WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Aug. 31, 2013) – The ETSU volleyball team picked up a split on the final day of the Deacon Invitational as the Bucs swept East Carolina (25-11, 25-21, 25-14) to wrap up the tournament and earn their first win of the season. Earlier on Saturday, host Wake Forest upended the Blue and Gold, 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 18-25, 21-25), inside Reynolds Gym.
Following the three games of competition, sophomore middle blocker Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) was named to the Deacon Invitational All-Tournament Team. For the weekend, Wiley recorded 21 kills and 12 blocks, along with tallying a .364 attack percentage.
“Congratulations to Khadijah for being named to the Deacon Invitational All-Tournament Team,” said head coach Lindsey Devine. “She was aggressive, challenged blocks and brought a competitive attitude to our side of the net.
“To walk away with a win in our final match was a positive small step. We have a lot to work on, but this team showed they are welcoming the challenges.”
After securing a split on Saturday, ETSU saw its record move to 1-2 on the early season.
EAST CAROLINA RECAP
Coming off a four-set loss to Wake Forest earlier in the day, ETSU returned to action and made quick work of East Carolina as the Bucs swept the Pirates to close out opening weekend play.
Senior outside hitter Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) posted her second double-double of the weekend, finishing with a match-high 12 kills and 16 digs, while the Blue and Gold out-blocked the Pirates, 10-5. Junior Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) tallied eight blocks (two solo) and fellow junior Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) accounted for nine of ETSU’s 37 total kills. Junior setter Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) quarterbacked the offense with 28 assists, and junior libero Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) finished with 10 digs, two assists and two service aces.
The Bucs broke the first set open as ETSU turned a 5-4 advantage into a 12-point lead by mounting a 13-2 run to take a comfortable 18-6 lead when Rutledge set Wiley up for one of her six kills in the match. ETSU’s lead continued to grow and Muey’s second ace of the set capped off the impressive 14-point win, 25-11. As a team, the Blue and Gold hit .320 (11-3-25) and Rice fueled the spark with three kills on four attempts.
Despite seeing ECU (0-3) win the first five points of the second set and continue to hold a 12-10 advantage midway through the stanza, ETSU rose up to the challenge to take a firm grasp of the match by rallying to a 25-21 victory. With the Pirates holding onto the two-point lead, the Bucs posted a 9-2 spurt to jump ahead, 19-14, when once again Rutledge found Wiley for the kill. Following the run, ECU could only get within two points and back-to-back kills by Devine ended the set. Devine led all players with seven kills and seven digs in the frame.
In the third set, ETSU led from start to finish and cruised to an 11-point victory, 25-14. The Blue and Gold won seven of the first 10 points and continued to cushion their lead when Rice registered a kill later on, making it a 19-10 score. The Pirates won three straight points following Rice’s slam, but ETSU locked things up with a 6-1 run to pick up its first win of the year. Just like the first set, the Bucs were very fluid on offense as six different players finished with two or more kills en route to posting a .370 attack percentage (13-3-27). ETSU was also solid at the net by out-blocking ECU, 5-2, while the Blue and Gold defense held a plus-six margin in digs, 16-10.
For the match, the Pirates were held to a .052 hitting percentage (26-21-97) and Nicole Willis led the attack with 12 kills.
WAKE FOREST RECAP
Megan Devine had a match-high 21 kills to go with seven digs, but it wasn’t enough to lift the ETSU volleyball team to a win over Wake Forest, as the Demon Deacons upended the Blue and Gold, 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 18-25, 21-25).
Devine accounted for 40 percent of the Bucs’ 52 kills in the match, while junior Meredith Hardy added 10 and sophomore Khadijah Wiley finished with seven. Hardy registered a .421 hitting percentage (10-2-19) and added three blocks, while Wiley tallied a .700 (7-0-10) mark and provided ETSU with seven blocks at the net.
However, unforced errors plagued the Blue and Gold for the second straight match of the season, as ETSU combined for 14 miscues (eight service and six ball handling errors).
In the first set, the Demon Deacons led for the majority of the frame, but with ETSU trailing 21-19, the Bucs scored three unanswered points to grab their first lead, 22-21, thanks to a pair of kills from Devine and one by Wiley. However, the Blue and Gold couldn’t sustain the run and Wake Forest (2-0) scored the final four points of the set to claim the opener, 25-22. Despite totaling three more kills than Wake Forest (14-11), the Demon Deacons took a page out of ETSU’s book by out-blocking the Bucs, 6-2. Wake Forest also finished with three service aces, while junior Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) had the lone ace for the Bucs.
After suffering a tough setback in the opener, the Blue and Gold sprinted out of the gates in the second set and cruised to a convincing 25-15 win. ETSU won seven of the first nine points in the stanza and continued adding to its lead when a kill by Ivey Rice extended the Bucs’ lead to nine, 21-12. The Demon Deacons never threatened and another kill by Rice claimed the set victory, 25-15. The Bucs recorded an attack percentage of .360 (14-5-25), compared to a -.048 (5-6-21) mark by Wake Forest. Wiley had three of her seven kills in the second, while Devine posted six to go with a .455 attack percentage.
Unfortunately, after controlling the early stages of the third set, ETSU couldn’t put the Demon Deacons away. Despite taking a 15-9 lead following a Danae Rosendall ball handling error, the Bucs couldn’t add to the margin as Wake Forest closed the set on a commanding 16-3 run to take the wind out of the Buccaneer sails. ETSU committed four unforced errors and three attack errors in the run.
From there, the Demon Deacons led wire-to-wire in the fourth set and wrapped up the match with a 25-21 victory. Wake Forest won nine of the first 11 points of the frame and eventually built a nine-point lead late in the stanza, 20-11. ETSU used a 10-4 run to get within three, 24-21, but an attack error by Devine ended the set and match.
Sophia Dodd (19) and Rosendall (17) combined for 36 of Wake Forest’s 37 assists, and Jazmen Russell tallied a team-high 10 kills. Kristin Grissom added nine kills and five blocks and Ashlee Rusk finished with eight kills, seven blocks and four digs.
The Bucs now return home on Tuesday to host Furman at 6 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
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