JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 10, 2013) – For the first time since defeating Furman on Sept. 3, the ETSU volleyball team returns to Brooks Gym this weekend as the Bucs host Stetson Friday at 6 p.m. and Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Bucs wrapped up their 13-match road swing with a 9-4 mark and won the last seven matches, improving to 11-6, 5-0 in Atlantic Sun play. The seven-match win streak is the longest since ETSU rattled off eight straight wins during the 2010 season.
ETSU currently holds a half-game lead over Jacksonville in the conference standings and a full game lead on both Stetson and FGCU.
On Saturday, ETSU will hold a tailgate event prior to the FGCU match and fans can stop by the “Quad” area outside Brooks Gym for FREE food (while supplies last) starting at 1:30 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
- ETSU wrapped up its road swing with a grueling five-set win at Lipscomb last Saturday. The Bucs were trailing by three late in the fifth-set, but used a 3-0 run to pull even at eight, while senior Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) had a hand in winning the final two points. Devine broke a 13-all score with a kill and she and Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) blocked Jewell Dobson for the match-clinching point.
- For the match, Devine totaled 18 kills and six digs, while junior Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) broke the ETSU all-time block assists record in the win over the Lady Bisons. Hardy finished with five block assists, moving her career total to 336 and surpassed Jennifer Pennington’s (1993-96) mark of 331. Hardy also added nine kills and a .471 attack percentage in the victory.
- Rice finished with her fourth double-double of the year, recording 12 kills and 12 digs.
- As a team, the Bucs out-blocked Lipscomb, 13-8, marking the seventh straight match ETSU has won the battle in blocks.
- The Hatters have been a surprise team in the A-Sun as Stetson was picked to finish last in the preseason coaches poll, but they have already tied their win total from the last two seasons combined. Stetson enters weekend play at 13-7, 4-1.
- Stetson leads the A-Sun in opponent hitting percentage (.168), while its 1.45 service aces per set ranks second behind Jacksonville.
- Individually, senior Ellen Hawks ranks third in the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.327) and fourth in blocks per set (1.01). Fellow senior outside hitter Kaley Melville ranks fifth in kills per set (3.56) and 10th in service aces per set (0.27), while sophomore setter Kayla Weller is fourth in service aces (0.33) and sixth in assists per set (10.07).
- Stetson has won seven of its last nine, but were swept in its last two matches against Florida Atlantic and FGCU.
SERIES HISTORY VS. STETSON
- ETSU is 13-0 lifetime against the Hatters and the Bucs have won all 11 matches since joining the A-Sun in 2005. The Blue and Gold are 5-0 in games played in Brooks Gym, with three of those wins being sweeps.
- Devine has recorded double-doubles in four career matches against the Hatters and tallied 61 kills, 51 digs, and 14 blocks in 16 total sets.
- Last year, Hardy finished with nine kills and a career-high 12 blocks in the five-set win in DeLand, while adding 13 kills and eight blocks at home. In three matches (10 total sets), Hardy is averaging 2.80 kills and 2.10 blocks per set against the Hatters.
- Like the Bucs, FGCU is riding a win streak as the Eagles have won six straight and enter Friday’s match with USC Upstate, 7-10, 4-1.
- The Eagles dropped 10 of their first 11 matches to start the season, but have heated up by defeating North Florida, Kennesaw State, Mercer, Bethune-Cookman, Stetson and Florida Atlantic during this win streak. FGCU has only dropped three sets during this run.
- FGCU leads the A-Sun in digs per set (15.12), while junior setter Gigi Meyer ranks fourth in assists (10.39), junior libero Whitney Masters is fifth in digs (3.95) and red-shirt junior outside hitter Jessica Barnes is sixth in kills per set (3.42).
- FGCU won last season’s regular season A-Sun title and were picked to win the league by the coaches.
SERIES HISTORY VS. FGCU
- FGCU leads the series, 7-2, but the teams have split the last four matches.
- ETSU snapped the Eagles 15-match win streak last November in Brooks Gym, while the Bucs’ other win versus FGCU came at home in 2010.
- Hardy had a match-high 20 kills in last year’s five-set win, while Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) added 57 assists, four digs, four blocks and three kills.
- Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on ASun.TV for free.
- Live stats for both matches will be provided through StatBroadcast, by visiting ETSUBucs.com. Live stats can also be accessed on your mobile devices and tablets by visiting BucsStats.com.
- Twitter updates can be accessed by following @ETSUVolleyball and @ETSUAthletics.
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- The ETSU volleyball team is off to its best conference start since the Bucs went 9-0 in 2006, while the Bucs’ seven-match win streak is their longest since winning eight straight from 10/9-10/30/2010.
- During this win streak, the Blue and Gold are averaging 14.82 kills, 13.93 assists, 14.71 digs, and 2.95 blocks per set, while holding the opposition to 12.29 kills, 11.68 assists, 13.14 digs, and 1.61 blocks per set.
- Individually, Megan Devine is averaging 4.93 kills, 3.18 digs, and hitting .343 during this seven-match run. In addition, Meredith Hardy is recording 1.71 blocks per set, Jamie Rutledge is averaging 12.32 assists per set, and Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) is hitting .321 (74-22-162) in ETSU’s last seven outings.
- Nationally, Meredith Hardy ranks second in blocks per set (1.54), Megan Devine ranks 10th in kills (4.61) and 15th in points per set (5.2), and Jamie Rutledge ranks 42nd in assists per set (10.85).
- In 117 career matches, Megan Devine has totaled 1,696 kills and 1,287 digs. The reigning A-Sun Player of the Year is the all-time ETSU leader in kills, while she is 101 digs shy of passing Kaena Apana (2006-07) for fifth. Devine’s 1,696 kills rank second among active NCAA Division I leaders (Michigan State’s Lauren Wicinski is first at 2,075). Devine also ranks second all-time in kills among A-Sun players and is 51 kills away from passing Lipscomb’s Alex Kelly for the most in conference history.
- Megan Devine has nine double-doubles this season, moving her career total to 61. For her career, Devine has played in all but two of the 119 total matches possible for ETSU.
- Meredith Hardy has played in 82 total matches since 2011 and has tallied 390 total blocks (336 block assists). Hardy broke the all-time ETSU block assists record last weekend at Lipscomb, passing Jennifer Pennington with 336 career block assists. The Buccaneer middle blocker ranks second all-time in blocks and is 148 blocks shy of break Pennington’s mark. In addition, Hardy is also 33 blocks shy of breaking the all-time A-Sun record (currently held by Campbell’s Rachel Templin, 422).
- Meredith Hardy has recorded at least one block in 79 consecutive matches.
- Junior libero Katie Muey is closing in on her 1,000th career dig as the Alexandria, Ind. native has 952 digs in 84 matches played.
- As a team, ETSU leads the A-Sun in blocks per set (2.64), while also ranking third in kills (13.5), assists (12.7) and opponent hitting percentage (.197).
- In their first five conference matches, the Bucs have out-blocked the opposition, 66.5 to 33.0.
- The Blue and Gold have won 23 of their last 30 matches inside Brooks Gym, including 11 of 12 dating back to last season.
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball page.