February 15, 20211st2nd3rdFinal
UNC Greensboro2519180
0.155Hitting Pct.0.264
97Total Attacks106
Esch - 9
Anderson - 9
KillsCunningham - 14
McHugh - 22
AssistsArnold - 44
AcesEsposito - 6
Esch - 10
DigsCunningham - 12
Knier - 3
McHugh - 3
BlocksMaring - 4
Mattress - 4
Bucs Earn First Sweep with 3-0 Win over Spartans
Bucs Earn First Sweep with 3-0 Win over Spartans
Monday, February 15, 2021

ETSU moves to 4-0 to start the season

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 15, 2021) — After a five-set thriller yesterday afternoon, the ETSU Volleyball team defeated the UNCG Spartans 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-18) for their first sweep of the season in Brooks Gym on Monday evening.

How it happened:

Set 1 (27-25 ETSU): The first set was just as close as yesterday’s match. The Bucs and the Spartans were neck and neck throughout the frame with no team leading by more than three after the deadlock at 10. UNCG had two set points up 24-22 and then came the wall of Sanne Maring (Groningen, The Netherlands), and Sara Esposito (Venezia, Italy). The two upperclassmen stuffed UNCG’s Maria Esch to bring the Bucs within one. Esposito went to the service line and slotted her fourth ace of the set to tie the first. After a UNCG timeout, the Venezia, Italy native gave the Bucs a 25-24 lead with her fifth ace of the first set. After the Spartans won the next point, ETSU used two kills from yesterday’s record-breaker, Olivia Cunningham (Knoxville, Tenn.) to take the set, 27-25.

Set 2 (25-19 ETSU): ETSU got out front early in the second with an 8-1 lead with kills from four of the Bucs’ five starting attackers. UNCG battled back and wasn’t going down easy. The Spartans tied the set at13 and took the lead, up 14-13. UNCG was able to have one more lead in the rest of the set at 16-15, but that would be it for the Spartans. ETSU used a block and kill from Maring as well as a kill from Jenna Forster (Maryville, Tenn.) to put the Blue and Gold up 20-17. The Bucs closed the set on a 5-2 run to move them within on set of winning the match. 

Set 3 (25-18 ETSU): ETSU was ready to finish the match in the third. Like the first frame, Bucs and the Spartans were locked at 10. From there, ETSU ran away with it. The Bucs went on an 6-0 run with Maring behind the service line to hold a 16-10 advantage. The Spartans cut it to six at 22-16, but that was the closest they would get. The Blue and Gold used a kill from Cunningham to reach match point and Maring hammered home the win with her sixth kill of the evening and give the Bucs the set, 25-18.  

Key stats:

  • Cunningham continued to thrive on her home court as she led the match with 14 kills and 12 digs for her third-straight double-double.
  • Junior right-side hitter, Sara Esposito tallied double-digit kills for the second straight match and set a new career-best with six service aces -- five came in the first set.
  • Emily Arnold (Louisville, Ky.) quarterbacked the offense for the Bucs and recorded assists on 44 of ETSU’s 47 kills.
  • Mattress got her first collegiate start on Monday evening and set a career-high with nine kills. The freshman middle hit .353 with three errors on 17 swings. Mattress recorded four blocks (one solo).
  • Maring and Forster both hit .235 in the match. Maring recorded eight kills, while Forster had six. Maring matched Mattress’s block total tying for a match-best four stuffs.
  • Sophomore libero, Sydney Cherney recorded 10 digs in the back row while Staley Humphries helped with eight.
  • ETSU outhit ETSU .264 -.155 and had seven service aces. The Bucs had 13 more digs than the Spartans (45-32)

Inside the numbers:

  • The Bucs allowed zero aces in a match for the first time since Nov. 3, 2018 at Wofford. This marks the eighth time in the last five seasons ETSU has been perfect in serve receive.
  • After no Buccaneers accomplished the feat last season, Cunningham recorded her third straight double-double. She had nine last year.
  • Esposito’s six aces are the most by a Buc since former setter Alyssa Kvarta netted six vs Samford on Sept. 28, 2018.
  • The Bucs are 4-0 to start SoCon play for just the third time since 1991. Including the years in the ASUN, this is the sixth time since 2000 the Blue and Gold have started league play 4-0.
  • ETSU has begun the season 4-0 for the fifth time in program history.
  • The Bucs earned their 70th sweep in the last five seasons, most in the SoCon.

With the win, ETSU improves to 4-0, 4-0 SoCon and UNCG falls to 0-6, 0-6 SoCon. 

The Bucs are back on the road next weekend at Wofford. First serve is set for Sunday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.

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