March 01, 20211st2nd3rd4thFinal
Western Caro.212525253
0.144Hitting Pct.0.278
194Total Attacks169
Esposito - 14
KillsGebel - 23
Arnold - 43
AssistsPrice - 54
Esposito - 2
Maring - 2
AcesGebel - 1
Gardon - 1
Cherney - 24
DigsDorsey - 23
Mattress - 5
BlocksRobinson - 4
Catamounts Defeat Bucs in Defensive Battle
Catamounts Defeat Bucs in Defensive Battle
Monday, March 1, 2021

Two teams combine for 178 digs in the four-set match

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (March 1, 2021) – After losing their last three matches, the ETSU Volleyball team looked to turn things around on Monday evening In Cullowhee against Western Carolina. In a match that saw 363 attack attempts and 178 digs, the Catamounts won the four-setter, 21-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-22. 

Set 1 (25-21 ETSU): Coach Jenkins went with a different starting lineup for the fourth straight match on Monday afternoon looking to stop ETSU’s skid. At the beginning of the match, the Bucs used two blocks from Asia Mattress (Mauldin, S.C.) to take an early 7-4 lead. Western Carolina came back with a 4-0 run to take an 8-7 advantage, but after both teams exchanged the next eight points, Jenna Forster (Maryville, Tenn.) gave the Bucs another lead at 13-12. ETSU used two kills from Sanne Maring (The Netherlands) and three solo blocks in the set to take the first frame, 25-21.

Set 2 (25-17 WCU): The Bucs won the first point of the set, but WCU’s Mery Gebel served five straight points to give the Catamounts a 5-1 advantage. Coach Jenkins took her first timeout down 10-4 and the two teams split the next six points. The Catamounts maintained a six-point lead throughout the majority of the set. At 17-12, WCU saw everything work in its favor as Mattress recorded what she thought was a block, but the ball went off of WCU’s Julia Gardon’s head for a Catamount kill.

Set 3 (25-20 WCU): Western Carolina held momentum first, up 5-3, but with a Catamount error, a kill from Mattress and the fourth Buc ace of the afternoon, ETSU tied the match at six. WCU took advantage of ETSU miscues and held a four-point, 10-6 lead. The Bucs were unable to regain momentum as WCU controlled the frame with a seven-point lead to force ETSU to call timeout, down 19-12. The Catamounts held the advantage the rest of the way as WCU took the second set, 25-19.

Set 4 (25-22 WCU): The Bucs won the first two points of the set, but like they did in the second stanza, WCU went on a 5-0 run to take a 5-2 lead. With WCU up 11-7, the Bucs fought back with a 4-0 run of their own with kills from Forster and Mattress. Entering the fourth-set media timeout, WCU was up two, 15-13. The Bucs fought back to stay in it as they won three points in-a-row to bring the score to 18-17, forcing a WCU timeout. The Bucs kept it close, but were unable to come out on top of long rallies as the Catamounts used it to their advantage and won match point and win the set, 25-22.   


  • Forster and Maring both recorded 13 kills, while Esposito led the team with 14.
  • Mattress tallied her first match with double-digit kills and set a career-best with four solo blocks, all in the first set.
  • Emily Arnold (Louisville, Ky.) finished with 43 assists and 12 digs enroute to her second straight double-double.
  • ETSU’s back-row defense was strong, led by starting libero, Sydney Cherney (Knoxville, Tenn.) who led all players with 24 digs. Sydney Allen (Gaffney, S.C.) recorded her first 10+ dig match of the season with 13.


  • ETSU falls to 4-4 in the SoCon, while WCU improves to above .500 at 5-4 in league play and 4-6 overall.
  • The Bucs’ 194 attacks are the 10th most in the nation in a four-set match this season.
  • Mattress and Forster both set career highs in kills, while the match was the first since Feb. 21 the Bucs had multiple players with double-digit kills.
  • Four Bucs recorded 10+ digs in the match for the first time this season and the first time since Sept. 21, 2019 vs Georgia Southern.
  • Forster recorded her first career double-double, also setting a career high in digs. 

The Bucs are back in Johnson City on Sunday, March 1 as ETSU hosts SoCon leading Samford at 3 p.m. in Brooks Gym.