The Bucs will face the Chattanooga Mocs in volleyball on the road at 6 p.m. Sept. 30.
Currently, the Buccaneers are 9-5, with three of those losses coming on the road. Last season, ETSU had their season end after the Mocs defeated them in the conference semifinals.
However, this year’s team seems to be deeper in a lot of positions, and Head Coach Lindsey Devine has the ability to go deeper in her bench at her convenience.
“The players are more experienced,” Devine said. “That makes a more mature athlete and shows how to be more focused on the things we want to accomplish.”
The Mocs go into Friday’s game with a 7-7 record. Of those seven wins, six have come from home, where they’ve only lost once.
“We have to play good ETSU volleyball,” Devine said. “That means we have to be thinkers, mentally tough, and make adjustments on the fly. We also have to demonstrate strength.”
The Bucs bring back a lot of players this season, with many who were freshman last season, but Devine isn’t depending on just one player to have an impact Friday night.
“We spread our offense really well with players like junior Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.), sophomore Aj Lux (Shelbyville, Ind.) and senior Briana Allmon (Flower Mound, Texas),” Devine said. “They give us a lot of power. We need everyone to do their role in helping our team, especially the setters. They have to make good decisions to get good match-ups.”
ETSU knows coming into Friday’s game that there are some parts of their game that can be improved to get the results they want.
“We have been working on improving our blocks, having the ability to repeat plays, and have consistently,” Devine said. Overall, Devine wants her team to “be relentless.”
The rivalry between both programs is well documented, extending to sports like basketball, tennis, soccer and the schools’ upcoming matchup in football on Saturday.
“Chattanooga has historically been a rivalry, but for us, we want to just play to our ability,” Devine said. “Our main goal is to go with our game plan. If we do our job, we will be happy with the outcome.”