Lady Buccaneers survive Wofford

By DALLAS COOK
STAR Staff

   JOHNSON CITY -- With Sunday being senior day for the East Tennessee State University Lady Buccaneers, no one wanted anything less than to give seniors Amber Ciskowski and Carey Cavanaugh their last taste of victory in Brooks Gym.
   It took four sets but the Buccaneers (17-3, 12-3 SoCon) rallied after the first set to come back and win the next three to defeat the Lady Terriers (14-12, 6-9 SoCon) of Wofford College by the scores of 21-30, 30-17, 30-24 and 30-25 in Southern Conference play.
   "I think we started off a little slow," East Tennessee State coach Deane Webb said. "We're a better team than what we played in game one. We didn't serve or pass well and those are two of our strengths."
   In the first set Wofford came out strong, leading the Buccaneers by 11 points at one time and eventually taking the set.
   "In the first game we there was a little lack of focus," said Ciskowski. "I was really impressed with the way we stepped it up in the next three games."
   East Tennessee State though wasn't going to be denied on this day, though. Ciskowski and Cavanaugh gave it all they had to help lead their team back in fashion by racking up three consecutive sets to move up in second place in the conference, tied with Georgia Southern and Western Carolina.
   "We're very consistent every game," Ciskowski said of her teammates. "It's really great to play on a team where everyone has the ability to put away the ball. Being versatile is what makes us such a great team."
   In the fourth set Jessica Miller came up big for the Buccaneers as she served eight in a row to help lead the way.
   "She pretty much took over in game four," Webb said of Miller. "The other team couldn't do anything at all. She did a great job and I'm really pleased with that."
   For the Buccaneers, Ciskowski turned in yet another stellar performance as did Cavanaugh with a team-high 49 assists in the game. Natalie Atzinger (16 kills), Kate Steidle (17 digs) and Rachel Shifflett (10 blocks) also contributed to the Buccaneer victory and helping their team finish 13-1 at home for the season.
   "It was nice for Amber and Carey to win their last home match," said Webb. "You always want to provide that for your seniors."
   East Tennessee State will now finish out the rest of the season on the road as they travel to The Citadel on Saturday, with gametime set for 6 p.m.
   "We started the year on the road with being away for just about the whole month of September," Webb said. "So it's not something we're really worried about."