RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 18, 2014) – The ETSU volleyball team concludes preseason tournament play this weekend as the Bucs head to Richmond for the VCU Invitational.
The Bucs open the tournament on Friday against Ball State (12 p.m.) and host VCU (7 p.m.), while wrapping up play versus Virginia at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
Unforced errors spoiled ETSU’s chances of gaining momentum from its win over Georgia Tech as the Bcus dropped a four-setter at Tennessee State on Tuesday night.
In a match that featured 33 ties and 13 lead changes, the Blue and Gold committed 14 service errors on the night.
Senior Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the Bucs with a .609 attack percentage (16-2-23), while Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.) combined for 25 of ETSU’s 54 kills. Rice finished with 15 kills and four blocks and Milhorn added 10 kills and six digs.
As a team, the Bucs out-blocked Tennessee State, 11-3, and also finished with three more kills (54-51) and 10 more points (69-59) than the Tigers.
Following the setback, the Blue and Gold moved to 4-7 on the campaign.
ABOUT THE OPPOSITION
Ball State improved to 4-6 following its 3-2 win over IPFW on Wednesday night. The win over IPFW snapped a five-match losing streak for the Cardinals.
As a team, Ball State is averaging 2.01 blocks per set, while junior setter Jenna Spadafora ranks sixth in the Mid-American Conference in assists per set (9.02).
Overall, Ball State has made eight NCAA Tournament appearances in program history.
VCU has dropped seven of its nine matches to start the season, while three of the setbacks have come against nationally ranked foes.
The Rams opened the year with a three-set loss at then-No. 18 Colorado State, and most-recently fell to No. 16 Kentucky and No. 17 North Carolina this past weekend at the Carolina Classic.
Offensively, VCU is led by the trio of Janelle Sykes, Kalah Jones, and Jessica Jones as they have combined for 237 of the Rams’ 342 kills. Jones leads the team with 83, Sykes has tallied 82 and Young has 72 kills on the season.
Freshman libero Mary Kilbane and senior setter Cecilia Aragao are averaging over 3.00 digs per set. Kilbane leads VCU at 3.52 digs per set (109 total) and Aragao is averaging 3.10 digs per set (96 total).
VCU has combined for 51 wins over the last two seasons (2012-13).
After winning six straight matches to start the year, Virginia has dropped its last three as the Cavaliers lost all three matches last weekend at the Northwestern Wildcat Challenge.
As a team, Virginia is averaging 13.64 kills, 12.72 assists, 13.58 digs and 2.53 blocks pet set, while also hitting .260 as a group.
Junior outside hitter Kayla Sears (3.61 kills per set) and sophomore outside Jasmine Burton (3.17 kills per set) lead the team offensively, while junior middle blocker Natalie Bausback (1.39 blocks per set) and sophomore defensive specialist Lexi Riccolo (3.86 digs per set) pace the Cavaliers defensively.
Live stats will be available for all three matches, while Friday’s match against VCU will be streamed online.
Click here for live video of Friday’s match vs. VCU.
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As a team, ETSU ranks 29th nationally in total blocks (95.5). Individually, Katie Muey ranks 21st in the NCAA in total digs (195) and Meredith Hardy is 23rd in total blocks (49).
Hardy ranks second among active NCAA career leaders in total blocks (523), third in blocks per set (1.29), 13th in sets played (404) and 53rd in kills (1,017). Meanwhile, Muey ranks third among active NCAA career leaders in sets played (420) and 31st in total digs (1,357).
Hardy enters the weekend needing 15 blocks to break the all-time ETSU record. Currently, Jennifer Pennington (1993-96) holds the record with 537.
Muey is 83 digs shy of passing Jennifer Manchester (1992-95) for fifth-place all-time in the Buccaneer record book.
Ivey Rice is 92 kills away from recording No. 1,000 for her career.
After reaching her 3,000th career assist last Saturday, senior Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) needs 75 assists to move past Carey Cavanaugh (1999-01) for fourth all-time in ETSU history.
Meredith Hardy has recorded at least one block in 104 straight matches, while Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) has accomplished the feat in 42 straight matches.
Following this weekend’s tournament, the Bucs gear up for their home and conference opener as ETSU hosts Furman Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
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