October 08, 20211st2nd3rdFinal
MercerTeam StatsETSU
0.243Hitting Pct.0.056
107Total Attacks124
Karle - 11
KillsEsposito - 13
Paskevic - 35
AssistsDykes - 22
de Oliveira - 2
AcesEsposito - 1
Dykes - 1
Vazquez - 1
Major - 12
DigsDykes - 11
Howell - 6
BlocksCoffman - 3
Bucs Can’t Carry Momentum, Fall to Bears in Three
Bucs Can’t Carry Momentum, Fall to Bears in Three
Friday, October 8, 2021

ETSU hit under .100 for the first time since Tennessee

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 8, 2021) – With both teams looking to keep up with UNCG atop the SoCon standings, ETSU fell to Mercer in straight sets (24-26, 17-25, 17-25) as the Bears rode their defense and 39 kills to victory. Sara Esposito (Pianiga, Venezia, Italy) lead the team with 13 kills, her fifth straight with 13+, while Lundyn Coffman (Nolensville, Tenn.) provided sparks throughout the match with her seven kills and three blocks. 

MATCHUP:  Mercer (8-8, 4-1 SoCon) vs. ETSU (7-10, 3-3 SoCon)

Set 1 (MER, 26-24): A set that seemed as close as the score showed, each team finished with nearly similar statistics but Mercer stole set point away with a couple of kills. Neither team had any substantial lead going into the media timeout, and the trend continued afterward up until Mercer called the first timeout when ETSU was up 20-18. Coffman and Esposito continued to be the Bucs offense, while Samantha Shafer (Franklin, Tenn.) carried two clutch kills towards the end to set up set point for the Bucs, but Mercer eventually would come away with it. Both teams hit .220 with 16 kills and two blocks, but Mercer got the upper hand with an ace and one less service error. Caroline Dykes (Flower Mound, Texas) recorded ten of ETSU’s 16 assists in the set. Esposito finished the set with six kills to pace all players.

Set 2 (MER, 25-17): The Bucs got ahead early with aces from Dykes and Josannah Vazquez (Mansfield, Texas), but Mercer swung the set with an 8-2 run to take the lead. A few attack errors from Mercer allowed ETSU to stay close, but an eventual 11-4 run to end the set put Mercer up 2-0. Neither team hit particularly well, as it was Mercer’s seven blocks in the set that held ETSU’s offense to hitting negative for the first time since the Tennessee match. The Bears outpaced the Bucs in kills, assists, and blocks. Esposito increased her match total to nine after the second set.

Set 3 (MER, 25-17): Mercer got back on top of the set to start as Esposito and Coffman got the first few points for the Bucs. The two squads traded some errors before Mercer would take an ace and four kills into a six-point lead. Coffman and Jenna Forster (Maryville, Tenn.) were able to tally a few kills themselves to cut the deficit, but the Bears went on a run of their own to lead by as many as nine. The former pair would again hold off Mercer in match point, but reigning SoCon Defensive Player of the Week Rayanne de Oliveira ended the match with two kills herself. Both Coffman and Esposito would finish with four kills in the set, as Dykes had all nine of ETSU’s assists. ETSU managed 10 kills compared to Mercer’s 16 on a match-high .353 hitting.

Outside the Box Score:

  • With 22 assists and 11 digs, this marks the fifth straight match that Dykes has recorded a double-double and the 11th for the freshman this season. She ties Alyssa Kvarta’s five-match streak back in 2017, while her 11th on the season ties ETSU great Megan Devine with the most double-doubles as a true freshman in a season in the last decade.
  • Taylor Roberts (Sneads, Fla.) saw her season-opening streak of double-digit digs end this evening as she recorded eight in the loss. Her 16 straight matches tie to what Marija Popovic accomplished at the end of the 2019 season.
  • This is the second ETSU has hit under .100 this season, as they did so in the three-set loss against Tennessee in the first weekend of competition.
  • ETSU has now lost three straight matches to the Bears dating back to last spring, the longest win streak against the Bucs since their first meeting in 2005. ETSU still leads the all-time series 25-8.

Up Next:

The Bucs face another midweek clash against Chattanooga at home on Tuesday, Oct. 12th. First serve is set for 6:00 p.m. The match will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s volleyball page.