Senior Marina Gusman-Brown picked up 40 digs in her last three matches
Sept. 11, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team fell twice by 3-0 scores to West Virginia (11-25, 14-25, 26-28) and Wake Forest (10-25, 18-25, 22-25) to close out play at the Wake Forest Black/Gold Invitational. The Pirates dip to 0-9 overall with three nonconference matches remaining on the docket.
Against the Mountaineers, junior Amanda Lutzow recorded a team-high 11 kills to go along with one of ECU's two service aces. Senior Marina-Gusman Brown paced the defense with a match-best 16 digs as she owns 34 in her last two matches after picking up 18 in Friday's affair. Additionally, freshman Kasey Kavanaugh handed out 25 assists while redshirt sophomore Kelly Derby and Jackie Varnum racked up three blocks each.
The first set began with the Pirates and West Virginia trading points. However, the Mountaineers reeled off 13-straight points to take a 14-1 advantage - despite two timeouts from the East Carolina sideline. The Pirates closed the advantage slightly with a 10-6 run, which made the score 21-11, but two kills and two ECU attack errors helped West Virginia clinch the frame.
The Mountaineers raced ahead again in the second interval, scoring eight of the first 10 points. An 8-4 Pirate run, capped off by a Lutzow kill, brought East Carolina within four points at 14-10, but West Virginia regained a healthy lead by taking the next four rallies. The Pirates scored just three more times in the set as the Mountaineers cruised to intermission up two sets to none.
ECU kept it close to begin the final set and with the score tied at eight, the Pirates went on a 4-1 run to establish a 12-9 advantage. The teams traded points until West Virginia called a timeout down 17-14. East Carolina led by two as late as 23-21, but the Mountaineers scored three-straight and took their first match point on a bad set by Kavanaugh. The Pirates fought off four match points but could not sustain the rally as a West Virginia block ended the match.
The Mountaineers held the advantage in hitting .273 to .080 and also bested ECU in digs 45-40. The Pirates did, however, outblock West Virginia 7.0-6.0.
The host Demon Deacons established a 10-3 lead at the beginning of the nightcap and did not look back, cruising to the 15-point margin of victory and taking a 1-0 match lead.
East Carolina edged ahead in the second set 7-6, but Wake Forest went on a 15-8 run to force the Pirates to take two timeouts. ECU would come no closer than six points the rest of the frame as the Deacons went into intermission ahead two sets to none.
An 8-2 run at the beginning of the third frame gave the Pirates a quick advantage, but Wake Forest rallied and tied the set at nine. East Carolina took a 15-13 lead on an ace from Shelby Beasley and kept in front as late as 22-21. However, the Deacons managed to capture the last four rallies and ended the match on a kill from Kadija Fornah.
Wake Forest ended up with the advantage offensively, outhitting the Pirates .237 to .032 and also had the better of things defensively - recording 45 digs to ECU's 29. The Pirates did have the better of the blocking, owning the net with 8.5 as compared to 4.0 for the home team.
East Carolina will now travel to Washington, D.C., for its last nonconference tournament, taking part in the Georgetown Classic. The Pirates open the event Friday, Sept. 17, against Furman at 7 p.m.