Friday, November 30, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the first time in program history, the ETSU volleyball team plays in the NCAA Tournament as the Bucs square off against No. 16 seed Kentucky in the first round of the single-elimination tournament on Friday night. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m., in Memorial Coliseum.
The Bucs are looking to become the first A-Sun team to win a first round match since 2003, when Central Florida defeated Cincinnati in five-sets. The A-Sun's other first-round victory came in 1997, when UCF swept Clemson and fell to host Wisconsin in the second round.
The A-Sun is 0-3 against the SEC in NCAA Tournament play, as Florida defeated UCF in 2002 and 2003 and FAU in 2005.
ETSU claimed its first ever A-Sun Championship title on Nov. 17, defeating a red-hot North Florida team in five sets (25-23, 26-24, 18-25, 22-25, 15-12) in Allen Arena in Nashville. The Bucs enter the NCAA Tournament on a three-match winning streak and have won 11 of their last 15 matches en route to posting an overall record of 23-12.
The winner of the ETSU/Kentucky match will take on the winner of the Ohio State/Notre Dame match on Saturday night at 7 p.m., for the right to advance to the West Lafayette Regional next weekend.
Of the three opponents in the Lexington pod, the Bucs have only faced one of the teams as ETSU is 0-1 lifetime against Kentucky. The Bucs and Wildcats played in the Mortar Board Premier Tournament back on Sept. 17, 2004 in West Lafayette, Ind., in which Kentucky swept the Blue and Gold (26-30, 21-30, 27-30). ETSU has never faced Ohio State or Notre Dame.
• ETSU was second overall in the A-Sun in hitting pct. (.227) and led the conference in blocks (2.67/set). The Bucs averaged 2.76 blocks per set in A-Sun matches only.
• Individually, Devine was second in the A-Sun in kills (3.96/set) and Meredith Hardy led the conference in blocks (1.46/set). In A-Sun play only, Devine was second with 4.04 kills per set and Hardy led with 1.57 blocks per set.
• ETSU is the seventh consecutive team from the state of Tennessee to claim the A-Sun Championship title.
• ETSU also broke Atlantic Sun records in total blocks with 363.5, blocks for conference only matches (198.5) and season average (2.67).
• As a team, the Bucs broke a pair of ETSU program records this season as the Blue and Gold set new marks in block assists (609) and sets played (136).
• Individually, Megan Devine broke school records for attack attempts in a career with 3,952, while her 1,548 attack attempts and 539 kills are also new single-season ETSU marks.
• Devine also set conference records for double-doubles in a season (25) and conference only matches (15), while also setting A-Sun records for attack attempts in a season (1,548) and in conference only matches (839).
• Devine is fifth on the A-Sun career list (1402) in kills.
• Sophomore Meredith Hardy has recorded at least one block in 61 straight matches. She also set single-season A-Sun records for blocks in a season (199) blocks in A-Sun only matches (113)and season average (1.44), and tied the A-Sun mark for blocks in a conference match (12).
• Megan Devine enters Friday’s match needing 18 kills to tie Callie Kiselich’s (2004-07) record for the most career kills in program history. Kiselich finished her four-year career with 1,420 kill.
• Hardy needs only needs seven block assists to tie Pam Farmer’s ETSU single-season record of 181, which was set in 1984.
• Khadijah Wiley has posted at least one block in all of her 30 matches played this season.
• Bethany Gesell is averaging 2.7 kills per set over her last 17 matches and has recorded double-digit kills in 14 of her last 17 outings.
• Sophomore Katie Muey has totaled double figures in digs in 17 of her last 18 matches.