Pirate Volleyball Falls To Miners, 3-1

Nicole Willis

Nov. 9, 2012

Final Stats

GREENVILLE, N.C.  - East Carolina's volleyball team put up a fight in taking the third game, before falling to visiting UTEP by a 3-1 score (19-25, 14-25, 25-23, 25-20) on Friday evening at Minges Coliseum. Junior Nicole Willis led the team for the ninth consecutive match and 19th time overall with 15 kills in the loss.

The loss drops ECU to 1-25 on the season and 0-15 in Conference USA play. The win improves the Miners to 16-11 overall and 10-5 in league play.

Junior setter Zarah Cecich had a strong overall performance for the Pirates in hitting .700 (7-for-10) and totaling 25 helpers. Fellow junior Shelby Beasley led the team with 14 digs. UTEP saw four players reached double figures in kills with Jeane Horton leading the squad with her 19 kills, while hitting at a.298 clip. Middle blocker Xitlai Herrera had a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. Fellow middle Cassandra Burruel totaled 13 kills and hit .524. Jacqueline Cason hit the mark 12 times with five digs. Malia Patterson dished out 52 assists in the four-sets for the Miners.

The Pirates fell behind 12-7 in the first set, but rallied to make it 14-10 on a Willis kill before UTEP increased the margin to eight at 23-15 on back-to-back kills from Horton. ECU would rally once more and got to within four at 23-19 on a service error before consecutive kills from Burruel closed the first game.

The second set was one where UTEP took control early at 10-4 on a Cason kill, only to see the Pirates rally to within two on Whitney Campbell's kill at 13-11. The Miners finished strong though and closed the match on a 12-3 run to win the second set 25-14.

In the third game the Pirates got off to a fast start and took the early 12-7 lead on Andrea Queck's service ace. The Miners rallied and tied the score at 20 and then again at 23 before ECU took control late on a Willis kill and a Cecich service ace on consecutive plays to take the third game by a 25-23 score.

The fourth set was another closely contested game that featured three tied scores and the only lead change of the entire match for either team. At one point ECU trailed by as many as eight points before rallying to within two at 22-20 on another kill from Willis. The Miners finished the match strong and outscored ECU 5-0 to close out the fourth and final set of the match.

ECU will complete the 2012 regular season and hosts Tulane on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. The match will also be Senior Day for Kelly Derby. The promotion for the final match of the season is $1 admission to the matinee contest for all non-ECU students and fans over 17. ECU students and youths under 17 will get free admission to the match.