Pirates Rally But Fall To UTEP, 3-1
Oct. 19, 2008
EL PASO, Texas – The East Carolina volleyball team fought to a 1-1 set tie before falling to UTEP 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19) inside Memorial Gym on Sunday afternoon in El Paso, Texas. With the loss, the Pirates are now 11-13 with a 1-8 record in Conference USA. The Miners improve their overall mark to 6-15 and to 2-6 in conference matches. East Carolina has now suffered nine losses in a row.
The teams kept the score tight throughout the first set, resulting in a 9-9 tie before UTEP pulled out to a 16-11 advantage. The Pirates were able to cut their deficit down to three points when a Lizzy Bruin kill made the score 21-18. The Miners then went on to win four of the next six points, to gain the victory in the opening set, 25-20. Bruin had an excellent first set, tallying six kills in nine attempts with just one error, good for a .556 hitting percentage. Trailing Bruin in kills in the opener was Stephanie Turner, who finished with four. Trish Monroe led the defense, picking up eight digs.
In the second set, the action was not kept quite so close. After a 2-2 tie, the Pirates went on to hold leads of 13-5, 20-14 and 23-18 before winning the set 25-21. Turner added another four kills in the set while Melissa Zentner totaled three. Bruin had only one kill, but played a large part in the team’s set win with five block assists. Overall, the Pirates had 10 block assists during the set.
The Miners responded in the third set, taking a quick 6-2 advantage. East Carolina then rallied to knot the score at six points each before taking a four point lead of their own, at 12-8. UTEP next rallied and tied the score at 15. The score would also be tied at 16, 17, 18 and 20 points. The Pirates could not close out their rally or the set, as UTEP won five of the final six points to win the third set 25-21. Turner and Amanda Lutzow each recorded three kills in the set and Monroe added three more digs to her total.
In the fourth and final set the Miners again jumped out to an early lead, this time at 11-5. ECU responded with a run which cut the lead down to just three points at 15-12. The Pirates could not get closer than three points for the remainder of the set, and fell 25-19. Turner and Erica Banning each pounded down three kills and Bruin added her final block of the day with a solo stuff.
Turner led the team in kills on the day, recording 14. She also finished second on the squad in blocks with five and tied for second in digs with seven. Monroe led the Pirates with 17 digs and Hannah Fenker picked up 40 assists for the match. Bruin finished with 10 kills and a career-high eight blocks. As a team, ECU recorded 10 total blocks, the highest total since the Memphis match on Sept. 28. East Carolina also finished with 50 kills, the team’s highest output since the Oct. 5 match at UCF.
ECU next returns to the court in Greenville, for the next-to-last home stand of the year, beginning Friday, Oct. 24, against Tulsa at 7 p.m. The Pirates finish the weekend with SMU at noon on Sunday, Oct. 26.