Pirates Split Final Matches Of Duke Invitational
Aug. 25, 2007
DURHAM, N.C. - After fighting hard but falling to No. 13 Purdue 3-0, the East Carolina volleyball team rebounded in a big way to defeat Winthrop 3-1 for its first win of the season at the Duke Invitational inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Pirates now stand at 1-2 while Winthrop lost its third-consecutive match to start its season.
After the Boilermakers jumped out to a 5-2 lead in game one, ECU went on a 5-2 run of its own to knot the score at 7-7. With the teams tied at 10, Purdue rattled off 10 straight points to assume a 20-10 lead. The Pirates would not go quietly as they went on an 11-6 run to pull within 26-21. ECU would come as close as 28-26 but the Boilermakers managed to close out the Pirates to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Sophomore Stephanie Turner put down five balls in the game to lead ECU as the Pirates out-dug Purdue 30-26.
The teams traded points to begin game two as neither squad could pull away. With the score tied at 13-13, a 4-1 run by the Boilermakers forced a Pirate timeout. ECU could not recover as Purdue outscored the Pirates 13-5 to take a 30-19 win and a 2-0 match lead. The Boilermakers out-hit ECU .167 to -.028 as well as out-digging the Pirates 17-13 in the game.
Purdue raced out to a 5-0 lead in the third game to induce a quick ECU timeout. After pulling to within 12-8, the Pirates finally closed the gap with an 8-4 run to knot the score at 16. With the Boilermakers leading 21-19, the Pirates committed three errors and suffered two aces as Purdue closed out the match with a 30-20 win.
Turner led the Pirates offensively, recording a double-double with 12 kills and 17 digs. Samantha Mader was the top offensive force for the Boilermakers, also turning in a double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs. Junior libero Trish Monroe dug 21 balls in the match, her season-high. Purdue out-hit ECU .184 to .067 and the Pirates out-dug the Boilermakers 64-60.
In the first game of ECU's second match of the day against Winthrop, no team managed to take more than a two point lead until a Turner kill gave the Pirates a 17-14 lead. The squads traded points from there as ECU took a 24-21 advantage. However, the Eagles were able to tie the score at 27 and 29 before fighting off two game points to take a 34-32 win and a 1-0 advantage in the match. Sophomore Melissa Zentner killed four balls in the game while senior Kelley Wernert earned 10 digs.
The second game was just as close as again as either team could not put the other away. With Winthrop leading 27-24, the Pirates went on a 4-1 run to tie the game at 28 before taking two more points to close out the Eagles and tie the match at one. Wernert exploded for nine kills in the game to hit .600 for the frame. ECU also out-hit Winthrop .280 to .220.
The Pirates went ahead 11-8 coming out of the locker room and would expand their lead to 22-17 before the Eagles scored three straight times to come within 22-20. However, ECU reached 30 points first to take a 30-25 victory and a 2-1 match lead. Wernert continued her torrid hitting, turning in six kills in the game while Zentner killed four balls for the second-consecutive game. Winthrop struggled, hitting only .080 as compared to the Pirates' .239.
ECU took a 10-8 advantage in the fourth game and would not let the Eagles into the game at all, outscoring Winthrop 20-9 to close out the match 3-1. Mignon Dubenion, Turner and Wernert all recorded three kills in the final game while sophomore Hannah Fenker had five digs to lead the defensive effort.
For the match, the Pirates killed 70 balls to Winthrop's 64 while recording a whopping 93 digs. Freshman setter Katie Koop came back from a tough outing against Purdue to dish out a solid 51 assists. ECU out-hit (.253 to .105) and out-blocked (13.5 to 9.5) an opponent for the first time in the tournament.
The Pirates will open the home portion of their campaign on Tuesday as they welcome the UNC Greensboro Spartans to Greenville. First serve is set for 7 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.