Volley Bucs season ends in five game heartbreaker
Volley Bucs season ends in five game heartbreaker
Friday, November 17, 2006

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 17, 2006) - Jacksonville rallied from a game down, and survived two match points in game four to post a thrilling five-game victory in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun conference tournament Friday evening.  The Lady Bucs end their record-breaking season with a 25-7 mark.


"Take nothing away from Jacksonville, they played an outstanding match," said head coach Lindsey Devine. "We didn't play to our potential today.  We were slow and hesitant at the start, and just didn't look like the scrappy we've been all season."


After scoring the match's first point, the Lady Bucs, dropped four consecutive points, and despite rallying to tie the frame twice, never regained the lead, dropping game one for just the fifth time in their last 18 matches 30-17.  ETSU was uncharacteristically sloppy throughout game one, committing 11 errors and only accumulating 13 kills for a paltry .043 hitting percentage.  Jacksonville by contrast, hit .323 with 12 kills against only two errors, cruising to the 13-point win.


ETSU responded in game two, hitting .409 and converting 22 kills on 44 attacks with just four errors.  The Dolphins (17-14) answered the Lady Bucs challenge, hitting .348 themselves while committing just three errors.  ETSU built an early six-point advantage at 11-5, but Jacksonville rallied to tie the stanza at 16.  The two squads exchanged the lead twice from there, also tying the score six more times before the Lady Bucs pulled away, securing three game points at 29-26 on senior Sarah Buhr's (Stockton, Calif.) fourth kill of the game.  After the Dolphins saved two of the points, juniors Callie Kiselich (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Michelle Mislan (Indianapolis, Ind.) punctuated the frame blocking Petya Borisova to even the match at a game apiece.


The Lady Bucs maintained their momentum into game three, pulling away with an early 8-1 run and easing to a seven-point win.  Senior Crystal Palmer (Chico, Calif.) hammered out eight kills, and senior Jennifer Sartor (Toronto, Ontario) and Kiselich added five each.  Jacksonville aided the ETSU cause with nine errors and a meager .067 hitting percentage.


The Dolphins answered in game four, fighting off two match points and closing the game on a 4-0 run, forcing a decisive game five with a 31-29 win.  The Lady Bucs twice held five-point leads and did not trail until the Jacksonville took the lead at 30-29.


The two teams traded leads early in game five, but the Dolphins pulled away with a 7-0 run for a 12-6 lead and held on for a 15-8 match-clinching victory.


Kiselich finished with a match-high 24 kills and senior Nani Emerson (Tracy, Calif.) dished out a game-best 67 assists in the loss.


It's a disappointing end to a fantastic season for the Lady Bucs.  The 2006 squad set a new school record with 16 consecutive victories and captured the program's first ever regular season championship with a perfect 9-0 conference record.