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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 18, 2014) – Senior Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) and freshman Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.) both recorded their first-ever collegiate double-doubles and senior Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) hit .516 (19-3-31) as the ETSU volleyball team remained red-hot at home by defeating Mercer, 3-1 (25-16, 25-15, 19-25, 25-13), on Saturday afternoon inside Brooks Gym.
Muey finished with 19 digs and 10 assists, while Milhorn added 13 kills (.310 attack percentage) and 10 digs as the Bucs won their fifth straight home match. To go with her blistering attack percentage, Hardy totaled a match-high 19 kills and tallied six blocks. Meanwhile, Muey was one of three ETSU players to reach double-digit assists as senior Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the Blue and Gold with 23 and sophomore Kristen Favre (Plano, Texas) ended with 19 assists and eight digs. Rutledge also posted three blocks and three digs.
As a team, the Bucs were plus-24 in kills (57-33) and plus-11 in digs (62-51), while ETSU also totaled eight service aces. Muey led the Blue and Gold with three.
Along with extending its home win streak, ETSU has also won five straight against Mercer inside Brooks Gym and the Bucs moved to 10-13, 4-3 in SoCon play. The Bears dropped to 5-15, 1-6.
The early stages of the first set were nip-and-tuck, but with Mercer leading 8-6, ETSU finished the frame on a 19-8 surge to earn a 25-16 victory in the opener. The Bucs used strong serving by Renzey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) to begin the run as the sophomore defensive specialist served the Blue and Gold to four straight points, putting ETSU ahead, 11-8. From there, Muey joined Rice with some dominate serving as she led the Bucs to five consecutive scores, extending ETSU’s lead to eight, 17-9. The Bears never had an answer for the Bucs’ run and ETSU pulled out the nine-point win when Rutledge found Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) for the set-clinching kill. The Buccaneer defense held Mercer to a .000 attack percentage (6-6-31), while ETSU hit .281 (15-6-32) in the opener.
ETSU took a commanding 2-0 lead in the match after cruising its way to a 25-15 win in the second. The Blue and Gold started strong by winning eight of the first 11 points and built a double-digit lead when Muey found Milhorn for a kill, giving ETSU an 18-8 advantage. The Bucs eventually led by 11 as a service ace by Briana Allmon (Flower Mound, Texas) made it a 21-10 score, while Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Wiley combined for a block to end the set. The offensive prowess by Hardy (4-0-8) and Milhorn (7-0-8) was key in the frame as they combined to hit an astonishing .688 (11-0-16).
The Bucs were unable to earn their second straight sweep as Mercer exploded out of the gates after intermission and led wire-to-wire for a 25-19 set win in the third.
However, ETSU wasted little time putting the match away, as the Blue and Gold picked up a 12-point win in the fourth to finish off the Bears. The Bucs won three of the first four points of the stanza, but Mercer hung in there and captured an 8-7 lead. Fortunately, the Bucs answered the challenge by mounting a 9-2 run to go ahead, 16-10, following a service ace by Muey. With Mercer using its final timeout, the Bucs were able to add to their lead by winning nine of the final 12 points to complete the weekend sweep, 25-13. ETSU forced Mercer into a -.034 (7-8-29) hitting percentage in the final set and Hardy was nearly unstoppable in the fourth as she hit .667 (5-1-6).
For the match, the Bears hit .077 (33-23-130) as a team and were led by Emily Krogman and Molly Locke. Krogaman hit .321 (12-3-28) and Locke totaled a double-double (12 kills/14 digs) in the loss.
The Bucs wrap up their three-game home stint on Tuesday night when ETSU hosts The Citadel. First serve is set for 6 p.m. in Brooks Gym.
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For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball page.