Pirates Drop Both Friday Matches In Virginia
Sept. 2, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - East Carolina fell twice Friday at the Jefferson Cup as Virginia and Long Island took respective 3-0 and 3-1 decisions at Memorial Gymnasium. The Pirates (1-2) took the first set in dominant fashion against the Blackbirds but could not hold on as LIU captured the next three.
Senior Britney Roper racked up a team-high 16 kills in the match with Long Island while junior Kelly Derby and senior Jackie Varnum combined for 14 kills and just two attack errors. Back row players junior Shelby Beasley and Nicole Jones paced the back row, picking up 17 and 11 digs, respectively while Derby owned the net with a match-best seven blocks.
The Blackbirds were tops in most categories, including kills (50-45), assists (48-45) and digs (59-57) as well as hitting percentage (.215 - .188). ECU ended the match with a slight edge in blocking, 8.0-6.5.
Senior Amanda Lutzow put down a kill in the first set to give the Pirates an 8-3 advantage. That lead would swell to 13-5 on a Jessica Rice attack error - drawing a timeout from the Long Island bench. It would do no good, however, as East Carolina used a variety of scoring methods to run away with the set and clinch it, 25-12.
Roper and Beasley shone in the frame, posting four kills and seven digs, respectively. ECU also hit quite well, recording 14 kills on 32 attempts with just three errors (.344).
A Roper attack error provided the Blackbirds a quick 4-1 advantage in the second interval, but the Pirates answered right back, tying the score at four with a Lutzow kill. After a Roper score from the left side made it 11-10 in favor of LIU, the Blackbirds scored four consecutive to force the Pirates' first timeout. It proved ineffective, however, as Long Island raced to a 20-13 lead and kept ECU at arm's length to tie the match with a 25-20 frame score.
A six-kill effort from Roper led East Carolina in the set while Jones and Beasley both recorded four digs. The Blackbirds also helped their cause by hitting .333 with 18 kills.
Long Island kept a slight lead for most of the third set when, with the score in its favor at 13-12, Annika Foit triggered a 4-0 run before Roper restored order on her side with a kill. However, the Pirates scored just once more as the Blackbirds took seven of the last eight rallies to take a 2-1 match advantage.
Varnum attempted to keep ECU in the set by hitting .750 on three kills, but a balanced attack from Long Island let it post a team hitting percentage of .355. Sophomore Kasey Kavanaugh was efficient in the frame loss, recording 10 assists on the Pirates' 10 kills.
A 10-6 Blackbird lead dissipated as East Carolina put together a 9-4 run to edge in front by one, 15-14. Sophomore Whitney Campbell tied the score at 16 after Long Island recaptured the lead, but it would be the last time the Pirates owned the lead or were in a tie situation. A Jessica Rice attack error kept ECU in the set at 23-21, but the Blackbirds closed out the match with two kills.
Against Virginia, Roper again paced the offense with eight kills to go along with four digs and a team second-best three blocks (all assists). Lutzow put down seven kills and recorded the same number of digs while sophomore Shelby Beasley racked up a squad-high nine digs. In the blocking column, redshirt junior Kelly Derby was able to post a match-best six blocks (five assists).
The Cavaliers held the upper hand in most categories, producing more kills (55-25), assists (49-25) and digs (54-33) but ECU was credited with seven blocks as compared to 4.5 for the home side. Virginia also out-hit the Pirates .342 to .149.
ECU raced out to a 5-1 lead and forced a Cavalier (3-1) timeout when Tobi Farrar's attack was blocked by Roper and Derby. Virginia responded with three-straight scores to move within one, but a Tori Janowski attack error gave the Pirates back their three-point cushion. With the score knotted at 10, the Cavaliers used an ace and kill to push ahead 12-10 and draw East Carolina's first timeout.
A Varnum kill kept the Pirates close at 13-11, but Virginia went on a devastating 4-1 run which essentially put the set out of reach. ECU was able to trim the Cavalier lead down to three a few times, but Virginia allowed the Pirates no closer.
East Carolina put up an impressive 20 digs in the first frame. However, the home side produced 22 and also won the hitting battle with a percentage of .220 as compared to .103 for the Pirates. Both teams recorded two blocks in the interval.
The teams traded points to begin the second set, but with the score tied at six, the Cavaliers used a 4-1 to establish some breathing room at 10-7. An attack error by Janowski allowed ECU to keep the score close, 11-10, but three consecutive Virginia scores pushed the lead back to 14-10, prompting a Pirate timeout.
A kill by Simone Asque provided the home team with its largest lead of the frame, 18-13, as East Carolina was forced to call its final timeout. The Cavaliers scored seven of the last 10 points on the strength of four kills and a block to close out the interval and head to intermission up two sets to none.
Asque was the star of the frame, posting nine kills on nine attempts with no errors for a perfect percentage. Roper, Varnum and Lutzow chipped in a pair of kills each for ECU while Virginia out-dug the visitors 11-4. The Cavaliers also tallied a stellar .552 in the hitting department and also missed just one of 17 sideout opportunities (.940).
A 5-5 deadlock in the third set was broken by Virginia, as it built an 11-7 lead after another kill by Asque. A 5-0 run for the Pirates quickly whittled their deficit down to one at 12-11, but a 4-1 run by the Cavaliers proved too much to overcome as Virginia was content to trade points the rest of the way to clinching the match.
Roper put down three kills in the third interval while Beasley collected the same number of digs. East Carolina enjoyed its best hitting performance of the morning in the frame, recording nine kills on 34 attempts with just two errors for a percentage of .206.
ECU returns to the court tomorrow, closing out play in the Jefferson Cup against national No. 1 Cal in the Pirates' first-ever meeting with the nation's top team. First serve at Memorial Gymnasium is set for 1 p.m.