Freshman Molly Locke and sophomore Caroline Carlton combined for 22 kills in Thursday's first round of the Atlantic Sun tournament, but their efforts could not stop East Tennessee State from taking a 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-19) at Allen Arena.
Mercer was eliminated from contention for the Atlantic Sun Championship and finished its season at 11-18 (7-11 A-Sun), while ETSU jumped to 21-12 (11-7 A-Sun) and moved on to the semifinals.
Locke came up two digs shy of her 15th double-double of the season in the loss, while Carlton's 11 kills came on 22 attacks with six errors. Senior Monica Sanchez tallied 30 assists, four digs and a block assist in the losing effort.
In the first set, Mercer trailed 20-19 before the ETSU ripped off three-straight points to take control. In the second set, Mercer led 2-0 before the Lady Bucs went on a 7-1 and never looked back en route to the set victory. In the third set, the teams were tied a 10-10 when ETSU posted a 9-3 run to create separation.
Junior Emily Rochefort registered 15 digs in the loss, bringing her season total to 569. Her season tally ranks third all-time among Mercer's single-season leaders.