|September 11, 2015||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
East Tennessee State
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 10, 2015) - The East Tennessee State volleyball team will compete in its third non-conference tournament this weekend as it travels to Clemson, S.C. to take part in the Clemson Classic. The Bucs, who are 3-3 this season, will face Clemson, USC Upstate and Presbyterian this weekend.
Scouting the Buccaneers
ETSU went 2-1 last weekend in the Troy Invitational. The Bucs knocked off Alabama State, 3-1 and CSU Bakersfield, 3-0 but fell to Troy, 3-1. Following the Invite, Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Hailey Aguilar (Oswego, Ill.) were named to the Troy Invitational All-Tournament team.
Offensively, the Buccaneers have three players that are averaging at least two kills per set. Milhon, who is leading the team with 60 kills, is averaging 3.00 kills per frame, while Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) and Briana Allmon (Flower Mound, Texas) are averaging 2.57 and 2.05, respectively. Setting up ETSU’s offense this season has mainly been junior setter Kristen Favre (Plano, Texas). After averaging 6.43 assists per frame in the season’s first weekend, Favre averaged 10.00 per set last weekend.
ETSU has been one of the most stingiest defensive teams in the Southern Conference so far this season. The Bucs have held their opponents to a league-leading .145 attacking percentage, while also leading the league in blocks (93).
Scouting the Opponents
Clemson: A season after going 18-14, the Tigers have a record of 2-4 in 2015. The Tigers not only have a new coaching staff but they also have eight freshman among their 15-player roster. Despite the 2-4 start, Clemson have some standout players. Leah Perri and Kailey Harvell both average over 3.00 kills per set, while setter Kate Federico also returns after being named to the All-ACC freshman team last season. The Tigers have also brought in Northwestern State transfer Keelie Arneson to lead their defense. Arneson is 155 digs away from cracking the NCAA’s all-time list for digs.
USC Upstate: The Spartans have reeled off an 8-0 record to start the 2015 season. One of the major keys for USC Upstate’s success this season has been balance both offensively and defensivley. The Spartans have five players that have averaged at least 2.20 kills per set and five that average over three digs with two that are over four.
Presbyterian: Presbyterian College comes into the weekend with a 2-5 record. The Blue Hose are trying to replace a trio of All-Big South performers from last season in Rachel Hall, Mary Trimpe and Ashtin Frank. Despite the losses, Presbyterian has been competitive this season as two of their five losses came in five sets against ECU and New Orleans.
This season ETSU will try to acommplish something that it has only done one other time during its history and that is have a winning record for four consecutive seasons. The only other time the team did that it reeled off seven straight winning campaigns from 1987-1993.
Senior Khadijah Wiley has been one of the Bucs most well-rounded players this season. The Columbus, Ga. native is second on the team in kills (54), first in service aces (8) and blocks (30).
ETSU has been one of the best defensive teams in the Southern Conference through the early going. The Bucs not only lead the league in blocks (55) but they also have the pair of players that have the most blocks per set in the league (Khadijah Wiley - 1.43 and Mariah McPartland (Boone Iowa) - 1.10).
The Buccaneers have had very diferent levels of success this season based upon if they win the first set or not. ETSU is 3-1 when it takes the first frame but 0-2 when they don’t.
Serving it up
After two weeks of action, ETSU is second in the Southern Conference in service aces per set (1.57). The Bucs also have a pair of players that are in the top 10 in that category in Khadijah Wiley (0.38) and Kristen Favre (0.33).
Series History vs. Opponents
The Bucs have faced each of three schools they face this weekend in the past. ETSU holds winning records over Presbyterian (2-1) and USC Upstate (15-4) but has a losing mark against Clemson (0-5).
The last meetings in each of the series against the three opponents have occurred in the recent past. The Spartans and Buccaneers last met in 2013 and the last meeting betwen the other two opponents happened during the 2012 campaign.