August 31, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
0.225Hitting Pct.0.058
120Total Attacks138
Esposito - 16
KillsHayes - 19
Arnold - 33
AssistsAnderson - 37
Massey - 3
Cunningham - 3
AcesHummel - 2
Popovic - 22
DigsHummel - 12
Esposito - 10
BlocksAnderson - 3
Brooks - 3
Volleyball Defeats Troy and Improves to 3-0
Volleyball Defeats Troy and Improves to 3-0
Saturday, August 31, 2019


Bucs host a 3-0 record for the fifth time in program history

Jacksonville, Ala. (Aug. 30, 2019) – The ETSU volleyball team completed competition at the Jacksonville State Invitational with a 3-1 win over Troy University (23-25, 25-19, 25-9, 26-24). The Blue and Gold fell behind after the first set, but prevailed to take the next three and ultimately come behind in the fourth frame to win the match.

Set 1: The Bucs got off to a strong start with four straight points in the match. After nine errors through 34 attack attempts between the two teams, the frame was knotted up at 14 apiece. Just like they started the set, ETSU scored four straight points with Olivia Cunningham (Knoxville, Tenn.) behind the service line. The Trojans went on a 4-7 run towards the end of the set to bring the game to 23-23 before finishing out the set with an ace and a kill to take a 1-0 advantage in the match,

Set 2: The second frame started the same way as the first with ETSU getting off to a 4-0 lead. The Bucs and the Trojans traded points until it was a 14-14 game. The Blue and Gold jumped on a 11-5 run to close out the set.

Set 3: In the third frame, the Blue and Gold got off to the best start in a set this season going on a 10-2 run to begin the set. The Bucs never looked back as they closed out the set on a 9-0 run. The run featured four-straight kills from Cunningham to start the trend. In the set, Sara Esposito (Venezia, Italy) logged five kills and three block assists.

Set 4: The fourth frame was closer than the other three through the first 20 points. Troy took a 16-11 lead off of a 5-1 run before ETSU called a timeout. The Bucs went on a run of their own to cut the margin to two at 19-17. After Troy logged three kills in a row, the Blue and Gold called their final timeout with a 22-18 deficit. ETSU started to come from behind with two block assists from Lundyn Coffman (Nolensville, Tenn.) to cap off a 4-0 run and tie the set at 22. With a 25-24 lead, Abbie Trantham (Candler, N.C.) gave the Bucs the victory with a kill to close out the match.

Key stats:

  • Esposito finished with a double-double recording 16 kills and 10 blocks (one solo). She had a match-high .538 hitting percentage.
  • Cunningham was second with 13 kills and three blocks. The Knoxville, Tenn. native finished tied for a match-high with three aces.
  • Kaela Massey (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Trantham both logged six kills. Massey added with three aces and four blocks.
  • At the Libero spot, Marija Popovic (Belgrade, Serbia) contributed 22 digs, a season-high. Emily Arnold (Louisville, Ky.) finished with 33 assists, her third 30+ assist game of the season.
  • At the net, Coffman set a career-high with eight blocks.
  • The Trojans did not hit above .200 in a set throughout the match.

Inside the numbers

  • This is the third time in program history the Bucs have started off a season 3-0 (1987, 2001, 2012, 2016).
  • Esposito’s .538 hitting percentage is the most by a Buc since Leah Clayton hit .528 against NIU last season on Sept. 14, 2018.
  • Over the weekend, Coffman finished with a .429 hitting percentage (33-for-63).
  • Through the three games, Massey leads the team with 20 blocks (five solo).
  • The Bucs came out of yesterday as the only 2-0 team in the Southern Conference.
  • The 25-9 score in the third set is the largest margin of victory in a set for the Bucs since Oct. 7, 2017 vs Samford. 

From the coach

“We were able to try different lineups and the team responded well,” said Benavia Jenkins, head coach. “It was great to see everyone get experience and fight through adversity.”

The Bucs are back in action next weekend at the Coastal Carolina Classic. The team faces SMU, South Carolina State and Coastal Carolina.

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