Volleyball defeats Kennesaw State in five-set thriller
Volleyball defeats Kennesaw State in five-set thriller
Friday, October 28, 2011

KENNESAW, Ga. (October 28, 2011) – Four ETSU players recorded double-digit kills, while Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Kayla Williams (El Paso, Texas) each had double-doubles to lead the Bucs past Kennesaw State, 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 19-25, 15-12), in a thrilling five-set match.

The win moves ETSU to 12-14 on the season and more importantly an even 5-5 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, while snapping Kennesaw State’s six match winning streak. Meanwhile, Kennesaw State falls to 11-13 and 6-3 in conference play.

Devine picked up her 11th double-double of the year as she had 20 kills and 14 digs to lead the ETSU charge. Williams dished out a match-high 50 assists to go with 14 digs. Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) added 13 kills and four digs, while McKayla Barber (Columbus, Ind.) and Krista Hughes (Williamsburg, Va.) each tallied 12 kills. Barber added four digs and a team-high three blocks. Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) led the ETSU defensive efforts with a match-high 21 digs, while also adding six assists.

ETSU out-hit Kennesaw State .161 to .129 on the night, while gaining a decisive 64-48 advantage in kills. The Bucs dished out 57 assists compared to just 44 for the Owls.

ETSU jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the opening set, but Kennesaw State quickly responded by taking the next eight points to gain a 9-4 advantage. The Bucs reeled off the next five points to tie the score at 9-9. The teams traded the next several points until KSU went on a 4-0 to take a 20-17 lead. ETSU got within two at 21-19, but the Bucs could not get any closer as Kennesaw State took the set, 25-21. The Owls out-hit the Bucs .143 to .024 in the set. ETSU had 13 kills compared to just 11 for Kennesaw State, but the Bucs also had 12 errors compared to just five for the Owls. Devine, Barber and Hardy each had three kills to lead the ETSU offense in the frame.

The Bucs got off to a quick 4-1 advantage for the second straight set. After KSU pulled within one at 4-3, ETSU took the next three points to extend the lead to 7-3. KSU chipped away at the lead once again as the Owls cut the lead to one at 14-13. ETSU won the next three points thanks to back to back kills and a KSU attack error. The Bucs maintained the lead throughout the rest of the set – earning a 25-17 win – to tie the match at a set apiece. ETSU hit a solid .216 in the set, while limiting Kennesaw State to .000 hitting in the frame. Devine led the Bucs with four kills in the set.

The third set was back and forth through the first several points until ETSU broke a 9-9 tie by winning the next three points. Kennesaw State quickly answered by going on a 3-0 of its own to tie the score at 13. The Bucs would not let the Owls take the lead as they reeled off three straight points once again for a 16-13 advantage. The Owls immediately responded by winning the next five points to take a two point lead. The back and forth play continued as ETSU took the next four points to regain the lead. Kennesaw State could not muster up another run as ETSU won the set, 25-21. The Bucs out-hit the Owls .185 to .152 in the frame.

Kennesaw State jumped out to an early 11-3 lead in the fourth set. ETSU cut the lead to five on a couple of different occasions but that is as close as the Bucs would get. Kennesaw State cruised to a 25-19 win to force a decisive fifth set. The Owls hit a strong .258 in the set, while holding ETSU to just .074 hitting.

Both teams traded points early in the set, but ETSU had a slight 8-7 lead as the two teams switched sides. The two teams continued to trade points, but with the score tied at 12, ETSU got a huge block from Jamie Stancliff (Advance, N.C.) and Barber to regain the lead. After a KSU timeout, an Alyssa Lang attack error gave ETSU set point at 14-12. Barber came up big again as the senior recorded a match clinching kill to give the Bucs the set, 15-12.

Justine Young led three Kennesaw State players in double figures with 14 kills. Lang recorded a double-double of 12 kills and 15 digs, while Baylee Strachan added 10 kills for the Owls.

The Bucs return to action on Saturday, November 5 when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C. for a contest with USC Upstate. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

For more information on ETSU volleyball please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link.