Pirates Finish NC State Tournament With Split
Sept. 9, 2007
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team split its last two matches of the Holiday Inn Brownstone Volleyball Challenge Saturday as it defeated Akron 3-1 but fell to Dartmouth by the same score. The Pirates now stand at 5-6 on the season while the Zips fall to 7-2 and the Big Green improve to 2-1. Senior Kelley Wernert was named tournament MVP as she recorded double-doubles in all three of ECU's tournament contests. Additionally, freshman Katie Koop also earned All-Tournament honors.
The Pirates zipped ahead of Akron 14-9 in game one and would maintain the lead until, with ECU leading 22-18, the Zips called a timeout with the Pirates holding a 25-21 advantage. ECU would out-score Akron 5-3 from there to win the game 30-24 and take a 1-0 lead in the match. Wernert notched five kills on the frame while junior Trish Monroe provided five digs and Katie Koop dished out 10 assists. The Pirates held the Zips to negative hitting (-.062) while recording a .163 percentage and out-digging Akron 17-14.
In game two, it was the Zips who jumped ahead early, assuming a 14-9 lead. The advantage would grow to 19-12, forcing ECU to call a timeout. The Pirates then went on an 8-4 run to close the gap to 23-20 and induce a timeout from Akron. However, the teams traded points from there and the Zips took the frame 30-27 to tie the match. Wernert again led the offense with nine kills. Additionally, Monroe dug up nine balls while Koop added to her assist total with 14. Akron out-hit ECU .277 to .149 while the Pirates edged the Zips on defense 21-20.
The third game was close throughout as the first break came when Akron called a timeout with ECU leading 17-15. Another Akron timeout saw the Pirates with a 23-19 advantage that they would not relinquish, taking the game 30-25 and a 2-1 match lead. Wernert slapped six kills in the frame while Koop led the defense with five digs and handed out 12 assists. ECU out-hit the Zips .234 to .159 while also out-digging them 19-16.
With a chance to close out the contest, the Pirates fell behind early, calling a timeout with Akron leading 7-2. ECU would come all the way back to tie the game at 19 and would out-score the Zips 11-6 to close out the frame 30-25 and the match 3-1. Wernert exploded for eight kills in the game while also topping the defense with five digs along with sophomore Stephanie Turner. Koop also notched a strong game, turning in 19 assists. Akron edged the Pirates in hitting .318 to .314 while the teams both recorded 20 digs.
Wernert's 28 kills mark a career-high for the Hoffman Estates, Ill. native as she finished off a double-double, adding 17 digs. Additionally, Koop turned in her second-straight match with over 50 assists as she dished out 55, one short of her career-high established against NC State. ECU out-hit the Zips for the match .218 to .188 while also recording more digs 77-70. It marks the sixth-consecutive contest that the Pirates have out-dug their opponent.
With the score tied 10-10 in game one against Dartmouth, ECU went on a 10-3 run to force a Big Green timeout. Leading 20-13, the Pirates assumed advantages of 22-15 and 28-23 on their way to a 30-25 win and 1-0 lead in the match. Wernert and sophomore Melissa Zentner combined for 10 of ECU's 19 kills in the frame while sophomore Hannah Fenker led the defense with eight digs. The Pirates doubled-up Dartmouth .300 to .150 in hitting while out-doing the Big Green on defense 27-24.
Leading 9-4 to start game two, the Big Green scored seven-straight points to force an ECU timeout. A 5-1 run by Dartmouth led the Pirates to call another timeout trailing 16-10. The Big Green would maintain its six-point advantage all the way to the end, taking the frame 30-24. Wernert led the offense, notching five kills while Monroe topped the defense, digging six balls as Koop added 13 assists on the frame.
With the match tied at one, ECU took over as it forced a timeout leading 13-10. With an 18-12 advantage, Dartmouth reeled of five-straight points to come within 18-17. From there, the Big Green would race past the Pirates to take the game 30-25 and the lead in the match 2-1. Wernert again shined for the offense, recording seven kills as Monroe continued her strong defensive effort with nine digs. Neither team hit well as Dartmouth edged ECU .098 to .093. On defense, it was the Pirates who took the slight advantage 24-23.
ECU, determined to extend the contest, fought point-for-point and finally took a 23-21 lead to induce a Big Green timeout. However, the Pirates could not hold on to their lead, eventually falling 30-27 to give Dartmouth the match. Wernert recorded eight kills in the final frame while Turner contributed five digs and Koop handed out 15 helpers. ECU edged the Big Green offensively .317 to .314 and also defensively 24-17.
Despite dropping the contest, the Pirates out-hit Dartmouth .214 to .201 and out-dug the Big Green 89-81. Wernert and Koop both turned it solid efforts, recording double-doubles. Sophomore Peyton Thompson also set a career-mark, notching five block assists.
ECU will play the eighth match on its current 12-contest road stretch as it travels to Wilmington to battle the UNCW Seahawks. First serve is set for 7 p.m. inside Hanover Hall.