Pirate Rally Falls Short Against UAB
Nov. 8, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - After dropping the first two sets of its Conference USA match against UAB, the East Carolina volleyball team rallied to take the third frame but could not complete the comeback, falling 3-1 (21-25, 16-25, 28-26, 20-25) on Sunday at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates dip to 9-18 overall and 2-13 in league play, while the Blazers improve to 15-15 in 2009 and 7-7 against C-USA foes.
With 12 digs, senior setter Hannah Fenker needs just seven more to become the first player in program history to record 1,000 assists and digs for a career. Fenker also completed her ninth double-double of the season, handing out 42 assists.
Two kills at the outset of the first interval allowed UAB to grab a 6-2 advantage, but ECU rallied to pull within 9-7 on a Briana Fleener kill. The Pirates eventually took their first lead of the contest at 16-15 before a 5-4 run by the Blazers knotted the score at 20. UAB took control from there, reeling off four-straight points to take its first set point. Melissa Zentner pulled one back with a kill on the next play, but Sam Serley notched a kill of her own to close out the set.
East Carolina kept the Blazers in check for much of the early part of the second frame, but with UAB leading 11-9, it scored four-straight points to establish breathing room at 15-9. The Pirates could only come within three the rest of the way as UAB took a 2-0 advantage into the intermission.
Serley gave the visitors a 7-5 lead in the third set, but ECU took the next two rallies to even the score. Deadlocks then ensued at 10, 11, 12 and 13 before a modest 3-0 stretch allowed the Pirates to establish their largest lead of the contest at 16-13. After a Blazer timeout, East Carolina scored two more times to push the advantage to 18-13. The teams matched each other for the next six plays, making the score 21-16. Then, with the Pirates threatening to end the set with three set points, UAB dug down and responded with three consecutive scores to force a 24-24 stalemate. The squad traded set points up until 26 when Zentner ended the frame with two-straight kills.
ECU jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the fourth interval but the Blazers quickly tied the score on a Zentner attack error. After UAB forced a Pirate timeout up 11-9, it held the home team at arm's length the rest of the way, ending the contest with a Jordan McDonald kill.
Senior Stephanie Turner had a solid overall performance, notching her fifth double-double of the campaign with 12 kills and a season-high, career-best 20 digs. Junior Lizzy Bruin also ended a nice weekend with 11 kills on 22 attempts with just three errors to post a .364 percentage. Additionally, redshirt sophomore Nicole Jones fell one dig shy of double digits with nine.
The Blazers enjoyed the better of the hitting, producing a .211 mark as compared to .117 for East Carolina. UAB also recorded more digs (65-62) and blocks (11.0-7.0)
The Pirates return to Minges Coliseum one last time this season Saturday Nov. 14, closing out the 2009 campaign with a 12 noon league contest against Marshall.