September 21, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
North Dakota St.252323211
0.115Hitting Pct.0.204
165Total Attacks167
Hegerle - 13
KillsMassey - 18
Johnson - 28
AssistsArnold - 43
Bachmeier - 2
Tanchin - 2
AcesMassey - 2
Cunningham - 2
Hanger - 27
DigsCherney - 17
Lien - 3
Halverson - 3
BlocksMassey - 7
September 21, 20191st2nd3rd4th5thFinal
Ga. Southern23251625132
GSTeam StatsETSU
0.191Hitting Pct.0.17
173Total Attacks200
Turner - 17
KillsCunningham - 23
Brown - 46
AssistsArnold - 41
Jones - 2
Turner - 2
AcesCunningham - 4
Jones - 36
DigsCherney - 30
Bumford - 4
Bryant - 4
BlocksMassey - 6
ETSU Sweeps Final Day of Tennessee Classic
Cunningham and Massey are the first players this season to log double-doubles in back-to-back matches
ETSU Sweeps Final Day of Tennessee Classic
Saturday, September 21, 2019

Massey and Cunningham Log Double-Doubles in Both Matches

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 21, 2019) – ETSU’s volleyball team swept the final day of the Tennessee Classic with wins over North Dakota State University and Georgia Southern. The Blue and Gold complete non-conference action with a SoCon best 9-3 record and 8-0 in neutral site games.

The Bucs were led all day by Kaela Massey (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Olivia Cunningham (Knoxville, Tenn.). The two players combined for 66 kills, 11 aces, 14 blocks and 55 digs.

“I am proud of our players and showing their fight to win games,” said Head Coach Benavia Jenkins. “They fought hard against scrappy teams like NDSU and Georgia Southern. We did a good job finding ways today to score in tough situations.”

Match one: ETSU (8-3) vs NDSU (5-6)

The Bucs were able to get themselves back in the win column with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-21) win over the NDSU Bison. Massey finished three blocks shy of a triple-double with 18 kills, 14 digs and seven blocks.

Set 1 (25-23 NDSU): The Bison took the lead early at 9-4 before building upon their lead to take a 17-9 advantage. ETSU jumped on an 8-3 run to bring the set within three. The Blue and Gold took away NDSU’s lead and tied the frame at 22. The Bison finished the set on a 3-1 run to give them a 1-0 advantage in the match.  

Set 2 (25-23 ETSU): The second set was just as competitive as the first. The Bison jumped onto a 15-7 lead forcing an ETSU timeout. The Bucs came out of the timeout and went on a 5-0 run before forcing the Bison to call a timeout. ETSU found themselves down 19-14 and then they went on another run, this time a 6-1 rout to tie the set at 20. The two squads alternated points until the Bucs took a 24-22 lead to ultimately give them the victory in the frame 25-23.   

Set 3 (25-23 ETSU): For the first time in the match, ETSU started strong in the third frame. The Blue and Gold got off to a 10-5 lead. Like the first two frames, the team that was down came back as the Bison tied the second set at 20. The Bucs capitalized on three kills from Sara Esposito (Venezia, Italy) and two NDSU attack errors to take the set 25-23 and a 2-1 advantage in the match.

Set 4 (25-21 ETSU): The fourth set was the closest out of the gate with the teams locked at 10 through the first 20 points. NDSU went on a 3-0 run to take a 13-11 advantage before the Bucs went on a 6-1 run on their own. Unlike the first three sets, the lead was not given up and the Blue and Gold took the fourth and final set on a kill from Cunningham.

Key stats:

  • Massey, Cunningham and Esposito all logged double-digit kills. Esposito led the match with a .414 hitting percentage. Cunningham and Massey completed double-doubles combining for 26 digs and 31 kills. Massey added seven blocks (two solo) to her match one stats.
  • Emily Arnold (Louisville, Ky.) continued to quarterback the offense as a freshman totaling 43 assists and finishing one dig shy of a double-double.
  • Lauren Hatch (Homewood, Ill.) came off the bench and was fourth on the squad with eight kills and third with 13 digs.
  • Sydney Cherney controlled the back row with 17 digs in her second-straight start at the libero spot.
  • The Bucs had 11 blocks compared to NDSU’s seven.
  • The Bison did not hit above .150 in a set. Their best hitter had a .231 attack clip (13-for-39).

