Lady Bucs out-gun Gardner-Webb

JOHNSON CITY - With the majority of the conference schedule coming up for the East Tennessee State Lady Buccaneers, the only test that got in the way for the Bucs were the Lady Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb.
   Tuesday evening at Brooks Gym the Buccaneers were victorious over the Bulldogs as they defeated them in three straight sets of 30-14, 30-18 and 30-21.
   "I think we came out a little more focused," said East Tennessee State coach Deane Webb. "They were focused on server receiver which is important for us."
   In the first set of the contest the Buccaneers put up a strong showing as senior setter Carey Cavanaugh led the way with 15 assist in the set.
   "The first game wasn't as crisp as we would have liked for it to have been," said Webb. "After that we picked it up and I was pleased with the way they changed as the match went on."
   Defensively for the Buccaneers Amber Ciskowski was outstanding as she kept things going for East Tennessee State with some crucial digs in the match.
   "I think we did really well," Ciskowski said of her teams performance. "We stayed focused and that's the hardest thing. The whole game I think our team did really well and playing at our level the entire night."
   "Tonight really gave us a chance to start running our middle and a faster offense."
   On the season Ciskowski has compiled excellent statistics for her final year as a Buccaneer and isn't finished yet. So far Ciskowski has 154 kills,
   In sets two and three Gardner-Webb showed a stronger effort, but a solid Buccaneer team held together and got back on track to hold off the Bulldogs for a non-conference win.
   "We're a little stronger team at the net," Webb said. "As the match went on I thought our middles really overpowered their middles and I thought that was one of the biggest differences for us tonight."
   For East Tennessee State University Natalie Atzinger led the way with 15 kills while teammates Jessica Miller (three digs) and Lissa Allen (three blocks) both added excellent performances. On the night Cavanaugh finished with 46 assists while also adding three blocks.
   "I was pleased with the effort that all of them gave," Webb said. "It's something we've come to expect from all of our consistent players, and I'm pleases with the way they played tonight."
   The next seven games for the Buccaneers will be crucial as they will have to come up big for consecutive Southern Conference games in order to get a shot at first place for the season.
   "The biggest thing for us is to continue to pass the ball," Webb said. "If we do that then we'll be in good shape, but if we struggle passing then we'll struggle a lot."
   Next up for the Buccaneers will be conference opponent Furman. The Lady Paladins are 11-8, 7-6 on the season and are trailing the Buccaneers by just three games in the standings.
   "We had an opportunity for everyone play tonight," said Webb. "It's nice to give everyone a chance to play."