October 05, 20191st2nd3rdFinal
ETSUTeam StatsMercer
0.226Hitting Pct.0.176
115Total Attacks131
Massey - 11
KillsKarle - 13
Arnold - 34
AssistsSteele - 42
Popovic - 2
AcesSmith - 2
Popovic - 17
DigsSmith - 23
Esposito - 5
BlocksHowell - 3
Bucs Record Third Straight SoCon Sweep
Bucs Record Third Straight SoCon Sweep
Saturday, October 5, 2019

Kaela Massey Records 300th Career Block-Assist 

MACON, Ga. (Oct. 5, 2019) — The ETSU volleyball team recorded their third straight sweep with a 3-0 (27-25, 25-23, 26-24) victory over the Mercer Bears. With three block assists in the contest, Kaela Massey (Brentwood, Tenn.) recorded her 300th career block assist.  

With the victory, ETSU improves to 13-3 (4-0 SoCon) as Mercer falls to 8-10 (1-4 SoCon).

Set 1 (27-25 ETSU): The Bucs held a 10-7 lead early in the first frame, but Mercer got back in the set with a 5-0 run to put the Bears up 20-16 late in the first. ETSU took advantage of two Mercer errors to tie the first set at 22 before Marija Popovic (Belgrade, Serbia) slotted her first ace of the match to put the Bucs up one. The Bears didn’t go down easy as they held the first set point up 25-24 off of back-to-back kills. Massey proved to be the difference maker in the first logging kills on consecutive points to give the Bucs the first set, 27-25.

Set 2 (25-23 ETSU): The second set began just as the first with ETSU holding an advantage early. Mercer was able to cut their deficit and tie the set at 16 as the teams began to alternate points. No team had a two-point edge in the set again until Mercer took a 23-21 advantage. The Bucs capitalized off of two kills and a block to regain the lead and ultimately take the set on a Mercer attacking error, 25-23. 

Set 3 (26-24 ETSU): The third set was just as competitive as the first two, but Mercer was unable to regain the lead late. The Bucs jumped off to a strong start and ultimately held a 20-15 advantage, but Mercer prevailed to eliminate four ETSU match points to tie the set at 24. The Blue and Gold used a kill from Lauren Hatch (Homewood, Ill.) and an attacking error from the Bears to take the frame, 26-24.

“Winning on the road is always tough and I am very proud of the fight these girls continue to show despite six straight weeks on the road,” said Benavia Jenkins. “Mercer did a great job making us execute plays. There were moments where the game could have gone either way, but we stayed calm and made plays that converted to a win.”

Key stats:

  • Massey continued to be strong on the court offensively to cap off a dominating weekend. The senior logged 11 kills on 24 swings for a.458 hitting percentage and did not have an attacking error. Massey added an ace and three blocks.
  • Sara Esposito (Venezia, Italy) was the only other Bucs to record double-digit kills with 10 on 23 attempts. She led the team with five blocks completed her line with an ace and three digs.
  • Emily Arnold (Louisville, Ky.) continued to quarterback the offense as she has all season with 34 assists. She recorded two blocks (one solo).
  • Hatch finished just one kill shy of a double-double and added 10 digs in the back row.
  • Popovic dominated the back row for the Blue and Gold recording 17 digs and had no reception errors after being targeting by 17 Bears serves.
  • There was a total of 23 ties and 23 lead changes in the match. Each of the first two sets saw nine of each while the third frame had five ties and five lead changes. 

Inside the numbers:

  • The Bucs are 4-0 to begin SoCon play for the first time since rejoining the conference in 2014.
  • ETSU recorded just 11 attacking errors in the match which ties a season-best.
  • Massey moved into fourth all-time in block assists in ETSU’s program history. She surpassed former teammate, Mariah McPartland’s total of 299.
  • Massey has now logged a hitting percentage above .400 in four matches this season.
  • After the weekend, ETSU leads the conference with an overall .232 clip.
  • The six-game win streak is a season-best for the Bucs. They have now had a win streak of six or more matches in seven straight seasons.
  • The Bucs have recorded 3-0 wins in three of four SoCon victories this season. 

The Bucs are back in action on Friday when the Blue and Gold come home to host Wofford in Brooks Gym. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. 

After starting the season with 15 consecutive road matches, Coach Jenkins said, “We’re excited to come home and see our fans in Brooks Gym next weekend!”  

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