League Leader UAB Proves Too Much For Pirates
Oct. 31, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A red hot and first-place UAB squad could not be slowed down by the East Carolina volleyball team and defeated the Pirates 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-19). Despite the loss, the Pirates played hard and kept the score close for the majority of the match, as there were 19 ties and eight lead changes on the night. The Blazers have now won 15 straight matches since losing to Memphis, 3-1, on Sept. 18.With the defeat, the Pirates fall to 12-15, including a 2-10 mark in Conference USA action. UAB improves to 21-3, with an 11-1 record in C-USA.
The Pirates trailed 4-1 in the opening set before climbing back to tie the score at 4-4 and then taking a 7-6 lead. ECU even extended its lead to three points at 10-7 before UAB answered by scoring 10 of the next 13 points to establish a 17-13 lead of its own, one it would not relinquish. The Pirates could not get closer than three points for the rest of the set in falling 25-16. Hannah Fenker led the offense for East Carolina, tallying three kills while Trish Monroe finished with a team-best eight digs.
Unlike the first set, ECU began the second round of action out front. The Pirates led 2-0, 6-3 and 10-6 before UAB rallied again. This time, the Blazers won five consecutive points to take their first lead of the set at 11-10. The teams then traded points until the score was deadlocked at 18 points apiece. The Pirates trailed by just one at 21-20 but could not force another tie and fell 25-21. Erica Banning picked up three kills in the set as well as two blocks. Britney Roper also added three kills and Monroe totaled seven more digs.
In the final frame, ECU again jumped out to a quick 2-0 advantage just to see UAB knot the score at 3-3. The score would also be tied at points four through eight, after which the Blazers took a 10-8 lead. The Pirates then made a run, winning five of the next six points to go ahead 13-11. East Carolina then pushed the lead out to three points at 17-14, forcing the Blazers to take a timeout. After the break, UAB stormed back again, taking nine of the next 10 points to grab a 23-18 lead before winning the set 25-19.
For the match, Banning led the ECU offense with seven kills and Roper, Lizzy Bruin and Melissa Zentner all collected five on the night. On defense, Monroe dug out a team high 16 balls and Banning led the blocking with six.
Next on the slate for ECU is a match at Memphis on Sunday afternoon. The contest with the Tigers is set to begin at 2 p.m. ET inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse.