ECU Blanked At UCF, 3-0
Oct. 23, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. - Although the East Carolina volleyball team stretched the second and third sets to extra rallies, it could not overcome UCF Friday night, falling 3-0 (13-25, 31-33, 29-31) at the Venue At UCF. The Pirates drop to 9-13 in 2009 and 2-8 in conference play while the Knights improve to 11-12 overall and 3-7 against Conference USA competition.
It was all UCF in the first frame, as it built an insurmountable lead of 13-3. ECU could only draw within nine the rest of the way as the Knights cruised to the 1-0 match lead.
The Pirates got off to a good start in the second set, establishing a 5-2 cushion before the Knights responded with a 5-2 run to knot the score at seven. UCF would continue to push, eventually taking a 19-14 advantage, but East Carolina had the answer and rallied to reduce the deficit to 21-20. The Knights took their first set point at 24-23 on a Lauren Williams kill, but Melissa Zentner kept the Pirates alive with a kill of her own. The teams traded off set points all the way to 31-31 before consecutive Kristin Fisher tallies gave UCF all of the momentum and a 2-0 contest advantage.
ECU bolted out of the intermission, scoring five of the first six points of the third interval. The Pirates would then stretch the lead to 14-10, forcing a timeout from the Knight sideline. A 6-3 run helped East Carolina earn more breathing room at 20-13, but UCF ripped off eight-straight points to stake its first lead of the set at 21-20. An attack error by Briana Fleener made the score 24-22 in favor of the home team, but the visitors staved off elimination with two consecutive scores. The Pirates would fight off a total of seven match points before the Knights finally shut the door with a Fisher kill and an Andee Youngblood service ace.
Senior setter Hannah Fenker notched a double-double for the third-straight match, picking up 37 assists to go along with 14 digs while classmate Stephanie Turner collected her fourth double-double of the campaign, leading the offense with 14 kills and matching Fenker with 14 digs. Additionally, Melissa Zentner reached double figures with 11 kills. The 14 kills for Turner marked her 11th double-digit effort in 2009.
At the net, Fleener fell just one block shy of the program single-game record, collecting a career-best 11 block assists while Zentner also notched a personal-best nine.
ECU continued its fine blocking, recording 12.0 as compared to 7.0 for UCF. The Knights had the better of the hitting (.229-.147) while also edging the Pirates in digs (54-53).
East Carolina remains on the road for its next match, traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss. for a Sunday matinee with Southern Miss. First serve against the Golden Eagles is set for 2 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum.