Pirates Win George Washington Invitational Title With Pair Of Sweeps
Sept. 16, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team, led by tournament MVP Kelley Wernert, won the George Washington Invitational for its first tournament championship of the season by sweeping Howard and Hartford Saturday inside the Smith Center. Wernert notched double-digit kills in all three tournament matches to give her double-digits in her last 42 of 46 matches. The Pirates improve their record to 9-6, having won seven of their last eight matches, while Howard falls to 0-10 and Hartford to 6-7. In addition to Wernert's honors, junior Trish Monroe and sophomore Melissa Zentner were named to the All-Tournament Team.
In game one against the Bison, ECU assumed leads of 11-4, 19-10 and 23-13 on its way to a 30-14 win in game one and a 1-0 match lead. ECU would not sit on the lead as it raced to a 12-1 advantage in game two, forcing a timeout. The break would do no good for Howard as the Pirates cruised to a 30-17 win in the frame. ECU had no trouble closing out the Bison, taking leads of 11-3 and 20-7 on its way to pummeling Howard 30-10 to close the contest.
Wernert and Zentner both put down double-digit kills for the second-consecutive match while Wernert also led the defense, digging up nine balls. Freshman Katie Koop handed out 35 assists and the Pirates held the Bison to just 21 kills for the match. ECU also won the battle at the net, recording eight and a half blocks to four for Howard. Additionally, Howard was held to a negative hitting percentage of -.048.
Looking for the tournament title, the Pirates jumped out to a 13-7 lead in game one against the Hawks. A timeout by Hartford with ECU leading 13-7 proved ineffective as the Pirates out-scored the Hawks 17-6 to take the frame 30-13. ECU again blitzed Hartford to begin the second game, racking up a 19-11 advantage and inducing a Hawk timeout. However, Hartford would fight back, cutting the deficit to 23-22. With the Pirates leading 29-26, the Hawks fought off three game points to tie the frame at 29 but ECU would use a Hartford attack error and a Zentner kill to end the game 31-29. The Hawks put up no fight in the final frame, falling behind the Pirates 14-8 and 22-9 before eventually falling 30-14.
Wernert led the offense again, slapping 18 kills while senior Mignon Dubenion hit a blazing .636 with seven kills on 11 attempts with no errors. Koop notched her fourth double-double of her freshman campaign, dishing out 40 helpers and adding 12 digs. ECU out-hit Hartford .355 to .043 while recording 10 blocks to the Hawks' two.
The Pirates will play the final contest of their 12-game road stretch Friday as they travel to Tulsa to open conference play. The match is scheduled for 2 p.m. inside the Reynolds Center. ECU finally returns to Minges Coliseum on Sunday as it faces off against SMU at 1 p.m.