The Atlantic Sun volleyball teams concluded weekend non-conference action in strong fashion, winning 14 of 20 matches. ETSU posted a 5-0 record and Jacksonville won its three matches. The first full week of league play begins Wednesday with Campbell traveling to Spartanburg, S.C. to take on USC Upstate. If you attend any of the 10 A-Sun contests over the weekend, be sure to take some pictures and we'll recognize you here on the blog and on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Bucs Soaring Entering A-Sun Play
For the second time in the 2010 non-conference season, the ETSU Buccaneers collected a tournament title, winning the North Carolina Central Tournament. On Friday, the Buccaneers beat NC Central, Maryland-Eastern Shore and wrapped up the event by beating Hampton and South Carolina State on Saturday. Alysa Long earned MVP honors after collected 24 kills and 20 blocks. She hit .477 and enters conference play pacing the conference in hitting percentage (.338) and blocks (91).
Dolphins Staking Claim for Sunshine State Crown
Jacksonville closed its pre-conference portion of the schedule by again dominating in-state competition. The Dolphins swept Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and a non-conference match Stetson in improving their record against fellow Florida schools to 6-1 (2-7 against the other 49 states). Coincidentally, Jacksonville opens A-Sun play with FGCU on Friday and Setson one day later.
ETSU's Start One of A-Sun's Best Last Six Years
With victories on nine of its last 10 games, ETSU has improved its record to 14-5, its best 19-game start since also going 14-5 in 2005 and 2006. Since ETSU joined the A-Sun in 2005, only four teams have posted better 19-game starts than ETSU...FGCU started 17-2 in 2007 as did FAU in 2005. Belmont opened 2006 16-3 as did Lipscomb last season.
Gulley Garners National Praise
Kennesaw State's Sabrita Gulley's performance against Alabama A&M garnered the senior acclaim from Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU.com), as the organization named the outside hitter one of the Top Performers of the week. Gulley set a Kennesaw State record with 21 kills in a three-set victory. The 21 kills also marked the highest total by an A-Sun performer in a three-set match since the scoring format changed from the 30-point era to the 25-point era. Gulley is only the second A-Sun performer honored by the organization this season.
Lipscomb Enters A-Sun Play Looking to Extend Win Streak
The reigning champion Lipscomb Lady Bisons open league play with home contests against Kennesaw State and Mercer. After posting a perfect 20-0 regular-season mark in 2009 and finishing the 2008 regular season with five straight wins the Lady Bisons have won 25 straight regular-season conference games. Across Division I, only North Dakota State, which has won 42 regular-season Summit League games, owns a longer active streak. Lipscomb last lost an A-Sun regular-season game on October 28, 2008, a five-set loss at Belmont. The Lady Bisons have not lost a home A-Sun match since October 4, 2008, falling to FGCU in five sets.
Catch Seven Matches on ASun.TV
Among the 10 conference contests slated for the weekend, seven can be viewed on ASun.TV. Belmont, Lipscomb and UNF will air both its games while Jacksonville will broadcast its Friday game with FGCU.
Upcoming A-Sun Volleyball Matches on ASun.TV
Friday, October 1: Stetson at UNF, 7:00 p.m. ET
Friday, October 1: FGCU at Jacksonville 7:00 p.m. ET
Friday, October 1: Kennesaw State at Belmont, 6:30 p.m. CT
Friday, October 1: Mercer at Lipscomb, 6:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, October 2: Mercer at Belmont, 2:00 p.m. CT
Saturday, October 2: Kennesaw State at Lipscomb, 2:00 p.m. CT
Saturday, October 2: FGCU at UNF, 3:00 p.m. ET