Pirate Volleyball Swept by Wake Forest in Season Opener

Zarah Cecich

Aug 30, 2013

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. –Seniors Nicole Willis and Virginia Fitch led the Pirates with six kills each as the East Carolina volleyball team was swept, 3-0 (16-25, 14-25,18-25) by host Wake Forest at the Deacon Invitational Friday night at Reynolds Gym.

Willis finished the match with six kills, five digs, two block assists and a service ace, while Fitch posted six kills, one block assist and hit .235 in the contest. Defensively, the Pirates were led by senior Shelby Beasley who notched eight digs in the match. Junior setter Zarah Cecich collected 25 assists, six digs, two block assists and one service ace in the setback.

The Pirates (0-1) came out strong in the first set as ECU stayed close with Wake Forest (1-0) and knotted the score on two occasions. The Demon Deacons, however, rattled off three consecutive points (14-7) forcing East Carolina head coach Julie Torbett to call a time out. The break in action helped as the Pirates composed themselves and tallied two points on a kill from Willis followed by a Demon Deacon miscue. ECU was able to pull within three (17-14) after a kill by Whitney Campbell followed by a pair of Wake Forest attack errors, but that would be as close at the Pirates would come as the hosts would close the game on an 8-2 run to take the first set 25-16.

The Demon Deacons jumped out to a quick 5-0 advantage in the second set and extended their lead to seven (10-3) as ECU called for a time out. Wake Forest led throughout the entire second frame as the Deacons held the Pirates to a mere .037 hitting percentage. Wake hit. 500 in the set and knocked down a total of 14 kills, while limiting ECU to just seven. The Demon Deacons led by double digits four times during the set and eventually claimed the game by a score of 25-14.

In the third set, ECU managed to tie the game on two occasions, but a kill by Wake Forest’s Ashlee Rusk broke a 2-2 tie and the Demon Deacons pushed their lead to as many as 11 points (24-13) in the frame. Despite falling behind, the Pirates would not go quietly as they tallied five straight points prompting Wake Forest to call for a break in action. Although ECU dropped the third and final set, 25-18, the Pirates managed to close the frame on a 5-1 run.

East Carolina finished the match with 26 total kills, 27 digs, 25 assists, four service aces and 6.0 total team blocks. Wake Forest concluded the contest with 39 kills, 40 digs, 37 assists, seven service aces, 9.0 total team blocks, and recorded a hitting percentage of .346.

Wake Forest was led by Kylie Hargraves who recorded a double-double with 10 kilvls and 13 digs. She hit .526 in the contest and added three block assists, one assist and one service ace. Kristin Grissom registered a match-high 12 kills and hit .476 with one dig and three total blocks. Sophia Dodd tallied 34 assists to go along with six digs, three kills on six attempts for a .500 hitting percentage, two block assists and a pair of aces.

ECU will look to collect its first win of the season Saturday, August 31 when it goes up against UNC Greensboro at 10 a.m. and East Tennessee State at 4:30 p.m.