The Bucs took on the Tennessee Volunteers in an exciting game of volleyball last week. The Bucs were able to give the Volunteers their first loss of the season by playing five sets. Both teams played a hard-fought game with the Bucs coming out on top winning 3-2 (21-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 15-12).
The first set of play was a back and forth affair, with a total of 12 lead changes. The Vols were able to score first due to a block. The Bucs would then strike back making a 5-3 lead. Both teams kept fighting for points, when the Bucs tied it at 21 with a block from seniors Alyssa Kvarta (Crown Point, Indiana) and Mariah McPartland (Boone, Iowa). The Vols would then gain the victory, scoring four points in a row to win the set.
The Bucs started the second set with a powerful drive with a 10-5 lead. The serves by senior Hailey Aguilar (Chicago, Illinois) and sophomore Marija Popovic (Belgrade, Serbia) helped the Bucs gain such a strong lead. The Bucs would continue the dominance to the point that the Vols used their timeout — the Bucs leading 20-12. The score would then go up as the Bucs won the set with the final kill by senior AJ Lux (Shelbyville, Indiana).
The third set was another close one with both teams tying five times. The lead would change between the teams, until the Vols were able to get a 4-0 serve run by Tessa Grubbs.
This would slow the Bucs down, with the Vols outscoring the rest of the game. The Vols would win the set with Grubbs executing the kill.
The Bucs would control the tempo of the fourth set by keeping the lead the entire time. Freshman Alyssa Hartley (Rogersville, Tennessee) gave the Bucs a 4-0 run with the score of 20-15. The Bucs would hold on and win the set, tying the set wins at two apiece.
The final set saw the Vols gain lead of 7-0. Kvarta hit nine straight serves to give the Bucs lead at 9-8. The Vols would strike back and tie it up at 11 each. The Bucs were able to secure the lead again, coming up with three kills. The final kill came by junior Leah Clayton (Danville, Virginia), securing the victory for the Bucs.
With a great sense of teamwork and hard work, the Bucs have high hopes for a successful season.
“To be able to get a win in front of a crowd like that, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is,” said head coach Lindsey Devine. “That crowd was phenomenal. It goes to show that we have the best crowd in the northeast state of Tennessee, so we’re pretty lucky. We were able to execute our game plan and I think that the girls put in a lot of heart. They used their minds when we need to, to really focus. Those are kind of the things we’ve been talking about; follow the game plan, win games with your mind, play hard, and great things are going to come your way.
“Relationships with your players will be the foundation of what happens on the court.”
ETSU followed up the UT win with a home victory over Coastal Carolina and dropped a home match against Cincinnati. The Bucs then had a great weekend, with a huge 3-1 victory at Duke.