JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 2, 2014) – The ETSU volleyball team returns to conference action this Friday as the Bucs host UNCG at 7 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (6-11, 1-1 SoCon) picked up its second straight win after defeating Radford in a grueling five-set match Tuesday night.
Senior Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) recorded a career-high 37 digs, while Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) registered a double-double. Gesell finished with 19 kills (.472 attack percentage) and a career-high 15 digs against the Highlanders.
In a match that featured 38 ties and 17 lead changes, the teams also were tied in total points, 113-113.
As a team, the Bucs totaled 86 digs, which were the most by an ETSU squad since posting 89 in a five-set win over Wofford back on Oct. 11, 2011. ETSU was also plus-3 in kills (66-63) and outhit Radford, .210-.186.
With the win, the Bucs have now won 19 of their last 22 games inside Brooks Gym.
The Spartans (9-5, 2-0 SoCon) snapped a three-match losing skid as UNCG picked up road wins at Western Carolina and Mercer last weekend.
UNCG leads the SoCon in opponent hitting percentage (.177) and digs per set (16.52), while also ranking third in service aces per set (1.54) and assists per set (11.98).
Friday’s match features the top two blocking teams in the conference as ETSU ranks first (2.34) and the Spartans are second (2.14). The Bucs also rank second in opponent hitting percentage (.194).
Individually, junior defensive specialist Katherine Santiago leads the SoCon in digs per set (5.02), while senior Vicky Harley (.349) and red-shirt junior Julia Westerbur (.337) rank second and third in hitting percentage.
ETSU leads the all-time series, 14-8, but UNCG defeated the Bucs in the last meeting as the Spartans won a five-setter in last year’s season opener in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished with 15 kills (.400 attack percentage) and four blocks in the match against UNCG, while Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) registered 14 kills and four digs.
Overall, the Bucs have won eight of the last nine against the Spartans, while this marks UNCG’s first trip to Johnson City since falling to ETSU, 3-1, on Sept. 11, 2010 in the Buccaneer Classic.
Ivey Rice enters Friday’s match needing 11 kills to reach the 1,000-kill plateau for her career.
In ETSU’s six wins, Meredith Hardy is averaging 1.91 blocks per set, compared to only 0.71 blocks per set in the Bucs’ 11 setbacks. Meanwhile, Bethany Gesell is hitting .098 (75-51-244) in the 11 losses, but she’s posting a .263 clip (60-19-156) in the six wins.
Meredith Hardy is averaging 3.71 kills (26 total) and 1.43 blocks per set (10 total) in ETSU’s two conference matches, while Katie Muey is registering 5.14 digs per set (36 total). As a team, the Blue and Gold are averaging 1.57 service aces per set (11 total) in the two SoCon matches.
Following her 37-dig effort, Katie Muey moved into third-place on ETSU’s all-time digs list … Muey, who has 1,484 career digs, moved past former teammate Megan Devine (2010-13) for third, while the Buccaneer senior libero needs 110 more digs to move past Jennifer Garriga (1990-93) for second all-time.
Bethany Gesell now has three career double-doubles (two this season) and the Bucs are 3-0 in matches when the High Point, N.C. native accomplishes the feat … Gesell’s first double-double (16 kills/11 digs) of the year came in the five-set win over Georgia Tech.
Katie Muey’s 37 digs on Tuesday night were tied for 10th highest total by an NCAA Division I player this season in a five-set match ... The 37 digs are the most by a SoCon player this year, while her 33-dig effort in the three-set win over Lehigh, on Sept. 6, are the second-most digs by a SoCon player this season.
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