wendy Krell, and Alex Morford being voted First-Team All-Southland. Whittaker leads the team with 101 kills, while Morford is averaging 10.60 assists per set.
The Crimson Tide have won five straight after dropping a five setter to Northeastern back on Aug. 24 at the Beanpot Classic in Boston. Four of the five wins in the streak have been three-set victories and Alabama currently sits 6-1 on the season. The Crimson Tide were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West, while Alabama leads the SEC in opponent hitting percentage (.112) and ranks third in service aces per set (1.67).
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com.