Serving Up #ASunVB Notables for Week 10
Lipscomb's Lauren Ford is third among active leaders in kills with 1014. She and the Lady Bisons need just one more conference win to punch their ticket to the A-Sun Championship.
Lipscomb's Lauren Ford is third among active leaders in kills with 1014. She and the Lady Bisons need just one more conference win to punch their ticket to the A-Sun Championship.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MACON, Ga. - ETSU has clinched its spot in the upcoming A-Sun Championship and Jacksonville and Lipscomb are one conference win away from punching their ticket as the second half of the season begins to unfold with three weeks of play remaining in the regular season.

The Bucs were the first to clinch a spot on Tuesday, winning their 12th straight home match against Kennesaw State and sharing in a milestone with junior Meredith Hardy as she became the A-Sun's career leader in blocks. Hardy is the second Buc to become an A-Sun career  leader, as teammate Megan Devine became the career leader in kills just two weeks ago. The conference leader at 11-1, ETSU will affect the middle of the A-Sun standings this weekend as it goes on the road to face FGCU and Stetson.

Deadlocked at 10-2 and in a tie for second, Jacksonville and Lipscomb need just one win to claim their spot in the 2013 A-Sun Volleyball Championship as well. JU hosts cross-town rival North Florida on Nov. 1 and FGCU on Nov. 5 in its next two matches, while the Lady Bisons go on the road as well to face Kennesaw State and Mercer this weekend. The Dolphins are a perfect 10-0 at home this season, and Lipscomb now has the longest win streak in the conference at seven matches and has won nine of its last 10.

After getting off to a blistering start Stetson has cooled a bit, winning only four of its last 10. The Hatters host USC Upstate on Friday, then face A-Sun leader ETSU on Saturday and follow with a Tuesday night match-up at North Florida on Nov. 5. Stetson won its last match and is 10-2 at home this season.

Tied with Stetson at 7-5, FGCU has gone 3-4 since their seven-match win streak ended at the hands of ETSU on Oct. 12. The Eagles have dropped two straight and prepare to even the score with the Bucs in Fort Myers on Nov. 1. FGCU also hosts USC Upstate on Nov. 2 and then serves up Tuesday night action at Jacksonville.

Kennesaw State has won three of its last five as the Owls prepare to host second-ranked Lipscomb for an ESPN3 contest on Nov. 1. Northern Kentucky also visits the Owls on Nov. 2. KSU is 8-2 at home in 2013, while Lipscomb is 4-3 on the road and the Norse are 1-9 away from home.

Mercer also hosts Northern Kentucky and the Lady Bisons as the Bears seek their first conference win along with their first home win of the season this weekend.

Five of the nine matches this weekend are available on ASun.TV along with Lipscomb and KSU on ESPN3 on Nov. 1.

A-Sun Volleyball Notes (#ASunVB):

• ETSU's Meredith Hardy became the third A-Sun student-athlete to become a career leader in the A-Sun record book this season, breaking the previous mark for blocks of 422 set in 2006. The junior now has 429 career blocks. Hardy's teammate Megan Devine surpassed 1,746 kills and became the leader in the category two weeks ago, and now has 1807 career kills. JU's Kendall Courtney also etched her name in the record book as the leader in service aces, as she now has 158 in her career, topping the previous mark of 153.

• The accomplishment by Devine and Hardy marks the first time since the NCAA adopted its current scoring format in 2001 that teammates have become career leaders in the same season. The duo are also the first Buccaneers to become career leaders in kills and blocks in the A-Sun. The pair account for two of the four ETSU student-athletes who are ranked in the top 10 of A-Sun career records.

• Kendall Courtney's accomplishment helped her become only the second Dolphin to hold a career mark, joining Shelly Walroth (Digs, 2009).

• Eleven of Lipscomb's 16 victories have come in sweeps, totaling six in conference play. That total is highest in the A-Sun, followed by nine from Jacksonville and Stetson and eight from ETSU.

• The last time three A-Sun career records were broken in the same year was in 2005. it was then that Belmont's Lindsay Cleveland set the mark in kills and assists and the Bruins' Sara Jacobson held the top spot in blocks.

