August 30, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
Jacksonville St.232522231
0.325Hitting Pct.0.264
123Total Attacks125
Trantham - 16
KillsMilton - 18
Arnold - 42
AssistsLibs - 42
Trantham - 3
Esposito - 3
AcesAnderson - 1
Carmichael - 1
Popovic - 15
DigsSteele - 17
Massey - 8
BlocksKindermann - 4
August 30, 20191st2nd3rdFinal
Southeastern La.2318250
SLTeam StatsETSU
0.167Hitting Pct.0.351
96Total Attacks97
Hidalgo - 12
KillsHatch - 15
Hebert - 27
AssistsArnold - 34
Hebert - 4
AcesMassey - 2
Golden - 8
DigsPopovic - 11
Edo - 6
BlocksMassey - 8
Volleyball Sweeps Day One of Jacksonville State Invite
Volleyball Sweeps Day One of Jacksonville State Invite
Friday, August 30, 2019

New faces help pave the way to Jenkins first career win


Jacksonville, Ala. (Aug. 30, 2019) – The ETSU volleyball team began their 2019 campaign with back-to-back victories at the Jacksonville State Invitational by taking down Jacksonville State (3-1) and Southeastern Louisiana (3-0).  The two wins are the first for first-year head coach, Benavia Jenkins.

With the two victories, Jenkins becomes the second coach in the program’s history to start off her career 2-0 (Deane Webb, 2001). “It was a great feeling to get the first win under my belt,” she said. “We can only go up from here.”

Game one: ETSU vs Jacksonville State

The Bucs kicked off their season with a win for the second consecutive year, defeating the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23).  

Set 1: The first set was back-and-forth between the Bucs and the Gamecocks until it was 10-10 in the frame. The Bucs gained momentum and went on a 10-3 run courtesy of back-to-back aces and two kills from Abbie Trantham (Candler, N.C.) and two kills by Kaela Massey (Brentwood, Tenn.). JSU started a comeback down 22-15 and going on an 8-2 run to bring the frame to 24-23. The Blue and Gold finished out the set 25-23 off of a kill by Massey to take a 1-0 advantage in the match.

Set 2: In the second set, the Gamecocks came out strong starting off on a 4-1 run. The Bucs took their first lead of the set off a block from Massey. An up-and-down end to the game, the Gamecocks finished with a 3-0 run to take the second frame and bring the match to one set apiece. The Bucs had 40% of their total blocks (4) in the second set.  

Set 3: The Bucs started the third frame on an 11-4 run with two block assists by Trantham and Massey. Marija Popovic (Beglrade, Serbia) contributed to the run with two service aces and Lundyn Coffman (Nolensvolle, Tenn.) added two kills throughout the 11-point start. After a timeout, the Gamecocks found momentum and went on a run of their own to tie the set at 15. After a competitive end to the frame, the Blue and Gold finished it off with a kill from Coffman to take the set 25-22 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Set 4: The fourth set was the closest of the match with no team having more than a three-point advantage throughout. No team led by more than two after a JSU 6-3 lead. After points were won back-and-forth throughout the final half of the match, ETSU took the last two points off of kills from Trantham and Emily Arnold (Louisville, Ky.) to clinch the set 25-23. The Bucs finished the set with a .542 hitting percentage (14-for-24).

Key stats:

  • Trantham led the team with 16 kills (.324) and also slotted three aces, four block assists and finished one dig shy of a double-double.
  • Massey finished the match with eight blocks (four solo) and a .500 hitting percentage (11-20). The senior led the match in both categories (more than 10 attack attempts).
  • Arnold, the incoming freshman setter got the start in her ETSU debut and tied a match-high with 42 assists and tallied four kills in six attempts.
  • On the backline, Popovic added 15 digs and committed no errors.
  • Olivia Cunningham (Knoxville, Tenn.) led all freshman in the match with 12 kills in her collegiate debut.
  • Sara Esposito (Venezia, Italy) and Coffman had seven and five kills, respectively. Espositio tagged on three aces and three digs.
  • A .542 hitting percentage in the fourth set was the most for the Bucs in a set since they hit .600 (17-for-25) last season on Aug. 25, 2018 vs Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
  • ETSU doubled JSU’s total blocks (10 to 5). 

Game Two: ETSU vs Southeastern Louisiana 

After a successful first match, the Bucs came back onto the court just over an hour later and defeated the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 27-25). ETSU was down 23-18 but came back and finished the set on a 7-2 run to clinch the sweep.

Set 1: The first set started off promising for the Lions with three straight service aces to begin the match. After the Bucs began climbing back in the set, it remained close until the winning point with no team leading by more than two after a 6-3 advantage for SLU. The Blue and Gold finished off the set with two kills from Lauren Hatch (Homewood, Ill.). Hatch got off to a quick start in her collegiate debut with seven kills in the first set, a match-high.

Set 2: Both teams continued to battle throughout the first half of the second set. ETSU controlled a one-to-two-point lead throughout until they took with a 14-13 advantage. The second half of the set was a different story as the Bucs capped off the frame on an 11-5 run. The run consisted of five SLU errors and two kills from Massey and three from Hatch. ETSU took the set 25-18 to give them a 2-0 advantage.

Set 3: After two straight points by the Lions, the Blue and Gold got on the board in the third set by back-to-back kills from Alyssa Hatley (Rogersville, Tenn.) , her first of the season. Like the first two sets, the first half of the third was neck and neck. In the second half of the third stanza, SLU went from a one-point lead at 18-17 to a 23-18 advantage. ETSU came back and fought off two SLU match points to tie the set at 24. The Bucs went on a 3-1 run to close out the set and the match with two kills from Trantham.

Key stats:

  • Hatch led the match with 15 kills (.344). The Nolensville, Tenn. native also added an ace to her line.
  • For the second consecutive match, Massey totaled 11 kills (.455) and eight blocks. She finished one dig shy of a double-double and logged two aces.
  • The freshman Arnold quarterbacked the offense with 34 assists and put up five digs and two kills.
  • Trantham continued to be effective at the net logging eight kills.
  • In the second set, both teams hit below .200. ETSU went 9-for-28 (.143) while they held SLU to a -.028 hitting percentage (9-for-36 with 10 errors).

Inside the numbers:

  • Massey had eight blocks in back-to-back matches for the first time in her four-year career.
  • ETSU has won back-to-back games to start the season for the third time in the last decade (2012, 2016).
  • Trantham set a new career high with 16 kills in match one.

The team is back in action tomorrow morning at noon eastern time to face Troy and close out the Jacksonville State Invite.  

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