East Carolina Drops First Match of Duke Classic, 3-0, to Northeastern

UABSPORTS.COM Freshman Torre Blake
Freshman Torre Blake

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DURHAM, N.C. - The East Carolina Volleyball team opened the Duke Classic with a 3-0 (13-25, 21-25, 16-25) loss at the hands of Northeastern University Friday night. The setback is the fifth-straight for the Pirates as they have opened the 2012 campaign with a 1-6 mark.

Freshman Torre Blake and junior Hannah Allgood each tallied a team-best six kills on the night, while Allgood added 13 digs, three total blocks and a service ace in the contest. Sophomore setter Zarah Cecich turned in another solid effort with 17 assists, five digs, three total blocks and one kill. Senior Kelly Derby finished the evening with a match-high six total blocks, five kills, three digs and a .333 hitting percentage.

The Pirates fell behind early in the first set as the Huskies (7-2) jumped out in front to take a nine-point lead (15-6) on a kill by Jillian Briner which forced an ECU timeout. The break in action did not deter Northeastern as it surged ahead and finished the set with a 25-13 victory.

Determined to get the momentum going, the Pirates got on the board first in the second set as Derby opened the set with a kill. East Carolina battled the Huskies point-for-point forcing 13 ties and eight lead changes in the game. With the score even at 21, the Huskies knocked down four consecutive points to take set two, 25-21.

The third set was much like the first, as Northeastern commanded the ball, and quickly took a 12-6 advantage as the Huskies capitalized on five ECU miscues in the set. NU took the third and final set by a score of 25-16.

Top performers for the Huskies include setter Briner who tallied 19 assists, six kills, four digs and a pair of blocks and Nicole Bishop who led both squads with 13 kills, four total blocks, two digs and hit .500 in the match.

East Carolina will return to the court Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. to take on host Duke, before closing out the tournament with Elon at 5 p.m.