Volleyball Sweeps Again, Moves To 4-0
Sept. 4, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team went on its first road trip of 2008, but the results remained the same - another 3-0 sweep of an opponent. The Pirates traveled to Durham, N.C., on Thursday to face North Carolina Central University and walked out of McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium with another sweep. With the victory, the team moves to 4-0 on the young season. The Pirates have yet to drop a set in 2008. The last time the ECU program got off to a 4-0 start, or swept four straight opponents, was in 2003 when the team began the season by sweeping its first six opponents.
The Pirates jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in set one before the Eagles evened the score at four. ECU again pulled away for a 10-5 lead before NCCU stormed back to get within two points at 12-10. Junior outside hitter Melissa Zentner and junior setter Hannah Fenker took over from that point as Zentner tallied four kills and Fenker picked up five assists to finish out the set with a 25-18 victory. In set two the Pirates would have nothing to do with a close score. Again, the team got out to a 3-0 lead before extending its leads to 15-5, 21-7 and winning the set 25-10. Set three did not see the same hot start for ECU as the team actually trailed 3-1 at the onset. The set was very close throughout and featured eight ties, the last of which was 18-18. After which ECU benefited from five Eagle errors to win seven of the last eight points to earn a 25-19 victory in the final set
Leading the offense for the Pirates on the night was Zentner, as she pounded home 10 kills. Junior outside hitter Katie Prast continued her great start to the season as she tallied eight more kills, raising her team-leading total for the season to 35. Overall, it was an extremely balanced attack from the team, as 10 different players collected at least one kill. Fenker, 17 assists, and sophomore setter Katie Koop, 13 assists, were the beneficiaries of the team's outstanding .325 hitting percentage, including a dominating .571 hitting percentage in set two.
The defense was nearly as balanced as the offense for the Pirates as 11 players had at least one dig, with Fenker leading the way with eight. Senior defensive specialist Trish Monroe contributed seven digs while junior right side hitter Stephanie Turner and freshman outside hitter Amanda Lutzow each picked up five in the contest.
"We had a lot of good performances tonight," head coach Chris Rushing said. "Everybody got to play tonight, which is good because we have so many matches this weekend. When you play five matches in three nights it's good to get everybody involved. Hopefully we will continue to play better and better as the weekend goes on."
The Pirates do not have much time to enjoy tonight's victory. As Rushing alluded to, the team resumes play at 10:30 a.m. Friday when ECU takes on South Carolina State in the High Point University Classic before taking on the host team in the nightcap at 7 p.m.