Bucs open NCAA Tournament Friday night at Kentucky
Bucs open NCAA Tournament Friday night at Kentucky
Thursday, November 29, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2012) – For the first time in program history, the ETSU volleyball team will play in the NCAA Tournament when the Bucs take on No. 16 seed Kentucky in the first round of the single-elimination tournament on Friday night. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m., inside Memorial Coliseum.

ETSU returns to the court for the first time since defeating North Florida 13 days ago to capture the Atlantic Sun Tournament title in Nashville.

The Bucs enter the NCAA Tournament on a three-match winning streak and have won 11 of their last 15 matches en route to posting an overall record of 23-12.

The winner of the ETSU/Kentucky match will take on the winner of the Ohio State/Notre Dame match on Saturday night at 7 p.m., for the right to advance to the West Lafayette Regional next weekend.


Thirteen days ago the Blue and Gold made history as ETSU earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by outlasting North Florida in a five-set thriller (25-23, 26-24, 18-25, 22-25, 15-12) back on Nov. 17 in the conference championship match. After winning the first two sets against the Ospreys, the Bucs looked like they were going to cruise to the tournament title. Unfortunately, the Ospreys mounted a furious rally by taking the third and fourth sets; however, with its back against the wall ETSU rose to the challenge to hold off the UNF comeback. The Blue and Gold stormed out to a 6-0 surge in the decisive fifth set, and after having UNF cut the deficit to two, freshman Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) sent the Buccaneer faithful into pandemonium when her seventh kill of the contest marked the final point of the match, giving ETSU its first tournament title since winning the 1992 Southern Conference Championship. For the match, UNF was plus-8 in kills, 67-59, plus-three in assists, 59-56, and plus-12 in digs, 71-59, but ETSU went to its top weapon in the fifth set to pull out the win. The Bucs – who out-blocked the Ospreys 15.5 to 13.0 – finished with four stuffs in the final frame. The Bucs also had one more service ace than UNF, 4-3, along with one less service error, 6-5, in the match.


Kentucky (20-10) received one of the top 16 seeds in the tournament as the Wildcats were penciled in at No. 16 … the Wildcats finished third in the SEC East, and like the Bucs, have won their last three matches after sweeping Auburn and Missouri, while taking down Georgia in four ... Kentucky – who has won 10 of its last 13 matches – was ranked as high as No. 10 in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll this season … this marks the eighth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Wildcats and the fourth time in the last five years Kentucky is hosting … as a team, the Wildcats rank in the top-50 nationally in hitting percentage (33rd, .252), aces per set (44th, 1.42), and blocks per set (45th, 2.53) … individually, senior setter Christine Hartmann ranks 43rd in the country in assists per set (10.93) and junior middle blocker Alexandra Morgan’s .348 attack percentage ranks 65th nationally.


Of the three opponents in the Lexington pod, the Bucs have only faced one of the teams as ETSU is 0-1 lifetime against Kentucky ... the Bucs and Wildcats played in the Mortar Board Premier Tournament back on Sept. 17, 2004 in West Lafayette, Ind. ... Kentucky swept the Blue and Gold (26-30, 21-30, 27-30) in that match ... meanwhile, ETSU has never faced Ohio State or Notre Dame.


Friday’s match will be video streamed free of charge on UKAthletics.com, while live stats will be provided through Gametracker by also visiting UKAthletics.com or by clicking the link above. Twitter updates will also be available by following @ETSUAthletics.


ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!


  • As a team, the Bucs broke a pair of ETSU program records this season as the Blue and Gold set new marks in block assists (609) and sets played (136)
  • ETSU also broke Atlantic Sun records in total blocks with 363.5, while the Bucs also set the blocks record for conference only matches with 198.5
  • The Bucs are looking to become the first A-Sun team to win a first round match since 2003 when Central Florida accomplished the feat with a five-set win over Cincinnati
  • Individually, Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) broke school records for attack attempts in a career with 3,952, while her 1,548 attack attempts and 539 kills are also new single-season ETSU marks
  • Devine also set conference records for double-doubles in a season (25) and conference only matches (15), while also setting A-Sun records for attack attempts in a season (1,548) and in conference only matches (839)
  • Sophomore Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) – who has recorded at least one block in 61 straight matches – set single-season A-Sun records for blocks in a season (199) and blocks in A-Sun only matches (113)
  • Megan Devine enters Friday’s match needing 18 kills to tie Callie Kiselich’s (2004-07) record for the most career kills in program history … Kiselich finished her four-year career with 1,420 kills  
  • Hardy needs only needs seven block assists to tie Pam Farmer’s ETSU single-season record of 181, which was set in 1984
  • Khadijah Wiley has posted at least one block in all of her 30 matches played this season
  • Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) is averaging 2.7 kills per set over her last 17 matches and has recorded double-digit kills in 14 of her last 17 outings
  • Sophomore Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) has totaled double figures in digs in 17 of her last 18 matches

For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball page.