Volleyball on the Road to Face ETSU, USC Upstate
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer volleyball team returns to action this weekend with a pair of crucial Atlantic Sun road matches, first facing ETSU on Friday and then USC Upstate on Saturday. Friday night's match is scheduled for 7 p.m. while Saturday's first serve is slated for 3 p.m.
With seven conference matches left, Mercer's weekend set with the Lady Bucs and Spartans could help the Bears position themselves for a spot in the league's postseason tournament. As of now, Mercer is on the outside looking in, with both ETSU and USC Upstate ahead of them in the race for tournament berths.
LAST TIME OUT
MACON, Ga. – Rightside hitters Anna Coursey and Caroline Carlton combined for 25 kills to lead Mercer to a 3-1 (25-19, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22) victory over Chattanooga in Tuesday night's non-conference volleyball match at the University Center.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
ETSU welcomes Mercer to Johnson City with hopes of snapping a two-match losing streak. The Lady Bucs are 10-13 (3-4 A-Sun) overall after falling to Presbyterian 3-2 on Tuesday night.
The majority of the ETSU offense is run through sophomore outside hitter Megan Devine. Devine has piled up a team-leading 368 kills on the season and has 456 more attacking attempts then the next closest player, Ivey Rice. Devine's average of 4.23 kills per set ranks her third among all conference players.
Mercer is 3-6 in nine all-time meetings with ETSU. Last season, the Bears topped the Lady Bucs 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-13, 25-22) in Macon.
Entering the weekend, USC Upstate is 7-14 (2-5 A-Sun) after falling to South Carolina State 3-0 on Wednesday night. The Spartans are 4-2 at home in comparison to a 1-8 record in road matches.
Senior Morgan Thomas paces the Spartans in both kills (207) and total blocks (51). Currently Thomas ranks 12th among A-Sun players in kills per set (2.88) and 14th in blocks per set (0.71).
Mercer is has captured victories in five of its six all-time meetings with USC Upstate and has not lost to the Spartans since November 11, 2007.
Friday night's matchup between ETSU and Mercer pits the two best blocking teams in the conference against each other. ETSU leads the league with 2.16 blocks per set while Mercer ranks second with 2.02 blocks per set.
In two of the last three seasons, Mercer has posted winning streaks of five or more matches in the month of October. The Bears enter this weekend's action with a two match winning streak and have four more matches in the month of October.
Jennifer Katona has 197 kills entering the weekend. When Katona reaches the 200 kill mark, she will become the first player to reach 200 kills in her first season with the program since Jen Darty had 225 in her freshman campaign during the 2006 season.