Pirates Suffer Sweep At Memphis
Sept. 23, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis put together significant scoring runs in each set Friday to down East Carolina, 3-0, at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse in a Conference USA contest. The Pirates drop to 2-9 overall and 0-2 in league play as the Tigers moved their ledger to 12-3 and 1-1.
Kelly Derby nearly put together a flawless offensive showing, recording a team-best eight kills on 14 attempts with just one error in the third set to produce a .500 mark. Senior Britney Roper fell just behind with seven kills while sophomore Shelby Beasley paced the back row with 10 digs.
The Tigers posted advantages in virtually every category, including kills (41-27), assists (37-25), service aces (9-3), digs (45-33) and blocks (9.0-3.0). Memphis also sided out at 60 percent as compared to 48 percent for the visitors.
The first frame stayed close until, with the score at 10-8 in favor of the home team, the Tigers ripped off five-straight to force a Pirate timeout. Memphis looked to have control, owning its first set point at 24-20, but ECU answered with 5-0 run of its own to push in front. However, the Tigers recovered and took the next three rallies to record the 27-25 win.
Memphis put a stranglehold on the second interval from the start, racing out to a 14-6 cushion. East Carolina, behind kills from Roper and Varnum, crept back into the proceedings at 20-16, but would not catch up as the Tigers stabilized out-scored the Pirates five to three to head into intermission up two sets to none.
ECU established a 4-0 lead in the third set behind kills from Kasey Kavanaugh and Whitney Campbell and kept a sizable advantage thanks to Derby, who recorded three-straight scores as the Pirates moved ahead 14-9. Vesna Jelic aided the Tigers with four consecutive service aces as she single-handedly produced a tie score at 14. That was all Memphis needed to sprint to the end of the set and take a match-clinching 25-18 victory.
East Carolina closes out its 11-match road swing with a contest at UAB Sunday, Sept. 25. First serve between the Blazers and Pirates from Bartow arena is scheduled for 2 p.m.