Pirates Fall To Blazers In Regular-Season Finale
Nov. 11, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The East Carolina volleyball team fell in three games to UAB on Sunday afternoon inside Bartow Arena. The Pirates finish the regular-season with an overall mark of 15-16 and a 6-10 conference record. The Blazers enter the conference tournament 22-8 on the season and finish Conference USA play at 12-4. With Rice's sweep over SMU on Saturday night, ECU will be the eighth seed in the conference tournament.
With game one tied at seven, UAB used a 10-5 run to assume a 17-12 advantage, drawing a timeout from the Pirate sideline. The Blazers then took leads of 22-15 and 25-18 in closing out the frame 30-23.
Game two was close early on as the squads battled to a 8-8 score. UAB then went on an 8-0 run that induced an East Carolina timeout. The Pirates would get no close than eight as the Blazers cruised to a 30-19 win heading into the break.
After UAB took a 6-1 advantage to begin the third frame but ECU out-scored the Blazers 9-6 over the next 15 points to pull within 12-10. However, UAB notched the next five scores to assume a 17-12 lead and never looked back as it closed out the match with a 30-21 win.
Sophomore Peyton Thompson led the offense, putting down 13 kills on 20 attempts with two errors to hit a scorching .550. Senior Kelley Wernert added nine scores, marking the first time in 28 matches that she has not recorded double-digits. The Hoffman Estates, Ill. native also paced the defense, tallying 11 digs while just missing a double-double. Sophomore Hannah Fenker and freshman Katie Koop shared the duty of running the offense as they dished out 11 and 17 assists respectively.
The Blazers dominated the stat sheet, recording more kills (54-39), assists (50-33) and aces (6-2). The Pirates out-dug their opponent 44-37 while UAB edged them in blocks 9-8. Casey Dent slapped 16 kills to lead four Blazers in double-digits while Nevena Stefanov handed out 46 assists for an impressive average of 15.33 per game.
East Carolina will look for its first-ever C-USA volleyball title as the conference tournament begins on Thursday at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va. The Pirates will square off with the ninth-seeded SMU Mustangs in Thursday's third match at 5 p.m. ECU defeated SMU in a five-game thriller earlier this season in Minges Coliseum. The winner advances to play the top-seed and host Marshall in the quarterfinals.