ECU Drops League Opener, 3-0
Sept. 25, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team fell to UTEP in three sets (15-25, 15-25, 14-25) in the Conference USA opener for both squads Saturday at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates are now 1-12 overall and 0-1 in league play while the Miners improve to 9-5 overall and 1-0 in C-USA action.
ECU put two players in double figures defensively as senior Marina Gusman-Brown picked up 17 digs while junior Amanda Lutzow grabbed 11. Lutzow also paced the offense with six kills. At the net, junior Jackie Varnum and freshman Kasey Kavanaugh both racked up two block assists.
UTEP held the advantage in hitting (.229 to -0.47), kills (38-21), digs (55-49) and blocks (8.0-3.0) and only surrendered the lead once in the contest.
A 4-4 score in the first set quickly tilted in the Miners' favor as they scored four-straight points on a kill and three Pirate errors. East Carolina kept the score close, trailing just 13-10 when Lutzow tallied a kill, but UTEP went on an 8-2 run to put the frame out of reach.
A Miner service error kept the Pirates within one at 4-3 to begin the second interval. However, an 8-1 run caused ECU to call a timeout as UTEP surged ahead 12-4. With the Miners holding a 16-7 advantage, the Pirates scored four of the next five points to pull within 17-11 and forced a timeout from the visitors' bench. UTEP would recover, however, ending the set on an 8-4 run.
The Miners raced out to a 7-1 lead in the final frame, partly due to four East Carolina attack errors. ECU turned in its best stretch of play in the contest from there, out-scoring UTEP 12-6 to draw a Miner timeout. As in the second set, UTEP quickly found its footing, scoring five of the next six points to establish an insurmountable 18-12 advantage. The Pirates would score just twice more in the match.
The teams will square off once more Sunday at Minges Coliseum to close out their league schedule-opening series. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m.