Pirates Turn Back UCF, 3-1
Sept. 25, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team, playing for the first time at home in 2009, enjoyed a solid all-around performance and downed UCF, 3-1, Friday evening at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates improve to 7-6 overall and 1-1 in C-USA play while the Knights are now 8-7 on their campaign and 0-2 in conference action.
"I was really pleased with the play of our upperclassmen," head coach Pati Rolf said. "We are starting to get consistent efforts from more than just a few players. The women really rallied around each other tonight and did some things that caught UCF off guard. It was a fine team effort tonight."
With the first set tied at 10, ECU scored three of the next four points to establish an 13-11 lead, forcing a UCF timeout in the process. The Knights rallied to within 21-19, but the Pirates had the answer, piling up three-straight scores to move to set point. The teams would then alternate taking the next three rallies, giving East Carolina the 25-21 win.
A 7-2 run at the beginning of the second frame by UCF drew a timeout from the Pirate sidelines. It proved effective, as ECU drew within 13-11, bringing a timeout of the Knights' own. East Carolina would complete the comeback, tying the set at 18 on a Britney Roper kill. It was all Pirates from there, as the home squad captured a 25-21 decision and took a commanding 2-0 match lead.
Looking the clinch the sweep, ECU struggled in the third frame, never recovering from a 17-9 deficit which turned into a 25-17 set victory for UCf.
The Pirates raced out to a 6-0 advantage in the fourth interval on fine serving by Hannah Fenker. The lead would balloon to 19-7 before the Knights mounted a final charge and pulled to within 22-14. However, a Nicole Jones service ace gave East Carolina its 23rd point and settled the squad down, as the Pirates notched the contest-clinching 25-17 win.
East Carolina enjoyed the advantage at the net, picking up a season-best 28 block assists and 14 total blocks. The Pirates also won the hitting battle, firing at a .160 clip as compared to .120 for UCF. The Knights did, however, pick up 71 digs to ECU's 65.
Fenker picked up her second consecutive double-double and third of the season, handing out 45 assists while digging up 12 balls. Lizzy Bruin also recorded her first double-double of the season, killing 15 balls, the squad-best, while collecting a career-best 13 digs. Stephanie Turner and Roper also turned in double-digit kills efforts, with 12 and 10, respectively. Amanda Lutzow and Melissa Zentner pitched in defensively, notching 13 and 12 digs. It was a career-high mark for Zentner while a third-straight double-digit performance for Lutzow.
The Pirates remain at home for their next contest, welcoming Southern Miss to Minges Coliseum on Sunday for a 2 p.m. first serve.
NOTE: The kids' clinic, originally scheduled for Sunday before the match with the Golden Eagles, has been moved to a later date in October. Please check ecupirates.com for the latest information.