FT. MYERS AND DELAND, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2013) – Two weeks after playing in Jacksonville, the ETSU volleyball team returns to the Sunshine State as the Bucs take on Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson this weekend in Atlantic Sun Conference play.
ETSU (17-7, 11-1 A-Sun) takes on conference preseason favorite FGCU Friday at 7 p.m., inside Alico Arena, while facing Stetson Saturday at 5 p.m., in the Edmunds Center.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
- ETSU capped off its three-match homestand with a perfect mark after sweeping Kennesaw State (25-18, 25-23, 25-19) Tuesday night inside Brooks Gym.
- With the victory, the Bucs extended their home win streak to 12, while ETSU has swept five of its six opponents in Brooks Gym this season.
- Junior middle blocker Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) broke the all-time Atlantic Sun blocks record after finishing with eight, which moved her career total to 429.
- Senior Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) posted her sixth straight double-double (12 kills/10 digs), and junior Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished with 35 assists, seven blocks and six digs. Fellow junior Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) hit a team-high .364 (11-3-22).
- FGCU enters the weekend with a record of 11-14 and an A-Sun mark of 7-5 after defeating Mercer but falling to Kennesaw State and North Florida last weekend.
- Individually, the Eagles’ offensive attack has been led by 3.19 kills per set from junior outside hitter Jessica Barnes, while senior outside hitter/middle blocker Kaitlin Holm and junior middle blocker Olivia Mesner have added 3.02 and 2.79 per set, respectively. Mesner, who hit .658 (25-0-38) in FGCU’s five-set loss at North Florida on Monday, ranks fourth in the A-Sun with a team-leading hitting percentage of .340.
- Junior setter Gigi Meyer ranks third in the conference in assists (10.54), while junior libero Whitney Masters is sixth in digs per set (3.88).
- As a team, FGCU is hitting .211, while allowing its opponents to hit .233. The attack rate ranks among the top half of the conference, but the Eagles’ opponent attack percentage sits at seventh.
SERIES HISTORY VS. FGCU
- FGCU leads the all-time series, 7-3, but the Bucs have won the last two meetings in the series.
- ETSU swept the Eagles back on Oct. 12 in Brooks Gym, while the Blue and Gold snapped FGCU’s 15-match win streak last season.
- The Eagles are 5-0 all-time against the Bucs inside Alico Arena, but ETSU has won a pair of games inside the gym (2010 A-Sun Tournament).
- After winning four matches last season (none in conference play), Stetson has made a big turnaround as the Hatters enter weekend play at 15-11, 6-5 A-Sun. The 15 overall wins are the most since ending the 1996 campaign with 16 victories.
- The Hatters are led by senior outside hitter Kaley Melville, who is averaging 3.47 kills per set, while senior middle Ellen Hawks leads the team with a .320 hitting percentage.
- As a team, Stetson is holding its opponents to a .188 attack percentage, but the Hatters are being out-blocked, 2.25 to 1.67.
SERIES HISTORY VS. STETSON
- ETSU is 14-0 lifetime against the Hatters and the Bucs have won all 12 matches since joining the A-Sun in 2005.
- The Bucs swept Stetson back on Oct. 11 in Brooks Gym as ETSU out-blocked the Hatters, 13-1. Hardy ended with 10 kills (.500 attack percentage) and five blocks, while sophomore Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) finished with five kills and eight blocks (four solo). Along with their 13 blocks, the Bucs hit .314 (44-12-102) and held Stetson to a .066 (25-19-91) clip.
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- The Bucs are in the midst of a four-match win streak and have won 13 of their last 14 matches. During this four-match run, ETSU is averaging 14.33 kills, 13.47 assists, 13.73 digs, and 3.13 blocks per set, while also hitting .253 and holding the opponents to a .144 percentage.
- Two Buccaneer players have broken A-Sun all-time marks this season as Megan Devine is now the all-time leader in kills (1,807) and Meredith Hardy holds the new blocks record at 429. Devine is also the ETSU program leader in kills and she also ranks second among active NCAA Division I players in total kills. Meanwhile, Hardy holds the all-time ETSU record for block assists (368) and ranks second in total blocks. Hardy is 109 blocks away from breaking the program record for total blocks, which is currently held by Jennifer Pennington (537, from 1993-96).
- Devine enters weekend play needing 18 digs to pass Kaena Apana for fifth all-time in ETSU history. Devine has 1,370 digs in 124 matches played.
- Devine has recorded double-digit kills in all 23 matches played this season, while Hardy is totaled at least one block in each of her last 86 outings.
- Along with her blocks, Hardy has tallied 866 kills in 89 matches.
- Jamie Rutledge has totaled 2,521 career assists in 77 matches, and the junior setter is 23 assists shy of moving into fifth all-time in the Buccaneer record book.
- Eight of ETSU’s wins have been sweeps this season, while the Blue and Gold have won six of their seven four-set matches.
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