Cougars Rally Past Pirates, 3-1
Oct. 31, 2009
HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina volleyball team won the first set of its match against Houston Saturday night, but could not hold on, falling in four sets (25-22, 10-25, 15-25, 12-25) at the Athletics/Alumni Center. The Pirates dropped their fourth-straight contest and are now 9-16 overall and 2-11 in Conference USA play while the Cougars improve to 9-19 in 2009 and 6-7 in league action.
Houston edged ahead 6-3 in the first set and led by as much as 14-11 before ECU mounted a comeback, scoring eight of the next nine points to hold a 19-15 advantage. The Pirates then out-scored the hosts 5-3 to earn their first set point at 24-18, but the Cougars were not done. Houston took the next four points but East Carolina used a Kelly Derby kill to close out the frame.
The Pirates were never in the second interval, allowing the Cougars to score 17 points before they even reached four. ECU would put just six more points on the board, allowing Houston to even the match at one set a piece.
After the intermission, the Cougars took a 6-5 lead and would extend it to 12-9. The Pirates scored the next point to pull within 12-10, but a Houston 8-3 run made the score 20-13 before the Cougars closed out the set with a 5-2 stretch.
East Carolina notched the first point of the fourth frame, but Houston took the next 10 of 13 points to establish a 10-4 advantage. The Pirates could not recover, as the Cougars cruised to the contest win.
Senior Stephanie Turner and junior Lizzy Bruin turned in eight kills each to lead the ECU offense while Turner also produced a squad-best 12 digs. Redshirt freshman Briana Fleener continued her strong play at the net, recording eight blocks assists and has 26 in her last four outings.
The Pirates continued to struggle offensively, hitting just .027 in the four sets while Houston showed at .309. The Cougars also held the decided advantage in kills (57-30) and digs (60-39). East Carolina did out-block Houston 11-9, marking the 16th time this season that the Pirates have out-done their foes in the statistic.
ECU, having closed out its road schedule for the season, returns home for three matches to end the regular season. The Pirates host Memphis on Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in a contest that will be shown on CBS College Sports tape delay basis on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.