Sophomore setter Zarah Cecich
Sept. 14, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina volleyball team out-shot UMBC, .170-.147, but the Pirates rally was cut short as ECU fell to the Retrievers, 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 26-28, 19-25), at the Pirate Invitational Friday night.
As a team, East Carolina (1-10) recorded 14.0 total blocks, 48 kills and 56 digs. A trio of Pirates recorded double-figure kills, while another three notched double-digit digs in the team effort. Senior Kelly Derby was sensational as she pounded out 12 kills, tallied nine total blocks and hit a match-high .321. Junior Nicole Willis led both squads with 15 kills and added six digs with four total blocks, while Hannah Allgood registered 12 kills and 17 digs for her fifth double-double of the year.
Juniors Shelby Beasley and Whitney Campbell set the tone defensively accumulating 14 and 11 digs, respectively, in the match. Kasey Kavanaugh and Zarah Cecich split time at setter as Kavanaugh picked up 29 assists and three blocks, while Cecich racked up 13 assists to go along with three digs.
The Pirates got off to a hot start in the match as they quickly jumped out to a four-point lead (5-1) forcing UMBC to call a timeout. ECU got right back into the swing of things as the Pirates were up by as many as seven (21-14) in the set. The Retrievers continued to chip away at the ECU lead and eventually pulled within one (24-23), but Willis and Derby ended the game with a block assist to give the Pirates a 25-23 victory.
The third frame was as exciting as they come, the Greenville crowd watched as the Pirates continually evened the score for a total of 15 ties in the set. Down by four points (18-22), the Pirates rallied and tied the game at 25 to keep the Retrievers from set-point, but were unable to close out the match as UMBC knocked down the final two tallies to earn the win, 28-26.
Coming off of the battle in set three, set four did not disappoint as the game included five lead changes and 11 ties, the final of which came on a kill off the hands of Derby to knot the score at 19. UMBC, however, ended the set and match on a 6-0 run to close out the contest (19-25).
The hard-fought match that saw the gritty Pirates push UMBC to the brink has left East Carolina with a bitter taste in its mouth as the Pirates return to the court Saturday, Sept. 15, in a 7 p.m. match-up with Coastal Carolina to conclude the Pirate Invitational. The ECU-Coastal Carolina match will follow a 10 a.m. face-off between UMBC and Coastal Carolina, and a 4 p.m. match between Marshall and UMBC.