• One A-Sun team is in the top 100 of the latest NCAA RPI rankings, as Lipscomb checks in at No. 74. The Lady Bisons have led the nation in kills per set (15.49) for the eighth consecutive week and Caitlin Dotson also is the nation's leader in assists per set (12.84).

• Only four teams are .500 or better in their last 10 matches: ETSU, JU and Lipscomb are all 9-1 (.900), while FGCU is 6-4 (.600).

• Two A-Sun teams are undefeated at home this season, as ETSU is now 6-0 and Jacksonville posts a 10-0 mark. No teams are undefeated on the road but the Bucs and the Dolphins are both 8-3 (.778) away from home this season.
Jacksonville recorded its 21st victory Wednesday night, sweeping Savannah State and marking the first time since 1988 that a Dolphins team registered 21 wins.

• USC Upstate's Morgan Page is a two-time and current A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week and she is leading the Spartans to the top of the A-Sun in digs per set (16.06), which also ranks them 68th nationally. Page is currently fourth in the A-Sun in digs per set (4.03).
Lipscomb's Molly Spitznagle leads the A-Sun in hitting pct. (.406) and checked in this week in the national rankings at 25th in the category.

• A quartet of impressive freshmen have made their mark in the A-Sun in their first year: North Florida's Abby Fesl is 10th in service aces  (.26) and eighth in assists (8.99); Kennesaw State's Kelly Marcinek is seventh in kills per set (3.38) and a three-time Freshman of the Week; Northern Kentucky's Keely Creamer is seventh in hitting pct (.310) and two-time Freshman of the Week Taylor Snyder is fourth in assists (10.42) and ninth in service aces (.27).

• Carly Iannarino and Emily Rochefort continue to lead Mercer, as they are the two Bears ranked in the top 10 of two A-Sun statistical categories. Rochefort leads the A-Sun in digs per set (4.47) and Iannarino is 10th in assists per set (8.23).

• This weekend's home teams post a combined record at home of 33-17 (.667), while the road teams are 16-32 (.333) overall.

• ETSU's Devine is the A-Sun Player of the Week, Upstate's Morgan Page gets her second Defensive honor and KSU's Kelly Marcinek garners her third weekly honor in her young career.

Player of the Week Megan Devine led all nominees with a 4.86 kills-per-set average while also averaging 3.86 digs per set. She helped  the Bucs to their 10th and 11th straight home wins and back to the top of the A-Sun standings with a 2-0 week with victories against Mercer and USC Upstate. Devine also recorded double-doubles in both matches.

Defensive Player of the Week Morgan Page paced the Spartans defensively last week with a team-leading 29 digs in two matches. Her 20 digs in the Spartans' home conference victory over Kennesaw State marked the third time this season in which she has tallied 20 or more digs in a contest. She also averaged 6.67 digs per set against the Owls. Page also added nine digs in a road contest with East Tennessee State.

Kennesaw State's Kelly Marcinek garners her third weekly honor, as she tallied 44 kills for a 4.00 per-set average along with 22 digs and three blocks. Her efforts helped the Owls go 2-1 on the week with victories against Stetson and FGCU and a loss to USC Upstate.

• North Florida is ranked in the top half of four A-Sun statistical categories including second in service aces (1.36) and third in blocks (2.20) and fourth in opponent hitting pct. (.197) and digs (14.77). The Ospreys have six matches remaining and will need to make a move to clinch a spot in the A-Sun Championship. UNF has plenty of talent to return to the championship, led by Anna Budinska who is fourth in the conference in kills per set (3.80), Britt Claessens who is sixth in service aces (.28), Cameron McGuire who is second in blocks (1.09) and Cari Whitmire who is second in digs (4.27).

• Following is the schedule of matches you can follow online this weekend. Fri., Nov. 1 – USC Upstate at Stetson, 6 p.m.; ETSU at FGCU, 7 p.m.; North Florida at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.; Northern Kentucky at Mercer, 7 p.m.. Sat., Nov. 2 – ETSU at Stetson, 5 p.m

• The ESPN3 match this week is Nov. 1 –Lipscomb at Kennesaw State, 7 p.m.

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