Junior Nicole Jones
Nov. 13, 2010
HOUSTON, Texas - East Carolina won the third set after dropping the first two to force a fourth frame Saturday, but Rice recovered to clinch the match (25-21, 25-9, 22-25, 25-9) at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Pirates dip to 1-27 overall and 0-16 in Conference USA play while the Owls are now 15-14 and 10-7.
Rice put down 59 kills on 131 attempts to post a .282 hitting mark as compared to a .076 showing by ECU. The Owls also held the advantage in digs (62-41) and service aces (4-3) but the Pirates had the best of the blocking 9-6.
Down 15-11 midway through the first set, East Carolina rallied with four-straight points to tie the score. Whitney Campbell kept the Pirates close with a kill to make it 19-18 in favor of the home team, but the Owls pulled away by taking the next three rallies.
A 3-3 deadlock would be the closest score of the second frame, as a 10-1 run pushed Rice far into the lead. ECU failed to reach double digits in the set, allowing Rice to go ahead 2-0 in the match.
Tied at 11 in the third interval, the Pirates scored three-straight to force an Owl timeout. The break proved ineffective as a block by Kavanaugh and Jackie Varnum kept East Carolina rolling to a 19-12 lead. Rice was not done, however, as it answered with a 7-2 run to pull within 21-19. The Pirates reached set point at 24-19 but it took four rallies and a Britney Roper kill to dispatch the Owls in the set.
Rice rolled out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth frame and never looked back, allowing ECU just nine points to capture the 3-1 win.
East Carolina returns home for its last three of four matches, beginning Friday against Southern Miss. First serve at Minges Coliseum is slated for 5 p.m. and will take place before the women's basketball team squares off against UNC Wilmington at 8.