Pirates Roll Past Savannah State in 3-0 Sweep
Oct. 5, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. -Senior Nicole Willis recorded a match-high nine kills in East Carolina's 3-0 [25-12, 25-9, 25-15] sweep over Savannah State on Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum to snap the Pirates' six-match losing streak. With the win, the Pirates improve to 8-11 on the year and the Tigers drop to 0-20 on the season.
Willis has led the Pirates in kills in all 19 matches this season as the opposite hitter notched nine to go along with a .348 attack percentage and a team-best nine digs. Junior setter Zarah Cecich controlled the offense with 25 assists while adding five digs, four block assists, and a pair of kills with a .400 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle hitter Kierra Lee-Dunson led the front row with five block assists, four kills, and a hitting percentage of .333.
The Pirates' victory was a total team effort as everyone saw action in the contest. ECU out-hit Savannah State .244 to -.163, while holding the edge on kills 31 to 14. The Pirates also held the advantage with 27 assists to the Tigers' 13. Defensively, East Carolina collected 39 digs, while limiting Savannah State to 30. The Pirates also recorded 10.0 total team blocks, while the Tigers posted 2.0.
"It was nice to snap that losing streak and win at home," Head coach Julie Torbett said. "It's just nice to win on your home court.
"I thought our blocking was really good. We had 10 blocks as a team, so not a lot of balls were getting by. We didn't make as many mistakes as we've been making, so that's helped our hitting percentage. We're trying to work on our unforced errors and trying to cut those down to about three per set. We were a little over that today, but we did get everybody in the match."
East Carolina started the match out with a strong showing in the first set as the Pirates hit. 233 and knocked down 10 kills in the frame. The Pirates took advantage of a few Savannah State errors to go up 6-4, and ECU managed to extend the lead on a 4-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back kills from Ashley McRae and Willis. After pushing their lead to double digits (18-8), the Pirates closed out the set on a 6-1 run to win the game, 25-12.
The second set was all ECU as Willis got the Pirates on the board with a kill and the hosts never looked back. East Carolina led throughout the entire frame never allowing the Tigers to make any threats. ECU hit .269 and recorded 10 kills, while limiting the Tigers to a -.167 attack percentage with four kills on 36 attempts and 10 attack errors. The Pirates used a balance offense to cruise to a 25-9 set win.
Erika Figueroa started the third set with a service ace as the final frame mimicked the first. After three early ties, the Pirates capitalized on a few Savannah State miscues to break the deadlock and take an 11-5 advantage. ECU knocked down 11 kills in the frame while hitting .233 en route to a 25-15 set victory to seal the match win.
Savannah State's Justice Dilworth recorded a team-best four kills, while Caitlyn Masoe notched 10 assists to go along with three kills on as many attempts. Masoe also added a trio of digs, one block assist, and a service ace in the match. Defensively, Alexis Washington recorded a match-high 12 digs, while Christian Lyle led the squad with two block assists.
ECU's next action is Tuesday, October 8, at Charleston Southern. The mid-week non-conference match is set for 7 p.m. Live stats will be available for the contest.