Pirates Outlast Rice in Five-Game Battle
Oct. 20, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Kelley Wernert and Jaime Bevan combined for 37 kills as the East Carolina volleyball team defeated Rice 3-2 Friday night in a pivotal and thrilling Conference USA match at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates improve to 15-9 on the season and 6-4 in Conference USA play while Rice falls to 11-13 overall and 4-6 in conference play. The win was the fifth straight in Conference USA and it is the longest conference winning streak in program history. It was the second time in as many years that the teams played a five game match as ECU took a 3-2 decision in Houston last season.
Wernert led the Pirates offensively, recording a double-double with 23 kills and 11 digs. Two other Pirates chipped in with double digit kills as Bevan and Stephanie Turner each contributed 14 and 10 kills respectively. Turner also managed a double-double with her 17 digs. Bevan also became East Carolina's all-time leader in blocks with her second block of the match, which came in the second game. She now has 362 total blocks, passing Tara Vann's 358 for the record. Setter Heidi Krug also turned in a strong effort, posting 55 assists. ECU out-hit Rice .255-.136 while also recording more kills (68-60) and more digs (74-59) than the Owls.
Game 1 was a tight battle as both squads traded points until Rice pulled away with a 5-1 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Games 2 and 3 were all Pirates as ECU rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the match with dominant 30-17 and 30-20 wins. Rice would not go quietly as they easily took game four 30-18. ECU would regroup to take a 12-8 lead in game five and win 15-12.
The Pirates will remain in the friendly confines of Minges Coliseum as they battle Houston in an important Conference USA match on Sunday. First serve is set for noon.