Pirates' Rally Falls Short at Campbell, 3-1

UABSPORTS.COM Bella Borgiotti
Bella Borgiotti

Sept. 10, 2013

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team was led by a number of career-performances in the Pirates' 3-1 (25-21, 14-25, 28-30, 19-25) setback at Campbell Tuesday night. Senior Nicole Willis notched her third straight match with a double-double as ECU fell to 2-5 on the year and the Camels improved to 6-2.

Willis led the Pirates with 19 kills and a career-high 20 digs, besting her previous high of 18 set over the weekend against Loyola Chicago. The senior opposite hitter finished the match with a .222 hitting percentage to go along with three assists and two blocks. Freshman setter Bella Borgiotti collected her first-career double-double with a career-best 22 assists and 10 digs. Whitney Campbell notched a new career-best for herself with 22 digs and was just shy of a double-double as she posted nine kills, two block assists, two aces and one assist. Sophomore Torre Blake tallied a career-best 10 kills, two digs, a pair of block assists, and one ace, while senior libero Shelby Beasley led the Pirates with a match-high 25 digs in the setback.

East Carolina got off to a strong start as Willis broke a 1-1 tie with a kill and ECU never looked back as the Pirates did not trail for the remainder of the set. The Pirates went on a 4-0 run in the first frame forcing Campbell to call for a timeout with ECU leading 12-4. The break in action did not hinder the Pirates as East Carolina went on to hit .244 in the set while tallying 14 kills, 20 digs, 14 assists, four aces and four block assists en route to a 25-21 victory. ECU's Campbell led the Pirates with five kills, four digs, two service aces and a .625 hitting percentage in the frame.

The second set was close at the start as the game saw four ties and a lead change until Campbell took control. The Camels hit .333 in the frame and held the Pirates to a .121 attack percentage. The hosts went on to take game two by a final of 25-14. ECU was led by Blake who had three kills in the frame and Campbell's six digs.

ECU fought hard in the third set and eventually tied the game at 23-all on a kill by Willis. From there, the Pirates and Camels matched each other point-for-point in a back and forth affair that eventually saw Campbell break a 28-28 tie and win the set 30-28. Overall, the game saw six ties and a pair of lead changes. Willis led the ECU offense with nine kills in the frame while hitting .471. Willis, along with Beasley, paced the defense as the duo combined for 19 digs with Willis collecting 10 and Beasley contributing nine in the set.

In the fourth set, the two teams battled each other again, but Campbell used a 4-0 run to take a 23-18 advantage over ECU to jump ahead. The 4-0 run allowed the Camels to pull away and secure a 25-19 set win en route to a 3-1 match victory. The Pirates were limited to a -.078 hitting percentage in the final frame as they committed 13 attack errors.

The Camels had four players collect double-figure kills in Lindsey Coats (14), Jessica Groen (14), Lauren Bewick (11), and Alexis Hein (10). Hein finished the match with a double-double after adding 14 digs. Heather Wilson also posted a double-double as she tallied 52 assists and 12 digs to go along with four kills, three block assists and a trio of service aces. Mary Crema led the Camels with 25 digs, while Katelyn Layden added 20 in Campbell's victory.

The Pirates look to bounce back from the non-conference loss this weekend when they head to Elon, N.C., for the Phoenix Classic. ECU will go head-to-head with NC Central on Friday, September 13, at 4:30 p.m. to kick off the tournament before facing Gardner-Webb and host Elon on Saturday, September 14, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.