Volleyball splits two matches on final day of SpringHill Suites Invitational

Saturday, September 18, 2010


STATESBORO, Ga. (Sept. 18, 2010) - The ETSU volleyball team defeated Winthrop in five sets after falling to Georgia Southern in the morning to finish the SpringHill Suites Invitational with a 3-1 record.
"Overall I thought we had a very good weekend," said ETSU head coach Lindsey Devine. "We had several players step up and contribute in a major way."
Despite winning the opening, the Bucs dropped the next three sets to Georgia Sourthern (25-22, 21-25, 20-25, 20-25) in the opening match of the day.
ETSU opened with a 4-0 run to start the match and held the lead the remainder of the frame. Trailing 22-17, Georgia Southern responded with a 3-0 run to cut the score to 22-21. But ETSU closed out the opening set, 25-22.
Georgia Southern and ETSU tied the score eight times with one lead change in the second frame. Again, the Bucs gained the early lead, holding the advantage through a 17-17 tie. The Eagles took their first lead of the match at 18-17 and used a 6-2 run to cap the set with a 25-21 victory. Georgia Southern finished with a .342 attack percentage in the set.
The Eagles opened set three with a 5-1 run, but the Bucs charged back, knotting the score at 6-6. ETSU took a slight advantage thereafter, but Georgia Southern took over the lead at 11-10 and ultimately capturing the set, 25-20.
In the fourth set, Georgia Southern once again opened with a 3-0 run, but ETSU quickly tied the score at 3-all. The teams kept the set close with neither team leading by more than two points until 21-20 when the Eagles sealed the match win with a 4-0 run.
Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Alysa Long (Romulus, Mich.) led the Bucs offensively in the match with 13 kills and 12 kills respectively. Devine also added 12 digs to finish with her fourth double-double in the last six matches. Erin Ryan (Davie, Fla.) finished with nine kills and nine digs, while Whitney Cogburn (Kingsport, Tenn.) had 34 assists, four kills, and seven digs. Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) led the Bucs defensively with 16 digs.
ETSU 3, Winthrop 2
The two teams were tied at 5-5 in the first set before ETSU (9-5) went on a 20-9 run to take the set. The ETSU offense accounted for 17 kills and a match-high .297 hitting percentage in the opening set. 
In the second set Winthrop (3-9) took an early 7-6 lead, and after ETSU came back to claim a 24-23 lead, the Eagles held off a set point before tying the game at 24. An attack error by ETSU and a service ace gave Winthrop a 26-24 win to even the match at 1-1.
In the third set, the Buccaneers had an early 6-5 advantage, but Winthrop stormed back with a 20-12 run to take the set 25-18. The Eagles finished the third set with their highest hitting percentage of the match at .375. 
The two teams swapped points early in the fourth set before ETSU took control late. Holding a 20-18 advantage, the Bucs evened the match with a 5-1 run to win 25-19, setting up the decisive fifth set.
In the final set, Winthrop appeared to be pulling away as it took a 12-9 lead, but ETSU then surged back and went on a 5-0 run to take a 14-12 lead and put the Eagles against the wall. Winthrop fended off one set point, but could not fend off a second as Devine had a kill to close out the match.
"The team really showed tremendous heart in this match," added Devine. "I am just proud of the way we kept battling even when we got down late."
The Bucs were led offensively by Devine, Long and Ryan. Devine finished with a career-high 22 kills and also added six digs and four block assists. Long had 12 kills, four digs, two solo blocks, and five block assists. Ryan had 13 kills and six digs. Cogburn finished the evening with a double-double as she dished out 49 assists and added 12 digs. She was also just two kills away from a triple-double. Tamblyn once again led the defensive efforts with 16 digs.
Long was named to the SpringHill Suites Invitational All-Tournament Team after two straight matches of double digit kills while also leading the ETSU blocking efforts.
The Bucs return to action on Wednesday night as they travel to Chattanooga for a non-conference showdown with longtime rival UT Chattanooga. The match is set for 7 p.m.
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