JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Samford University volleyball team fell in four sets to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in the first of two Southern Conference road matches this week.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Bulldogs looked to put last weekend’s road trip behind them as starting setter, Kayla Keshock returned to the lineup for Samford. Lauren Deaton was in control during the first part of the opening set garnering five kills for the Bulldogs as Samford took a two-point lead into the media timeout. The Bulldogs continued to hold a slim margin in the first set as Kenya McQuirter and Kate Wonus provided the offensive support. McQuirter’s fourth kill of the match gave Samford a 20-16 lead, but ETSU battled back to tie the game at 24-24. Following a pair of Samford timeouts, an epic back-and-forth ensued with the Bulldogs finally taking the marathon set 32-30 following kills from Deaton and McQuirter.
Deaton continued to show her offensive prowess opening the second set with her ninth kill of the match, while the Bulldogs jumped out to a 5-1 lead. However the Bucs battled back tying the set early 8-8. Following the four-point ETSU run, the Bulldogs opened another lead with a five-point stretch of their own (13-8). The Dogs led by five at the media timeout as the teams continued to exchange points late into the set with Samford holding a narrow lead 19-16 forcing ETSU to call a late timeout. The Buccaneers would not go away quietly as they closed the gap forcing extra points and eventually taking the second set 26-24.
Much like the second set the Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead (5-2), but ETSU stormed back to lead 14-9 forcing head coach Keylor Chan into a timeout. ETSU continued to control the majority of the frame sealing the third set, 25-18.
In the must-win fourth set, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-2 lead hoping to rewrite the ending of the previous two sets that saw similar beginnings. Samford put together a couple sets of mini-runs to take a 15-9 lead into the fourth-set media timeout. However, ETSU rattled off nine-straight points to take a 18-15 lead. Following a Samford timeout, the Bulldogs recorded a block, an ace, and a kill to to tie the match at 18 apiece. The fight to 25 ensued with ETSU edging the Bulldogs 25-23 to take the match three sets to one.
FROM THE BOX SCORE
- In the opening set, the Bulldogs offense was in high gear as Deaton recorded eight kills, while McQuirter posted nine kills in the 32-30 set victory.
- McQuirter set a new career high in kills with 22 kills surpassing her previous record of 21.
- Deaton had her third-straight match with double digit kills and recorded a double-double with 17 kills and 15 digs. Freshman libero, Kate Morgan, also aided defensively with 15 digs of her own.
- In her return to play, Kayla Kehsock had a new career high in assists with 56 assists in four sets.
- For ETSU three Bucs posting double digit kills: Sara Esposito (14), Jenna Forster (12), Josannah Vazquez (11).
- The Bulldogs continue their tour of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Friday, with first serve set for 5 PM CT. The match will not be broadcast, but fans can follow along on live stats or @SamfordVB on Twitter.
FOLLOW THE BULLDOGS:
For the latest news and information on Samford volleyball, visit the official website for Samford Athletics at SamfordSports.com. Fans can also follow the Bulldogs on social media at @SamfordSports (Facebook), @SamfordVB (Instagram) and @SamfordVB (Twitter).