Volley Bucs are awesome in tournament opener
Volley Bucs are awesome in tournament opener
Friday, September 8, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (September 8, 2006) - The ETSU volleyball squad opened the first day of competition at the Lady Bucs Volleyball Classic presented by Best Western with a three game sweep of Furman, 30-26, 30-25, 31-29, posting the program's first victory over the Paladins since a four-game victory in Greenville in 2002.  The Lady Bucs now sit at 6-2, and are off to the program's best start since a 13-1 beginning in 2001.


"Awesome," said head coach Lindsey Devine.  "This is a testament to our level of confidence, that every time we step on the court we have the expectation of winning."


The Lady Bucs controlled the match from the outset, building an eight point lead in the opening game at 25-17 with the help of Jennifer Sartor's (Toronto, Ontario) and Callie Kiselich's (Colorado Springs, Colo.) five and four kills, respectively.  After the Paladins (4-3) rallied to cut the Lady Buc lead to 27-26, Kiselich's fourth kill of the game followed by two Furman attack errors gave ETSU the first game.


Game two featured more of the same, as the Lady Bucs again built an eight point lead aided by the heavy swings of Sartor and Kiselich.  Senior Crystal Palmer (Chico, Calif.) chipped in three kills of her own, and ETSU never allowed the Paladins closer than four points after taking an 15-10 lead, cruising to the five-point second game victory.


The Lady Bucs trailed for much of game three, and faced two game points at 27-29 before Kiselich and Sartor struck again, each hammering home kills to even the match at 29.  Consecutive attack errors from the Paladins then lifted ETSU to the sweep.


Sartor tallied a match-high 15 kills on the night, while senior Nani Emerson (Tracy, Calif.) distributed 41 assists and junior Kaena Apana (Waianae, Hawaii) was superb defensively, digging out 18 Paladin attacks.


"It's great to see the tremendous hard work we've been putting in reinforced in front of our fans," said Devine.  "We played with a lot of heart tonight; making the scramble plays, while still playing with confidence and calmness."


The tournament continues Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. with Winthrop taking on Furman.  The Lady Bucs return to court with a 12:30 tilt against Evansville, and conclude tournament play at 5:30 p.m. against Winthrop.