Pirates Fall On Senior Day
Nov. 7, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - On Trish Monroe’s senior night inside Minges Coliseum, the East Carolina volleyball team was defeated by Southern Miss 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 27-25, 25-16). With the loss the Pirates’ overall record is now 12-17, including a 2-12 mark in Conference USA action. The Golden Eagles improve to 15-12 and 5-9 in the conference.
Despite the loss on her night, Monroe played one of her best matches of the season, totaling 27 digs, just two shy of her career-high. Her total also allowed her to move into fourth-place on the Conference USA digs in a career leaderboard. She now has 1,814 over her four years, moving her two ahead of Christen Clayton of Memphis for sole possession of fourth-place. She currently trails Stephanie Bishop of DePaul by 28 for third-place.
After holding a pre-game ceremony to honor Monroe, the Pirates struggled out of the gate. ECU found itself down 5-1, 7-4 and 11-5 early on in the first set. The teams then exchanged points until the score resulted in a 15-10 Southern Miss lead. The Golden Eagles pushed their advantage out to eight points at 19-11 before the Pirates rallied, cutting the deficit down to five points again with a 22-17 score. It was too little too late for the hosts, however, as ECU lost the opener 25-19. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Britney Roper and junior outside hitter Katie Prast, who had an outstanding .429 hitting percentage, both tallied three kills in the set. Monroe led the defense, picking up five digs.
Again in the next set the Pirates found themselves down early. After ties at one, two and three points, Southern Miss opened up a 7-3 lead. The Pirates stormed back to knot the score at 10 and then took a two point lead at 13-11. But the Golden Eagles rallied as they ran off five straight points to take a 16-13 advantage. Again, ECU had an answer, tying the score at 17 points each before taking an 18-17 lead which they would hold onto for the remainder of the set. Southern Miss closed to within one point at 20-19, but the Pirates scored the next two points and held on to win the set 25-21. Junior outside hitter Melissa Zentner led the offense with five kills in the set while Prast added four more to her total. Monroe continued her fine defense, finishing with 10 digs. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Erica Banning and sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Bruin also helped the defense picking up two blocks each.
The third set was a reversal of the first two, as the Pirates held a 7-3 lead to start and still had the advantage at 10-7. Southern Miss continued to chip away and evened the score at 12-12 and then took at 15-12 lead. The teams exchanged points resulting in an 18-15 score in favor of the Golden Eagles before ECU was able to close within one point at 20-19. Trailing 22-20, back-to-back attack errors by Southern Miss allowed the Pirates to tie the score at 22. The Pirates went on to lead 24-23 but could not finish off the set. The score was knotted at 25 each before the Golden Eagles won the next two points to win the set 27-25. Bruin and junior right side hitter Stephanie Turner each pounded home four kills in the set and Monroe also tallied her first kill of the season in the set.
Play to begin the fourth set was close, as neither team was able to take more than a two point lead until Southern Miss went ahead 9-6. The Pirates quickly came back, tying the score at 9-9 and then taking a 12-10 lead. The Golden Eagles had their own answer, however, winning eight of the next nine points to grab an 18-13 advantage. The deficit proved too much for the Pirates to overcome, as the team fell in the final set 25-16.
For the match, Prast led the offense, finding the floor for 10 kills, the only Pirate with double-digit kills. Zentner finished second on the squad for the night, collecting eight kills. On defense, ECU was given a boost by the return from injury of redshirt freshman Nicole Jones, who finished with eight digs in the first match of her career. Banning led the blocking with seven and Katie Koop, Roper and Bruin all finished with four stuffs.
The Pirates return to the court on Sunday against UCF at 1 p.m. for the team's final home match of the 2008 season. The Knights won the earlier contest this year between the two foes, 3-2, in Orlando, Fla.