HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2013) – The ETSU volleyball team wraps up its 13-match road swing this weekend as the Bucs travel to take on Northern Kentucky and Lipscomb.
ETSU (9-6, 3-0), winners of five straight and nine of its last 13, face NKU Friday at 6 p.m. inside Regents Hall. On Saturday, the Bucs return to the site where they captured the 2012 Atlantic Sun Tournament title as ETSU takes on Lipscomb inside Allen Arena. First serve is slated for 3 p.m. (Eastern).
LAST TIME OUT
- The Blue and Gold picked up their fifth straight win last Thursday at USC Upstate as ETSU swept the Spartans (25-21, 25-11, 25-13) inside the Hodge Center.
- As a team, ETSU hit a season-best .408 (50-10-98), while the Bucs were plus-23 in kills (50-27), plus-21 in assists (46-25), plus-19 in digs (51-32) and plus-6 in blocks (10-4).
- The Bucs were led by the trio of Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.), Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) as they combined to hit a blistering .515 (40-5-68). Devine led the charge with 22 kills, eight digs, four blocks and a .463 attack percentage, while Rice registered a .600 clip (7-1-10) and added 13 digs. Hardy finished with 11 kills and seven blocks, while also hitting an impressive .588. Junior setter Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) dished out 38 of ETSU’s 46 assists, while junior libero Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) tallied a team-high 14 digs and recorded six assists.
ABOUT NORTHERN KENTUCKY
- The Norse enter the weekend with a 5-10 overall record, still seeking their first win in A-Sun play after dropping a pair of matches in the Sunshine State last weekend. Megan Wanstrath led the Norse with 11 kills in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-17) loss to North Florida, while Taylor Snyder notched her seventh double-double of the season with 44 assists and a team-high 15 digs in a 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 25-14, 25-17) loss to Jacksonville.
- Overall, sophomore outside hitter Jayden Julian leads the team in kills with 162 (2.70 per set), while senior defensive specialist Anna Prickel is averaging a team-best 3.78 digs per set.
SERIES HISTORY VS. NKU
- The Bucs swept NKU in a pair of five-set matches last season. ETSU defeated the Norse (26-28, 25-21, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13) in Brooks Gym, while following that up with another five-set win (25-20, 19-25, 27-25, 22-25, 15-10) on Oct. 27 in Highland Heights.
- In the two matches, Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) hit .524 (26-4-42), including a record-setting .696 clip (18-2-23) in the win at home. Wiley broke the ETSU single-match attack percentage mark against the Norse. Meanwhile, Hardy totaled 40 kills and a .457 attack percentage last year versus NKU, while Devine posted a pair of double-doubles. Devine tallied 19 kills and 22 digs in the win inside Brooks Gym and added 18 kills and 14 digs in Highland Heights. In addition, Rutledge finished with 64 assists in both matches, resulting in career highs for the junior setter.
- Lipscomb has won four of its last six matches and enter the weekend with an 8-5, 2-1 record. The Lady Bisons split their matches last weekend as Lipscomb suffered a four-set loss at Jacksonville, before sweeping North Florida on Saturday.
- The Lady Bisons lead the NCAA in kills (15.45) and rank third in assists per set (14.14). Individually, senior setter Caitlin Dotson ranks second nationally in assists per set (12.5), while junior middle blocker Jewell Dobson ranks eighth in kills (4.79) and ninth in points (5.3) per set.
- Prior to ETSU defeating Lipscomb in last year’s A-Sun semifinal, the Lady Bisons had won the last three tournament championships.
- Lipscomb leads the all-time series, 11-6, but the Bucs won the last meeting in the 2012 A-Sun Tournament as ETSU defeated the Lady Bisons in four sets inside Allen Arena.
- Last year, Hardy averaged 3.45 kills and 1.45 blocks per set against Lipscomb, whereas, Devine registered 3.73 kills and 3.91 digs per set.
- As a team, the Blue and Gold out-blocked the Lady Bisons, 2.91 to 1.64, while also out-hitting them .251 to .238.
- Both matches will be broadcast live on ASun.TV for free.
- Live stats for the NKU match will be provided on NKUNorse.com, while LipscombSports.com will offer live stats on Saturday.
- Twitter updates can be accessed by following @ETSUVolleyball and @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!
- The ETSU volleyball team is off to its best conference start since the Bucs went 9-0 in 2006, while the Bucs’ five-match win streak is their longest since winning seven straight from 9/18-10/1/2010.
- During this win streak, the Blue and Gold are averaging 16.00 kills, 14.89 assists, 16.32 digs, and 2.97 blocks per set, while holding the opposition to 11.42 kills, 10.68 assists, 13.21 digs, and 1.32 blocks per set.
- Individually, Megan Devine is averaging 5.32 kills, 3.53 digs, and hitting .371 during this five-match run. In addition, Meredith Hardy is recording 1.84 blocks per set, Jamie Rutledge is averaging 12.84 assists per set, and Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) is hitting .367 (52-12-109) in ETSU’s last five outings.
- Nationally, Meredith Hardy ranks fifth in blocks per set (1.55), Megan Devine ranks ninth in kills (4.7) and 11th in points per set (5.25), and Jamie Rutledge ranks 46th in assists per set (10.79).
- In 115 career matches, Megan Devine has totaled 1,659 kills and 1,265 digs. The reigning A-Sun Player of the Year is the all-time ETSU leader in kills, while she is 123 digs shy of passing Kaena Apana (2006-07) for fifth. Devine’s 1,659 kills rank second among active NCAA Division I leaders (Michigan State’s Lauren Wicinski is first at 2,075). Devine also ranks second all-time in kills among A-Sun players and is 88 kills away from passing Lipscomb’s Alex Kelly for the most in conference history.
- Megan Devine has eight double-doubles this season, moving her career total to 60. Last year, the senior outside hitter recorded double-doubles in both matches versus NKU and in the three matches against Lipscomb. For her career, Devine has played in all but two of the 117 total matches possible.
- Meredith Hardy has played in 80 total matches since 2011 and has tallied 377 total blocks (325 block assists). Hardy is seven block assists shy of setting the all-time ETSU record, which is currently held by Jennifer Pennington (1993-96). Last Thursday at USC Upstate, Hardy moved into second all-time for total blocks. Hardy is 161 total blocks away from breaking Pennington’s school record. However, the junior middle blocker is 46 blocks shy of breaking the all-time A-Sun record (currently held by Campbell’s Rachel Templin, 422).
- Meredith Hardy has recorded at least one block in 77 consecutive matches.
- Junior libero Katie Muey is closing in on her 1,000th career dig as the Alexandria, Ind. native has 922 digs in 82 matches played.
- As a team, ETSU leads the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.257) and blocks (2.60), while also ranking third in kills (13.71) and opponent hitting percentage (.188).
- In their first three conference matches, the Bucs have out-blocked the opposition, 40.5 to 13.0.
- This weekend marks the end of a 13-match road swing for the Blue and Gold. In total, ETSU plays 18 of its first 21 matches on the road and the Bucs have only played one home match this season (Sept. 3 vs. Furman).
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball page.