JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 30, 2014) – The ETSU volleyball team gears up for a busy weekend as the Bucs travel to UNC Greensboro on Friday, while returning home to host in-state rival Chattanooga in a Saturday night Homecoming match inside Brooks Gym. Both game times are set for 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (11-14, 5-4 SoCon) is coming off a tough five-set loss at Samford last Friday. The Bucs dropped the first two frames before rallying back to force a winner-take-all fifth set; however, the Bulldogs survived for the conference win, 3-2 (17-25, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 13-15).
Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) led the Blue and Gold offensively as the senior duo both registered 11 kills each, while junior Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) totaled nine kills and eight blocks. Gesell also just missed a double-double as she totaled nine digs, along with adding a pair of blocks and service aces.
Senior Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished with a team-high 22 assists and sophomore setter Kristen Favre (Plano, Texas) tallied with 20 assists, eight digs and four services.
The Bulldogs overcame their 14 service errors by finishing plus-17 in kills, 64-47, while out-hitting ETSU, .261 (64-24-153) to .227 (47-18-128). Both teams totaled eight service aces, and the Bucs were plus-3 in digs (55-52) and plus-1 in blocks (10-9).
UNCG (14-9, 6-4 SoCon) picked up a pair of road wins last weekend as the Spartans swept both Chattanooga and Samford.
Red-shirt junior Julia Westerbur leads the SoCon in attack percentage (.376), while senior Vicky Harley and junior Katherine Santiago are the top defensive leaders for the Spartans. Harley ranks fourth in the conference in blocks per set (1.05) and Santiago is second behind Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) in digs per set 4.68. Harley is also fifth in in attack percentage (.314).
The Spartans top the SoCon in opponent hitting percentage (.184) and digs per set (16.49), while also placing in the top three in kills (13.08) and assists per set (12.33).
Nine of UNCG’s wins have come in three sets, while the Spartans are 6-2 at home this season.
ETSU VS. UNCG
ETSU leads the all-time series, 15-8, while the Bucs already took down UNCG in four sets earlier this season in Johnson City.
The Blue and Gold were led by 18 kills apiece from Wiley and Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.), as well as 27 digs from Muey and 47 assists from Favre. As a squad, the Bucs held a 60% (52-86) team attack percentage and nine total team blocks.
ETSU has won its last four matches in Greensboro.
Chattanooga (12-13, 5-5 SoCon) has lost three of its last four matches and were swept over the weekend by UNCG and Mercer.
The Mocs rank third in the SoCon in digs (15.71), while being fifth in attack percentage (.211), blocks per set (1.98) and service aces per set (1.37).
Individually, junior middle blocker Lauren Gainer ranks third in the league in attack percentage (.327) and blocks per set (1.06). Sophomore outside hitter Allie Davenport is second in service aces per set (0.45).
The Mocs play at Western Carolina on Friday night.
ETSU VS. CHATTANOOGA
Saturday marks the 58th all-time meeting, with ETSU holding a 30-27 lead.
The Bucs have won six of the last seven meetings, including a 3-1 win over the Mocs back in September at Chattanooga.
Senior Katie Muey enters the weekend with 1,660 career digs and is 29 digs shy of passing Tish Wilson (1991-94) for the most in ETSU history. Muey’s 1,660 career digs rank 18th among active NCAA Division I players, while her 478 sets played are the most by any active player.
Muey’s 498 total digs this season rank seventh nationally, while her 40-dig effort at Western Carolina (10/11/14) marks the eighth highest total by a NCAA Division I player in a five-set match this year. Muey only needs five more digs to post the fifth-highest single-season total in ETSU history. The 40 digs are a career-best for the Buccaneer senior libero, while her 33-dig performance in the three-set win over Lehigh back in September are the second-most by a player this season.
Fellow senior Meredith Hardy has recorded 590 career blocks, which ranks second among active NCAA Division I players and also marks an ETSU record. Hardy has posted at least one block in 118 consecutive matches, while her 116 blocks this year rank 19th nationally.
Hardy has also totaled 1,218 career kills and needs 31 more to move into fifth-place all-time in the Buccaneer record book.
As a team, ETSU’s 130 digs in its match at Western Carolina are tied for the fourth-highest total in a five-set match this season.
Following Friday’s match at UNCG, the Blue and Gold return home where ETSU has won its last six matches inside Brooks Gym.
Coach Devine, ETSU’s all-time winningest coach, is two wins shy of recording No. 200 for her career.
Saturday’s match will feature live stats via StatBroadcast.
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