Freshman Kasey Kavanaugh handed out 26 assists against Southern Miss Friday
Nov. 20, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina led by as many as six in the first set Friday, but could not sustain the momentum as Southern Miss captured a 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-16) victory at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates fall to 1-28 overall and 0-17 in Conference USA play while the Golden Eagles improve to 19-10 and 12-6.
Junior Jackie Varnum led the offense with 10 kills while freshman Kasey Kavanaugh dished out 26 assists. Junior Nicole Jones was the main defensive force, picking up 16 digs. Varnum would also add three blocks.
Southern Miss held the advantage in kills (49-35), hitting percentage (.318 to .130) and digs (45-38) but ECU had the better of the serving (3-1 in aces) and blocking (4.0-2.0).
East Carolina got off to a quick start in the first set, running out to a 12-6 lead. Out of a Southern Miss timeout, the Golden Eagles got their offense on track and scored the next seven points to take their first lead of the set, 13-12. Following an ECU timeout, the Eagles added a point on a Sears kill, but the Pirates came right back to tie the set on a Varnum kill and a USM hitting error. The teams traded points as the Eagles held an 18-17 lead. After a timeout, the Pirates got kills from Britney Roper and Kelly Derby and used a USM attack error in taking a 20-18 lead. An East Carolina attack error and Shelby Schacher kill then tied the set at 20-20. The teams traded kills four times before another Pirate attack error and a Kasey Kavanaugh kill tied the set for the 13th time at 24-24. However, Bowden tallied back-to-back putaways to seal the set for the visitors.
Three kills, a Mell block and a ECU attack error put the Golden Eagles up 5-0 to start the set. East Carolina battled and pulled within 14-13, but kills by Bowden and Mell extended the lead to 16-13. An ECU service error and two Eagle kills would push the advantage to 19-14. Out of a Pirate timeout, Southern Miss extended its lead to 24-18 before East Carolina fought off three set points. Mell ended the frame by putting down a kill.
The Golden Eagles took an 11-8 lead in the third stanza on a Mell kill. The Eagles then extended their lead behind four kills and two ECU miscues, going ahead 17-12. Following a Pirate timeout, Southern Miss added a point off a Sears kill. The Golden Eagles then outscored ECU 7-3 to clinch the match.
The Pirates continue their three-game homestand Sunday, facing off against Tulane. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m.