ETSU volleyball finishes championship-worthy regular season this week
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 8, 2022) – After clinching the 2022 Southern Conference regular season championship this past weekend, ETSU volleyball will close out the regular season with a pair of road matches at Chattanooga and The Citadel this week.
The Chattanooga match will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 9, while the regular season finale is set for Friday, Nov. 11 in Charleston, S.C. Both matches are set to begin at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 9 – ETSU vs. Chattanooga – 6 p.m. — Johnson City, Tenn. / Live Stats / ESPN+
Friday, Nov. 11 – ETSU vs. The Citadel – 6 p.m. — Johnson City, Tenn. / Live Stats / ESPN+
ABOUT THE BUCS
- With 3-1 wins over Western Carolina and UNCG this past weekend, ETSU clinched the outright regular season conference championship and the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming conference tournament, regardless of the results this week.
- ETSU is the SoCon regular season champion for the first time since 2018, where it finished 15-1 in conference play and went on to become the first SoCon team in history to earn an at-large bid for the NCAA volleyball tournament.
- ETSU owns a 19-7 overall record — winning 19 of its last 21 games after an 0-5 start.
- The Bucs have won seven straight matches and finish with a 10-1 record at home.
- ETSU is 6-3 in true road matches this season. All six wins have come in conference play and all three losses were in non-conference tournaments against the host school (No. 15 Florida, Duke, Austin Peay).
- Since beginning conference play, the Bucs have won 41 of 52 sets.
- Sophomore Caroline Dykes (Flower Mound, Texas) continued her historic season yesterday by winning SoCon Setter of the Week for the seventh time in her career and fifth time this season. This past week, she tallied 90 assists over two matches and had a career-high four-set total of 51 in the win over UNCG.
- Dykes has led the team in assists for all 26 matches and achieved her ninth double-double of the season against Western Carolina with 39 assists and 13 digs.
- For the first time since Sept. 23 against Wofford — the conference opener — ETSU overcame a first set loss to win 3-1 when it did so against UNCG on Saturday.
- In Monday’s NCAA RPI rankings, ETSU achieved its highest ranking of the season at No. 95. The Bucs are the highest ranked team in the conference and the only one inside the Top 100. A total of 344 teams are rated in the RPI system.
- The Mocs have been one of the toughest teams to beat in the conference as of late, winning seven of its last nine matches since its win over ETSU the first go around.
- Chattanooga sits above .500 with a 15-14 overall record while sitting fourth in the league at 9-5.
- Last week, ETSU’s travel partner and in-state rival also won matches over UNCG and Western Carolina.
- In the three matches prior to last week, Chattanooga lost three-set sweeps to Furman and Mercer but won a three-set sweep over Samford.
- Chattanooga is the SoCon leader in digs at 16.48 per set. Those efforts are led by sophomore libero Paige Gallentine with a program-record six SoCon Defensive Player of the Week awards.
- Attacker Natalie Tyson ranks fourth in the league with 3.50 kills per set and second in total kills with 389 in 111 sets played.
- The Mocs are led by first year head coach Julie Torbett. Though her first season leading Chattanooga, Torbett has nearly 30 years of head coaching experience and owns a career record of 483-420.
ABOUT THE CITADEL
- The defending 2021 Southern Conference champion Bulldogs are 11-16 overall and 4-10 in SoCon play.
- The Citadel split last week’s matches with a 3-1 win over Mercer and a 3-0 loss to Samford — both on the road.
- The last time Citadel played at home was to open the month on Nov. 2 with a 3-0 loss to Wofford.
- Ali Ruffin continues to lead her team and the conference in kills with 3.89 per set and 393 total, four ahead of Chattanooga’s Natalie Tyson in 10 less sets.
- Additionally, Belle Hogan continues to lead the league in assists with 9.41 per set, ranking slightly ahead of ETSU’s Caroline Dykes at 9.35 in second. Hogan and Dykes are the only two setters in the league with over 900 assists and 9.00 assists per set this season.
- The Bulldogs are led by Coach Dave Zelenock in his fifth season in Charleston and 10th season overall. With two wins this weekend, Zelenock can notch his 100th career win as a head coach. He currently has 57 at The Citadel and achieved 41 in five years at Tennessee Tech.
- Storied rivals ETSU and Chattanooga will meet for the 76th time on Wednesday.
- The Bucs lead Chattanooga 41-34 in the all-time series. The Blue and Gold schools split last season’s meetings. Chattanooga won the first match of this season’s series, which is ETSU’s only conference loss.
- The last two matches between Chattanooga and ETSU required five sets.
- Meanwhile, ETSU leads its all-time series with The Citadel 28-1.
- The Bucs won the first 25 meetings before The Citadel snapped the skid in Spring 2021. Since then, the Bucs have won three straight and will look to sweep the season series on Friday.
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball page.