Nov. 15, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas –Nicole Willis and Whitney Campbell recorded double-figure kills, but the Pirates were unable to overcome a .297 hitting percentage from UTSA as East Carolina fell, 3-1 [20-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-15], to the Roadrunners on Friday night. With the loss the Pirates drop to 13-18 overall and 3-10 in Conference USA, while UTSA improves to 20-7 on the year and 12-1 in league action.
Willis led the Pirates in kills for the 28th time this season as she notched 13 kills. The senior opposite hitter added one dig and a block assist in the match. Campbell was just one digs shy of a double-double as she recorded 12 kills and nine digs to go along with a pair of block assists. Setters Bella Borgiotti and Zarah Cecich contributed 24 and 13 assists, respectively, while Borgiotti posted seven digs and three block assists. On defense, sophomore defensive specialist Erika Figueroa led the way with 15 digs, while senior libero Shelby Beasley added 14. Middle hitters Virginia Fitch and Kierra Lee-Dunson led the Pirates in blocks as they each recorded four block assists.
The Pirates hit .106 in the match and collected 43 kills, 39 assists, 50 digs, four aces and 8.0 team blocks. The Roadrunners held the edge in all categories with the exception of aces, as they tallied 63 kills, 62 assists, 80 digs, three service aces, and 11.0 team blocks.
East Carolina was competitive throughout the match as the Pirates battled UTSA through 17 ties and seven lead changes. The Pirates took an 11-5 lead in the first set on back-to-back kills by Willis and sophomore outside hitter Torre Blake, followed by a pair of Roadrunner miscues. After UTSA called a timeout, the Roadrunners fought back and eventually evened the score at 13-all. The two teams traded points until UTSA’s McKenzie Adams broke the 17-17 tie with a kill to give the Roadrunners the lead for good as UTSA went on to take the first set, 25-20.
Despite falling behind 3-0 to start the second set, ECU managed to turn things around and take a 7-5 lead after a kill by Campbell. Again, the conference foes battled each other through eight deadlocks until they found themselves knotted at 20-20. The Pirates broke the tie and took a 22-20 advantage after a Blake kill, forcing UTSA to call for a break in action. With UTSA close on their heels, the Pirates closed out the frame on a kill from Campbell to even the match at 1-1 after winning the second set, 25-23.
With the match tied at two games apiece, UTSA forced ECU into a negative attack percentage (-.064) in the third set as the Pirates committed 10 attack errors and recorded just seven kills. The Roadrunners broke an early 2-2 tie and never looked back as they cruised to a 25-16 victory.
The Pirates came back in the fourth set and hit .179, but they could not overcome a hot-hitting UTSA team that came out swinging as they knocked down 20 kills and hit .429 in the frame. The Roadrunners jumped out in from 5-1, and although the Pirates managed to even the score at 11-all, UTSA broke the tie on a kill from Adams which sparked a 5-0 run. With the Roadrunners up 16-11, the Pirates called a timeout, but UTSA would not falter as the Roadrunners took the fourth set, 25-15.
Adams led all scorers with 28 points and 20 digs for a double-double. She also added six total blocks and two assists, while hitting .375. Dajana Boskovic also recorded double-figure kills as she added 11 to go along with three digs, three blocks, and one assist. Tessa Dahnert contributed 18 digs, while Paige Hamilton posted 15. Jessica Waldrip and Brandy Huskey helped set the offensive tone for UTSA as the setters notched 37 and 18 assists, respectively.
East Carolina closes out the regular-season at UTEP on Sunday, November 17. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available on ECUPirates.com.