ECU Volleyball Battles but Falls to UNC Greensboro, 3-0

UABSPORTS.COM Virginia Fitch
Virginia Fitch

Aug 31, 2013

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -The East Carolina volleyball team played hard, but was hampered by miscues as the Pirates tallied eight reception errors and 19 attack errors in the 3-0 (11-25, 22-25, 17-25) loss to UNC Greensboro at the Wake Forest Deacon Invitational Saturday morning. With the loss, the Pirates fall to 0-2 on the year, while the Spartans improve to 2-0.

Senior Whitney Campbell collected 13 digs, five kills, and one block assist, while senior Nicole Willis led the squad with 13 kills, a pair of digs, two block assists, one service ace and an assist. Freshman Bella Borgiotti tallied 19 assists, while adding five digs and one block for the Pirates. Senior Virginia Fitch posted three block assists to go along with two digs, one kill, and one assist.

"The team made too many unforced errors and have not fully adopted the new style of play," Head coach Julie Torbett observed. "I am hopeful that they will make progress with each match and work hard to get better. I believe in them and their desire to make the program better."

The Pirates struggled in the first set as they fell behind early and were unable to overcome a double figure advantage by the Spartans. ECU managed seven kills on 32 attempts, but also committed seven attack errors to bring the team hitting percentage to .000 in the frame. UNCG, meanwhile, knocked down 15 kills, with just a pair of miscues, on 26 attempts to hit .500 in the set. The Spartans owned a sideout percentage of 91 as they cruised to a 25-11 victory over ECU.

Despite trailing 5-1 to start the second set, East Carolina fought back and tied the set at 12-12 after a kill by Willis followed by a Spartan attack error. The Pirates' Ashley McRae gave ECU its first lead of the day, 13-12 as she pounded out a kill over the UNCG front row which caused the Spartans to call for a timeout. The ensuing points went back-and-forth as the two teams traded leads twice and tallied five ties. ECU remained close on UNCG's heels throughout the set, but the Spartans eventually took the second set, 25-22.

East Carolina brought the momentum from set two into game three as the Pirates started the frame exchanging points with the Spartans. However, a kill by UNCG's Olivia Humphries set off a 5-1 run and the Spartans never looked back. UNCG extended its lead to seven (12-19) and went on to defeat ECU, 25-17, and complete the sweep.

"It's a process and cannot be abandoned by losses," Torbett said. "You learn more from a loss than a win and we will certainly have a lot to take back from the last two matches and apply."

The Pirates will look to put what they learned to practice when they close out the Wake Forest Deacon Invitational with East Tennessee State today at 4:30 p.m.