Owls Fly Past Pirates
Oct. 12, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - For the second time on the weekend, the East Carolina volleyball team fought hard but it was not enough, as the team was swept by Rice 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-17) on Sunday afternoon inside Minges Coliseum. East Carolina's overall record now slips to .500 for the first time this season at 11-11, including a 1-5 mark in Conference USA. With the victory, Rice improves to 13-4 overall and 4-2 in C-USA.
After ties of 2, 3, 4 and 5 points started the action, Rice won six of the next seven points to gain the five point advantage at 11-6. The Pirates fought back to close the gap to just three points at 17-14 before Rice won the next three points to push the lead back to six points with the 20-14 lead. ECU would again rally and cut the deficit to four points at 23-19, but the Owls responded and won the set 25-19. East Carolina managed just eight kills in the opening set, with Erica Banning leading the way with three. Trish Monroe paced the defense with four digs and Lizzy Bruin had the team's only block.
Play resulted in a 3-3 tie to begin the second set. After the brief deadlock, the Owls ran off four straight points to take the 7-3 lead. The Pirates battled back and knotted the score again, this time at 8-8. With the score 12-12 the Pirates went on their own four point run and took a 16-12 advantage and still held the lead at 19-16. Rice again had an answer and tied the score 20-20 before winning the last five points of the set to win 25-20. Banning and Stephanie Turner each picked up two kills and two blocks in the set while Amanda Lutzow added three digs for the defense.
In the final frame, the Owls took the same 7-3 lead they had in set two and were ahead 10-4 before East Carolina mounted a come back. The Pirates got within four points at 10-6 and 11-7 but could get no closer the rest of the way as Rice won the set 25-17.
Banning tallied nine kills in the match to lead the offense and Turner collected seven and Bruin six kills. Monroe finished with nine digs and Lutzow seven, while Banning led the blocking with three.
Next up for East Carolina is a Friday's trip to New Orleans, La., for a match with Tulane at 7 p.m. CT. The Pirates finish off next weekend on Sunday in El Paso, Texas, for a 12 p.m. MT start with UTEP.