|August 26, 2022||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
East Tennessee State
Thomas - 5
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2022) – The ETSU volleyball team suffered a four-set loss (21-25, 14-25, 25-15, 21-25) to Virginia in its 2022 season opener on Friday at the Gators Invitational inside the O’Connell Center.
After a slow start, the Bucs picked up momentum by cruising to a wire-to-wire win in the third and had a chance to force a fifth set before Virginia closed things out with a rally in the fourth.
The Blue and Gold were held to a .182 attack percentage (44-18-143), while Virginia hit .277 (59-21-137) and totaled 12 blocks. The Cavaliers hit .400 in the opener and .333 in the second set, before ETSU heated up with a .400 clip in the third (14-2-30), cruising to the 10-point win. Unfortunately, after a fourth set that saw 15 ties and four lead changes, Virginia finished on a 7-2 run to cap off a rally and end the match.
Senior Olivia Cunningham (Knoxville, Tenn.) – playing her first match since Feb. 21, 2021 – led the Bucs with 11 kills, while sophomore Caroline Dykes (Flower Mound, Texas) dished out 25 of ETSU’s 40 assists. Dykes, a Southern Conference all-freshman selection a year ago, also added two kills, eight digs and two blocks. Sophomore libero Haley Sanders (Brentwood, Tenn.) posted a team-high 21 digs, while seven Buccaneers accounted for their 10 blocks.
Sophomore Abbey Thomas (Goldsboro, N.C.) recorded eight kills and five blocks to go with a .389 attack percentage (8-1-18), and senior Lundyn Coffman (Nolensville, Tenn.) paced the Blue and Gold with a .429 clip (7-1-14). Coffman also added five blocks at the net.
As a team, Virginia finished with 67 digs – 24 coming from Madison Morey – while Abby Tadder (14 kills, .591 attack percentage) and Grace Turner (13 kills) combined for 27 of the Cavaliers’ 59 kills.
The teams combined for 17 service errors with UVA totaling 10.
Dykes played in her 29th straight match to start her collegiate career, moving her total assist number to 908.
The Bucs look to bounce back on Saturday as ETSU takes on host and 15th-ranked Florida at Noon, followed by a 4:30 p.m. match with UNF.
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball tab.