The Lady Bucs came into Wednesday’s home match against Furman hoping to knock off the No. 1 ranked team in the Southern Conference.
With a win, the Bucs could have potentially finished in the top three in the conference, which would have helped their seeding in the SoCon tournament.
Despite three close sets, the Bucs were ultimately defeated 3-0.
The Bucs gave a good effort to start the first set, but Furman was one step quicker and more efficient.
Being down 13-10, with the Bucs playing from behind the majority of the set, coach Lindsey Devine called a time-out. The Bucs responded with a score after the time-out, but Furman continued to keep its two to four point lead.
Throughout the first set, the Bucs scored many of their points from Furman errors.
Facing a 23-17 deficit, Devine called a timeout. The Bucs responded by scoring two points, narrowing the Furman lead to 23-19. The damage had already been done, though, and Furman ended the first set with a 25-19 win.
At the start of the second set, the teams appeared to be evenly matched. Khadijah Wiley gave an aggressive performance, helping the Bucs take a 11-7 lead and forcing a Furman time-out.
Furman responded by scoring two straight points and soon forcing a tie. After that, the Bucs showed signs of fatigue and were unable to keep the lead.
After Furman took a one point lead, Devine called another time-out to compose her team.
The Bucs didn’t respond well after the time-out, allowing Furman to take a three point lead before the Bucs battled back to take a 19-18 lead.
The Bucs then allowed Furman to take a 23-21 lead, which led to another ETSU time-out.
Though the Bucs scored two more points before the set ended, Furman took a 25-23 win, and the Bucs went into the half down two sets.
At the start of the third set, the Bucs came out with a 4-1 lead. The Bucs’ offense finally looked efficient early, and they were limiting their errors.
The Bucs lead quickly jumped to 7-3, but that lead was erased when Furman tied the set at 8.
The Bucs remained composed even after the Furman comeback. The only thing stopping the Bucs from taking a controlling lead were their errors, which ultimately allowed Furman to take a 16-15 lead and force an ETSU time-out.
Furman extended its lead to 19-17, and after battling back and forth defensively, the Bucs took another time-out to regroup.
They came out of the time-out tying the game at 2-0. Though the Bucs faced a 23-21 deficit, they battled back to tie the set at 23, forcing a Furman timeout.
Furman soon defeated the Bucs, winning the third set 25-23 and winning all three sets.
“It’s all about pride, about playing at home and for the university,” said assistant coach Lauren Baufield.
Senior Khadijah Wiley led the Bucs with 10 kills and four blocks, while freshman Hailey Aguilar provided 14 digs.
“We have to show grit to be competitive, and we didn’t show that enough to win,” said Baufield.
The SoCon tournament starts Nov. 21, and the Bucs need to win the rest of their regular season matches to still have a chance to finish as a top three seed.
“Going into tournament, this is when we need to show effort, drive and heart for the game,” said Baufield.