JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2013) – The ETSU volleyball team wraps up regular season play this weekend as the Bucs host North Florida and Jacksonville in Atlantic Sun Conference action. ETSU takes on UNF Friday night at 7 p.m. inside Brooks Gym and Jacksonville Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Bucs (21-7, 15-1 A-Sun) have won eight straight overall and 14 consecutive home matches, while ETSU is eyeing its first regular season conference championship since going 9-0 in 2006. The Blue and Gold lock up a regular season crown and the top seed in next week’s A-Sun Championship with a win and a Jacksonville loss.
On Friday, senior captain Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) will be honored before the game during “Senior Night” recognition, while Saturday is “Fan Appreciation Day.” One lucky fan will win $100 cash, while five others can win between $50 and $25 cash.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU extended its winning streaks by defeating Lipscomb (3-2) and Northern Kentucky (3-1) last weekend inside Brooks Gym.
Devine and sophomore Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) earned A-Sun weekly honors as Devine was tabbed Player of the Week and Wiley took home Defensive Player of the Week accolades. In the two matches, Devine averaged 5.00 kills (45 total) and 4.00 digs (36 total) per set, while Wiley posted 1.50 blocks (12 total) and 3.11 kills (28 total), along with recording a .487 attack percentage.
As a team, the Bucs averaged 14.33 kills, 13.33 assists, 1.67 service aces, 16.78 digs, and 2.89 blocks per set in the wins over Lipscomb and NKU. Junior Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) led ETSU with 38 total digs and fellow junior Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) tallied five of the Bucs’ 15 service aces.
The Ospreys (10-18, 6-10 A-Sun) enter the weekend as one of three teams fighting for the two remaining spots in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. UNF is in contention with Kennesaw State and Florida Gulf Coast for the final spots in the six-team tournament. The Ospreys have to win on Friday night to remain in the hunt for postseason play.
UNF split its two matches last weekend as the Ospreys were swept by Kennesaw State before rebounding with a 3-1 win over Mercer.
As a team, the Ospreys rank in the top three among A-Sun foes in service aces (2nd, 1.34), digs (3rd, 14.86), and blocks (3rd, 2.21).
Junior middle blocker Cameron McGuire ranks third in the conference in blocks (1.06), senior outside hitter Anna Budinska ranks fourth in kills (3.73), junior libero Cari Whitmire is fourth in digs (4.20) and freshman setter Abby Fesl is ninth in assists (8.51).
The Ospreys have won three of their last five, while six of UNF’s 10 wins have come in three-set matches.
ETSU vs. UNF
ETSU leads the all-time series, 11-4, including a five-set comeback over the Ospreys last month in Jacksonville. Devine led all players with 21 kills en route to claiming the all-time A-Sun kills record, while Muey finished with a match-high 17 kills, placing her in the 1,000-dig club. After the Bucs dropped the first two sets, ETSU took the third, 25-18, and never trailed from there as the Blue and Gold won the fourth, 25-12, and fifth, 15-13.
Friday marks a rematch of last year’s A-Sun Championship, where ETSU also defeated UNF in five sets. The Bucs won the first two sets in that match and took down the Ospreys in the fifth, 15-12.
Overall, ETSU has won six of the last seven matches in the series and all six matches at home.
Jacksonville has won five straight and 15 of its last 16 matches as the Dolphins carry a record of 25-3, 14-2 into Friday’s match at USC Upstate.
The Dolphins’ 25 wins rank third nationally (as of Nov. 11), while Jacksonville also ranks third nationally in service aces (1.79), 32nd in hitting percentage (.259), and 43rd in kills (13.80).
Jacksonville has swept four of its five opponents during this win streak and the Dolphins are a perfect 13-0 in three-set matches. Two of its three setbacks have come in five-set matches.
Sophomore Sammie Strausbaugh, senior Kendall Courtney and redshirt-junior Taylor Nyquist are first, second and third in service aces per set in the conference, boasting 0.36, 0.32 and 0.31, respectively. Courtney is also fifth in assists per set (10.36), while Strausbaugh sits eighth in kills per set (3.31). Senior Kylie Jacob is fourth in both hitting percentage (.342) and blocks per set (1.05), while Robertson is ninth in hitting percentage (.300).
ETSU vs. JACKSONVILLE
The Dolphins lead the all-time series, 9-6, including a five-set win over ETSU last month in Jacksonville.
Despite out-hitting the Dolphins, .245 to .239, ETSU committed 27 attack and 15 service errors, while also being out-blocked, 15-11, in the match. Devine ended with a double-double (18 kills, 11 digs), while Wiley, Hardy and Ivey Rice (Johnson City, Tenn.) combined to hit .407 (41-8-81). Rice led all players with 19 kills, while Hardy added 12 and Wiley pitched in with 10.
In five career matches versus Jacksonville, Devine is averaging 3.64 kills per set, while Hardy is averaging 1.53 blocks and hitting .411 (37-7-73) per set in four matches.
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.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on ASun.TV.
Twitter updates can be accessed by following @ETSUVolleyball and @ETSUAthletics.
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ETSU has registered 20-plus wins in the last two seasons, while the 15 conference wins are tied for the most in program history (2001).
The Bucs are looking to capture their sixth regular season conference championship in program history – 2006 (A-Sun), 1991 (SoCon), 1987-89 (SoCon).
As a team, ETSU ranks 25th nationally in blocks (2.74), 37th in winning percentage (.750), and 44th in hitting percentage (.249). Individually, Megan Devine is 14th in kills (4.55) and 16th in points (5.05), Meredith Hardy is 15th in blocks (1.46) and Jamie Rutledge (Kingsport, Tenn.) is 39th in assists (10.90).
Megan Devine has recorded 10 straight double-doubles and has 19 total on the season. Last season, Devine broke the A-Sun single-season record with 25 double-doubles and double-doubles in conference play with 15. Should Devine record double-doubles in both matches this weekend, the outside hitter would tie her conference mark. For her career, Devine has 71 double-doubles.
Megan Devine has played in 489 total sets in her four-year playing career, placing her second in ETSU history. Jennifer Garriga holds the all-time record with 498 sets played from 1990-93.
Megan Devine, the all-time ETSU and A-Sun kills leader with 1,897, also ranks second among active NCAA Division I players. This season, Devine has registered 487 kills, which places her fourth in ETSU single-season history. Last season, Devine broke the single-season record with 547.
Megan Devine also ranks fifth all-time among ETSU dig leaders and is two shy of passing Jennifer Manchester (1992-95) for fourth. Devine has tallied 1,439 digs in her career, and the Kingsport, Tenn. native needs 20 digs to pass Karen Freeburg (2001-04) for third.
Meredith Hardy has 131 block assists on the season, which are tied for the third-most in ETSU single-season history. Hardy’s 176 block assists last year ranked second, behind Pam Farmer’s 181, set in 1984.
Meredith Hardy leads all A-Sun players with 161 total blocks and has recorded at least one block in 90 consecutive matches. Hardy’s 161 blocks rank fifth-most in single-season history, while her 201 blocks last season are second.
The Bucs have totaled 477 block assists this season, which rank fourth in program history.
Following last weekend’s win over Lipscomb, the Bucs swept the Bisons, becoming the first A-Sun team to accomplish the feat since 2008-09.
For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com.