Appalachian sinks Lady Bucs

By Wes Holtsclaw

STAR CORRESPONDENT

   The Appalachian State University Lady Mountaineers took their blocks and hit away.
   After a tied first half of women's volleyball action, Appalachian dominated the East Tennessee State Lady Bucs with 30-28 and 30-24 games to win the contest Tuesday night at Brooks Gym.
   "They did a good job running the middles against us," said ETSU coach Dean Webb. "We weren't able to top them."
   The contest broke even at the beginning with the Lady Bucs jumping out quickly. But Appalachian ties them and eventually spreads out to a five point lead. Kate Steidle was everywhere for ETSU during the beginning keeping her team in the contest.
   But it was a battle up front with Appalachian's Kali Rumberger and ETSU's Sara Scandiffio trading shots towards each other. Katherine Dean pushed ASU to a six point lead at the halfway point in the first period.
   However, ETSU took some plays from Kristi Robinson and Meghan Connolly to push it down to three. The Lady Bucs battled Appalachian strong with a cut down to one-point. But Appalachian took the 30-27 advantage in the first period.
   In the second period, Stefanie Panzer lead ASU to a quick lead early, as Nicole Ryan bounced the Bucs back. ETSU reclaimed a tie contest and their first lead since the beginning of the first period.
   ETSU grabbed some good offense from Karen Freeberg and Renee Vesey to build a seven-point lead later on. As Staria Gustafson helped Appalachian cut back to a two point deficit.
   Katherine Dean and Chrissy Finch built Appalachian State back up, but ETSU climbed into a five point advantage. The Lady Mountaineers roared back to a one point deficit. But the Lady Bucs drove the nail into the coffin with a 30-26 second period to tie the contest at the half.
   The second half was all Appalachian.
   Appalachian roared to a 5- 1 lead in the third period before ETSU could break down to another rally. Nicole Ryan battled ETSU around on Appalachian, but a Dean carry over dunk on the Lady Bucs sucked some momentum.
   Both teams worked hard, with Appalachian keeping a two point advantage throughout the majority of the period. The teams swapped throughout but Appalachian took a 30-28 hold in the third period.
   Appalachian completely dominated the Lady Bucs in the fourth period.
   However, ETSU kept showing hard throughout the entire contest.
   Appalachian kept a six point lead throughout the majority of it, eventually going up by seven at one point. ETSU cut it down to four, but it wasn't to be, as Appalachian State rolled away with a 30-24 win.
   "I basically told them to come out and play intense volleyball," said Appalachian coach Chris Redding, "Since I've been here, we've always had some fun and hard matches with ETSU. We're definitely enjoying it, happy to compete with them this year."
   "I was real pleased with our effort," " said Webb, "We blocked good early on, but it didn't take away what we needed. We needed our front to do more."
   Appalachian's Stefanie Panzer and Katherine Dean led the contest with 22 and 21 kills respectively. Nicole Ryan led ETSU with 17, and led the game with 51 takeaways. Renee Vessey had 44 set assists for the Lady Bucs.