Volleyball Picks Up Two Wins At WSSU Invite
Sept. 11, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - After dispatching host Winston-Salem State 3-0 in the afternoon, the East Carolina volleyball team returned to record an entertaining 3-1 triumph over UNC Asheville Friday at the Gaines Center. The Pirates are now 4-4 overall while the Rams are 0-8 and the Bulldogs 7-3.
"I thought the women really came together as a team in the second match,' head coach Pati Rolf stated. "UNC Asheville is a great defensive team. It was good to see us pick each other up as the contest went on. We were also glad to get things started with a 3-0 win against the host team."
ECU jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set against Winston-Salem State, but the Rams rallied for three-straight points to pull within 5-4. However, a 6-2 run, capped off by a Lizzy Bruin kill, gave the Pirates an 11-6 advantage and forced a WSSU timeout. The respite would not prove effective, however, as East Carolina scored the next four points to push the lead to 15-6. The Rams then called another timeout, but the teams matched each other the rest of the set, allowing the Pirates to take a 25-16 decision.
ECU out-hit WSSU .364-.036 in the frame while also recording more kills (15-8). Britney Roper led the way for the offense, notching six kills on nine attempts with no errors.
Neither squad had a lead of more than one in the second set before the Pirates edged ahead, 20-18 on a Ram attack error. WSSU would take a 22-20 lead, but East Carolina rallied to tie the score at 22. The Pirates then took three of the next four rallies to capture a close 25-23 win.
The Rams hit much better in the second frame, but ECU still held the upper hand .370-.292. The Pirates also out-dug their competitors 9-7.
After playing a tight middle interval, East Carolina blitzed WSSU, scoring nine of the first 10 points in the final set, forcing the Rams to call both of their allotted timeouts. The Pirates did not let up from there, allowing WSSU just six more points on its way to a decisive 25-7 triumph. The seven points given up mark the first time since holding Campbell to nine in 2007 that ECU limited an opponent to less than 10 points in a frame.
Roper finished the contest hitting .667 with 12 kills on 18 attempts with no errors. Five other players also proved effective as Turner, Kelly Derby, Hannah Fenker, Lizzy Bruin and Bobbie Jo Stall all hit .400 or better. Katie Prast and Amanda Lutzow paced the defense, each recording six digs. Additionally, Fenker handed out 33 assists for an 11.00 per set average.
After a 2-2 deadlock in the first set of the nightcap, UNC Asheville scored five of the next six points to establish a 7-3 lead and force a Pirate timeout. However, East Carolina fought back and pulled within 14-13 before forging a tie score at 20-20, causing the Bulldogs to use a timeout of their own. The Pirates then scored on three of the next four rallies to take a 23-21 advantage, and eventually closed out the frame with a 25-23 scoreline.
Both squads hit very well in the set, as UNC Asheville held a .355-.310 margin, while also recording 15 kills to ECU's 14.
The Bulldogs pushed ahead 4-1 in the second set, but the Pirates responded with a 4-2 run to find themselves down just one point. UNC Asheville would not crumble, however, running out to a 16-10 lead that brought a timeout from the East Carolina sideline. The Bulldogs stood firm from there, cruising to a 25-18 win and evening the match.
UNC Asheville hit a near flawless set, firing off 11 kills on 25 attempts with just two errors for a .360 percentage.
In the third frame, the Bulldogs built a 10-6 lead, but the Pirates had the answer, rallying to tie the set at 11. ECU raced out to a three-point lead at 18-15, but UNC Asheville responded with a 5-2 run to knot the scoreline at 20. The teams also produced ties at 21, 22 and 23 before consecutive kills from Bruin and Roper finished off the Bulldogs and gave the Pirates a 2-1 match lead.
East Carolina picked up its hitting, ripping 17 kills on 40 attempts with six errors (.275) while UNC Asheville hit .242 for the frame.
With the final set tied at seven, the Pirates produced a 6-2 run that gave them some breathing room at 13-9. ECU kept that four-point cushion for awhile, before the Bulldogs came charging back to pull within 21-20, drawing a Pirate timeout. The respite worked for East Carolina, as it scored four of the last six points to clinch the contest.
Notching her third double-double of the season, Turner racked up 13 kills to go along with a team-high 15 digs. Bruin tallied 17 kills in the match on 26 attempts while committing five errors for a .462 hitting percentage. Fenker also handed out 55 assists for her season high mark while also contributing three kills and four digs.
While UNC Asheville earned the better of the hitting percentage (.289-.248), the Pirates tallied more kills (60-48), blocks (9.0-5.0) and digs (45-39) to aid their efforts.
East Carolina returns to the Gaines Center tomorrow, taking on Wofford at 10 a.m. before closing out tournament play against Savannah State at 4 p.m. The Pirates can push their record above .500 with two victories.