The ETSU volleyball team played hard and defeated the Mercer Bears at home Saturday night in three sets.
The Lady Bucs came into the match against Mercer with energy and momentum after getting a win earlier in the week.
Saturday’s win gives the Bucs a three-match winning streak going into their next match against Samford on Friday night.
The Bucs came out with a lot of focus during the first set and took an 11-6 lead, forcing a Mercer timeout.
After the timeout, the Lady Bucs came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 10 straight points and taking a 21-6 lead.
Facing a 15-point deficit, the Lady Bears attempted a comeback, scoring seven straight points and bringing the score to 21-13.
The Bucs quickly put an end to the Mercer comeback attempt, finishing off the first set with a 25-14 win.
The second set began much like the first after the Lady Bucs jumped out to an early 11-5 lead before another timeout was taken by Mercer.
The Bears made another comeback in the second set, decreasing the Bucs’ lead to 24-18.
With just one point needed to win the set, the Bucs shut down the Bears’ second comeback attempt, winning the set 25-18.
With a controlling 2-0 set lead over Mercer, the Bucs took a 9-4 lead over the Bears in the third set, forcing another Mercer timeout.
Similar to the first and second sets, the Bears attempted another comeback and began to narrow the Bucs’ lead.
Despite leading 16-13, the Bucs began to lose momentum near the end of the set, forcing a timeout by ETSU coach Lindsey Devine.
The third set was a battle for ETSU after Mercer narrowed the Bucs’ lead to 20-19.
After the Bucs increased their lead to 24-20, the Bears battled back, bringing the score to 24-23.
The Bucs remained composed as ETSU freshman AJ Lux scored the set-winning point, allowing the Lady Bucs to take all three sets.
ETSU sophomore Rylee Milhorn led the Bucs with 17 total kills.
“We really worked on a lot of things in practice, so it feels good to see it show when we’re playing,” said Milhorn.
Junior Briana Allmon added 13 kills, combining with Milhorn for 30 of the team’s 48 kills.
“We really wanted to impose our defense, and I think we did a good job of that,” said Allmon.
After the Mercer win, the Bucs improved to a 12-5 record on the season. They are now 3rd in the SoCon standings.
Even though the Bucs won the match, Devine believes the team still can improve.
“We have to learn not to let teams come back by putting pressure on them the whole game,” said Devine. “When we do that, we’re going to be a hard team to beat.”