Match two: ETSU (9-3) vs GSU (5-6)

ETSU found themselves in their fourth five-set match of the season and third in five games against the Eagles. The Blue and Gold prevailed in the fifth set with seven kills from Cunningham to give the Bucs a 3-2 victory (25-23, 14-25, 25-16, 25-23, 15-13).

Set 1 (25-23 ETSU): For the first time all weekend, the Bucs jumped on a 4-0 run to start the match. They held the lead throughout the first frame until the score was knotted up at 15 apiece and GSU took a 16-15 lead. The two teams went back-and-forth between the Bucs and the Eagles before ETSU won the set off of a Massey kill and a setting error by GSU.

Set 2 (25-14 GSU): The Eagles jumped on a 10-2 run to start the set and controlled momentum from there. The Eagles hit .423 in the second frame which led to a 25-14 win in the second to tie the match at one set apiece.

Set 3 (25-16 ETSU): The Bucs saw the Eagles rout in the second stanza and wanted a dominant set of their own. The first few points went back-and-forth before the Bucs went on a 9-3 run to give them a 14-7 lead. Ultimately, ETSU held an eight-to-nine-point lead throughout to take the set 25-16. The Blue and Gold held the Eagles to a .049 attack clip as the Bucs logged just nine kills on 32 attempts with only one error.

Set 4 (25-23 GSU): The fourth set was similar to the first with the set being close until it was knotted up at 21. The Eagles finished the second frame on a 6-2 run shaking off a late ETSU comeback attempt. Both squads hit below .200 in the set.

Set 5 (15-13 ETSU): The fifth and deciding final set was arguably the most exciting set the Bucs played all weekend. Both teams exchanged the first nine points of the set until the Bucs took a 5-4 lead and ultimately had a 9-6 advantage. GSU jumped on a 4-0 run to take a 10-9 lead. The Bucs battled back and the two teams alternated points until it was tied at 13. Hatch slotted a kill to give ETSU match point before Cunningham logged her seventh kill of the set to give the Bucs a 3-2 win!

Key stats:

  • Cunningham had a career-best 23 kills, which led the match. She added 13 digs and four aces to her final line.
  • Massey and Hatch logged 12 and 10 kills respectively. Massey completed a double-double with 16 digs and recorded three aces.
  • Arnold totaled 41 assists and two kills. She joined Cunningham and Massey with a double-double capped off by 11 digs.
  • Cherney set a career-high with 30 digs in the back row as libero for the Blue and Gold.
  • In the fifth set, GSU logged just five kills, ETSU had 12.

Inside the numbers

  • The Bucs logged 11 aces in game two of the day. It’s the first time in the last five years they have had more than 10 in a match.
  • After not winning a match in four years when being outhit, ETSU has won two matches when being outhit in the last two weekends. GSU outhit the Bucs .191 to .170.
  • Cunningham and Massey completed double-doubles in both matches. The first time this season a player has accomplished the feat in back-to-back games.
  • Cherney became the first Buc to record 30 or more digs since Marija Popovic recorded 32 at Samford on Oct. 27, 2018. She finished with 30 against GSU.
  • The Blue and Gold totaled 87 digs in the final match of the weekend, the most since they had 86 against Furman on Nov. 2 last season.
  • ETSU heads into conference play atop the SoCon with a 9-3 record. They finish non-conference action 8-0 against neutral opponents and 1-3 against tournament hosts. 

“Heading into conference play, we will continue to find ways for our pins to score points,” said Jenkins. “We need to ensure that we are staying disciplined on defense.”

The Bucs begin conference play on Friday, Sept. 27 when they head to South Carolina to take on Furman. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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