Bucs topple Temple to open day one of Gamecock Invitational with a perfect mark
Bucs topple Temple to open day one of Gamecock Invitational with a perfect mark
Friday, August 24, 2012

ETSU off to best start since 2001

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Aug. 24, 2012) – Earlier on Friday the ETSU volleyball team rallied its way to a five-set win over UNC Asheville. The Bucs didn’t need as long to dispose of Temple later in the day as ETSU swept the Owls, 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-21), in its final match of the evening at the Gamecock Invitational, located in South Carolina’s Volleyball Competition Facility.

Junior Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) recorded her second consecutive double-double of the day after finishing with 12 digs and 11 kills, while sophomore Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) also tallied a double-double of her own – posting 28 assists and 11 digs.

Overall, the Blue and Gold used a total team effort to move their record to 2-0 on the young season, while Temple dropped to 0-2 after falling to South Carolina earlier on Friday.

“It’s going to take everyone on our roster to play their role to the highest level for our team to be successful,” said head coach Lindsey Devine, whose team is off to their first 2-0 start since the 2001 season where ETSU finished 20-6. “I thought we took a step in that direction with this win tonight.”  

The Bucs stormed out of the gates early as ETSU scored the first nine points of the opening set, and quickly saw its lead balloon to 10, 18-8, when Devine slammed home consecutive kills. The Owls would only get to within eight points and Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) put the finishing touches on the set with her third kill of the game.

Just like they did in the first set, ETSU made a statement early on in the second, as the Blue and Gold forced Temple to call a timeout after registering the first five points. From there, the Bucs led 8-2 after Devine and Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) combined on a block; however, the Owls closed the gap to two, 10-8. A brief 6-2 spurt by ETSU looked to have pushed Temple to the brink when Devine powered another kill, forcing the Owls to call their final timeout with the Bucs leading, 16-10. However, when it looked like the Bucs had the set in control, the Owls slowly chipped away at their deficit as Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) was charged with back-to-back attack errors – making it a 22-21 score in favor of ETSU. Rice quickly redeemed herself by recording a kill on the next play and ended the set with her fifth of the set to give the Bucs the comfortable 2-0 lead.

The third set was played pretty evenly as neither team led by more than two points until Wiley’s kill pushed the Buccaneer advantage to 12-9. Temple used a 5-1 run to regain a 14-13 lead, but ETSU responded with four unanswered points to pull back ahead, 17-14, which caused the Owls to call their first timeout following a kill by Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.). The Owls never had a solution for the ETSU attack as Temple would only get to within two points – and despite a 3-0 spurt by the Owls late in the set – the Blue and Gold were never fazed as Hardy ended the match with her 15th kill of the evening.

In the end, the Bucs had an attacking percentage of .457 in the third set, as Wiley, Gesell, and Rice combined for 10 kills on 19 attempts.

ETSU concludes the tournament with two matches on Saturday, beginning with Akron at 12:30 p.m. and finishing with South Carolina at 3 p.m.

For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.