The Pirates Win Four Straight with a Sweep at NC Central

Nicole Willis

Sept. 17, 2013

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DURHAM, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team extended its winning streak to four-straight matches with a 3-0 [25-22, 25-18, 25-18] sweep at NC Central Tuesday evening. The victory gives the Pirates six wins on the year which triples the number of victories ECU secured a year ago.

The win was a total team effort as every Pirate saw action. ECU (6-5) was led offensively by Nicole Willis and Zarah Cecich as Willis recorded a match-high 14 kills with a .346 hitting percentage and Cecich paced the offense with 37 assists in the match. Shelby Beasley recorded 10 digs at libero, while Erika Figueroa added nine. Whitney Campbell hit .500 in the contest with nine kills on 16 attempts with just one miscue, while adding three digs, an assist and one service ace.

As a team, ECU hit a season-best .323 with 43 kills, 41 assists and 39 digs. The Pirates held the Eagles (0-12) to a .184 attack percentage to go along with 33 kills, 31 digs and 29 assists.

ECU held the edge on NC Central for most of the set as the Pirates hit .300 in the frame and limited the Eagles to a .172 attack percentage. The Pirates led by as many as five on two occasions, but NC Central fought back and evened the score at 21-all on a kill by Aljalena Thompson. Willis followed with a kill of her own to spark a 4-1 run to end the set and give ECU a 25-22 victory.

The second set was all East Carolina as the Pirates took a 2-0 advantage and never surrendered their lead. The Pirates hit .400 in the frame and knocked down 15 kills, while leading by as many as eight (22-14) en route to a 25-18 win over the Eagles.

Despite NC Central scoring first in the third set, the Pirates used a 5-0 run to take an 8-2 advantage over the Eagles and never looked back. ECU later tacked on a 5-1 run sparked by kill off the hands of Campbell to push its lead to 22-13. The Eagles rattled off four straight points, but the Pirates closed out the set on a kill from Ashley McRae as East Carolina completed the sweep with a 25-18 win.

Da'sha Brown was the only Eagle to record double-digit kills as she notched 10 in the contest to go along with three digs and one assist. Alice Genna posted 19 assists, while Kelsey Murphy and Kalin Russell each registered six digs.

The Pirates look to extend their winning streak this weekend when they take on Appalachian State, Denver, and UT Arlington at the Black and Gold Classic in Boone, N.C., hosted by the Mountaineers. ECU will kick off the tournament against the hosts on Friday, September 20, at 7 p.m. The Pirates will meet Denver and UT Arlington on Saturday, September 21 at 10 a.m., and 4 p.m., respectively.