FAIRFAX, Va. (Sept. 4, 2014) – After dropping two of its three matches to start the season last weekend, the ETSU volleyball team looks to regroup as the Bucs gear up for the Patriot Invitational, hosted by George Mason.
The Bucs, who are making the first of two trips to Virginia this weekend, take on William and Mary (3 p.m.) and George Mason (7 p.m.) on Friday. ETSU wraps up the tournament with Maryland (12 p.m.) and Lehigh (4 p.m.) on Saturday. The four matches will be played inside the George Mason Recreation and Athletic Complex (RAC).
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (1-2) opened the season with a three-set win over Morgan State last Friday in Charlotte, but the Blue and Gold fell to Sacramento State and the host 49ers in four sets to close out the tournament.
Junior Ashleigh Shain (Geneva, Ill.) was named to the all-tournament team, while senior Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) and junior Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) led the Bucs offensively, posting 20 kills each. In addition, senior Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) is averaging 2.57 kills per set after finishing with 18 in two matches. Defensively, ETSU is led by Wiley and senior preseason all-conference performer Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.). Wiley registered 14 total blocks on the weekend, while Hardy added 12. Hardy has now recorded at least one block in 96 straight matches, while as a team, the Bucs are averaging 2.41 blocks per set (26.5 total) after three matches.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS
William and Mary
The Tribe split their first four matches of the season as William and Mary defeated Hampton and Iona, while falling to TCU and No. 1 Penn State.
All four of William and Mary’s matches have been decided in three sets.
The Tribe are led offensively by junior outside hitter Mallory Brickerd and red-shirt sophomore outside hitter Michelle Heath as they have totaled half of William and Mary’s 140 kills on the season. Brickerd has 36 kills and Heath has 34 in four matches played.
William and Mary was picked to finish eighth in the CAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
George Mason dropped all three matches last weekend at the D.C. Volleyball Challenge – Howard (1-3), Georgetown (1-3), and No. 24 American (0-3).
The Patriots have four players averaging two kills per set as sophomore outside hitter Jessie Greenslade leads George Mason with 28 kills (2.55 per set). Freshman setter Kelly Schaller dished out 83 of the team’s 100 assists last weekend in Washington D.C., while also tallying 25 digs (2.27 per set).
George Mason was picked to finish seventh in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, while the Patriots return eight letter winners from last year’s squad, including junior outside hitter Morghan Martin. Martin led the team in kills (239) and points (279).
The Terrapins won all three matches last weekend at the Elon Phoenix Invitational. Maryland defeated Elon (3-1), Liberty (3-2) and swept San Jose State.
Maryland was led by senior middle blocker Adreene Elliot as she finished the weekend with 54 kills. Meanwhile, sophomore setter Carlotta Oggioni posted a pair of double-doubles as she added 28 assists and 10 digs in the win versus San Jose State and began the season with 44 assists and 17 digs in the four-set victory over host Elon.
Saturday will mark the first-ever meeting between ETSU and Maryland.
Like William and Mary, Lehigh also split its first four matches of the year. The Mountain Hawks picked up wins over Buffalo (3-0) and Canisius (3-2), and fell to Siena (0-3) and Ole Miss (0-3) last weekend at the Buffalo Invitational.
Lehigh features a well-balanced offensive attack as the Mountain Hawks have eight players to already register double-digit kills, including four with 25-plus kills. As a team, Lehigh is averaging 13.0 kills, 1.29 service aces, 17.6 digs and 1.71 blocks per set.
The Mountain Hawks were picked to finish fourth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, while senior outside hitter Jade Van Streepen was selected to the preseason all-conference team. Van Streepen leads the team with 39 kills.
Live stats will be available for all four matches, while live video will be offered for Friday’s match against George Mason.
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