ECU Mounts Rally But Falls In Five
Oct. 1, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Redshirt Junior Nicole Jones recorded a career-best 27 digs while junior Jackie Varnum had a personal-high 18 kills, but a furious rally from a 2-0 deficit fell just short for the East Carolina volleyball team as UAB hung on for a 3-2 (25-14, 25-14, 23-25, 21-25, 15-12) victory Friday night at Bartow Arena. The Pirates are now 1-15 overall and 0-3 in league play while the Blazers improve to 4-11 and 1-2 in C-USA action.
Junior Amanda Lutzow picked up her fourth double-double of the season, posting 10 kills and 13 digs, while freshman Shelby Beasley also reached double-digits with 12 digs. Additionally, redshirt junior Britney Roper tallied 11 kills.
UAB held the advantage in hitting (.244 to .126), kills (67-55), digs (89-73) and blocks (11.0-8.0) but ECU recorded four aces to two for the Blazers as the Pirates bested the opposition in the category for the first time this season.
East Carolina fell behind by three and would stay fairly close in the first set. However, a 6-0 run by the Blazers with the score at 14-11 put the set out of reach as ECU scored just three times more.
UAB did not let up to begin the second frame as it scored the first five points with four kills and a block to force a Pirate timeout. The advantage grew to 14-3 on an attack error by Kelly Derby, but East Carolina rallied and closed the gap to 19-12 before the Blazers recovered and scored six of the last eight points.
The Pirates took a 3-1 lead in the final interval on a Britney Roper kill, and held the advantage until Jordan McDonald made the score 5-4 in favor of the home team with a kill of her own. ECU stayed within two most of the way, but the Blazers assumed a four-point lead at 21-17. The Pirates had one more run in them, however, coming all the way back to force a fourth frame with an 8-2 stretch.
The fourth set stayed tight throughout, but an attack error by UAB gave ECU a 20-17 lead it would not relinquish as the Pirates scored the last five of nine points.
East Carolina fell behind by two at 7-5 in the deciding set, but a 5-3 run knotted the score at 10. An ace on the next rally by Kate Morrell put the Blazers ahead for good, as they held on to clinch the match by scoring four of the last six points.
The Pirates continue conference play Sunday when they host Memphis. First serve at Minges Coliseum is slated for 1 p.m. ET.