East Carolina opens up its regular season Wednesday night when the Pirates host in-state rival UNC Wilmington at Williams Arena at Minges Colieseum at 7 p.m. to wrap up the battle between UNCW and the Pirates Wednesday. ECU's men's soccer team hosts the Seahawks at 3:30 p.m. at Bunting Field.
The Pirates will depend upon juniors for their success in 2004 as the roster does not feature one senior. ECU returns four starters in 2004. Outside hitters Erica Wilson, Pam Ferris, Katie Jannusch and libero Johanna Bertini will be called upon to keep the Pirates' ship afloat along with junior college transfer Paige Howell. Wilson, a co-captain for the 2004 squad, led the team with 287 kills in 2003. Ferris and Jannusch combined for 431 kills, 387 digs, and 71 service aces, while Bertini led the team with 308 digs from her libero position. After redshirting in 2003, Howell will provide help in the middle. While ECU won 10 matches in 2003, 11 of its 21 losses came down to the final two games of a match.
Joining the junior class are two seasoned sophomores in middle blocker Jaime Bevan and setter Heidi Krug. Both return from the 2003 starting rotation. Bevan was named to the C-USA All-Freshman team in 2003 after leading ECU in total blocks (112) and ranking second on the team with 277 kills. Krug is the only true setter on the roster, and she gained valuable experience as a freshman.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS
UNC Wilmington opens up its regular season on the road. Jennifer McCall takes over the UNCW program in 2004. The Seahawks return four starters and seven letterwinners from 2003 led by outside hitter Lindsey Moffitt who put down 213 kills in 2003. Middle hitter Felicity Ribalkin posted 121 kills and a .116 attack percentage while outside hitter Paige Marvin added 109 assists. Setter Lacey White is back for the Seahawks. White had 359 assists in 2003.
BEVAN NAMED TO 2003 c-usa ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Freshman middle blocker Jaime Bevan was named to the Conference USA All-freshman volleyball team, selected by a vote of the league's 14 volleyball head coaches. It is ECU's first ever CUSA All-freshman selection in volleyball. Bevan led the team in total blocks with 112, recording 88 block assists which ranked seventh all-time in a single season. She was second on the team in kills (277) and hit .263, second-best on the team. Bevan posted double figures in kills in 12 matches on the season and recorded a career-high 11 blocks against Marquette and a career-high 16 kills against Furman. She posted a season-high .692 atack percentage against Lipscomb.
PIRATES HOST SECOND CITY HOTEL & BISTRO TOURNAMENT
East Carolina will host the second City Hotel & Bistro Tournament this weekend. The Pirates will welcome Lamar, Mercer, High Point and Furman to Greenville. ECU captured the tournament title last year as the Pirate finished the tournament undefeated. Pam Ferris was named the tournament's most valuable player after recording 28 kills, 21 digs and 11 service aces in three matches. Jaime Bevan and Erica Wilson were both named to all-tournament team.
PIRATES WELCOME NEWCOMERS
Six new faces will suit up for East Carolina in 2004. Junior Paige Howell and freshman Caitlin Daly sepnt the 2003 season as redshirts. Both have earned a spot in the starting rotation. ECU has landed what head coach Colleen Munson calls her most athletic true freshmen class with outside hitters Mignon Dubenion, Kim Jefferson, Kelley Wernert and libero/defensive specialist Trish Monroe.
One of the strengths of the Pirates in 2003 was their defense. The team totaled 209 total blocks on the season and 1,411 digs. Johanna Bertini led the team with 308 digs while Pam Ferris chipped in 208 digs. Jaime Bevan and Alexis Jones anchored ECU's blocking attack. Bevan posted 112 blocks on the season while Jones added 71 blocks.
The Pirates host the City Hotel & Bistro Tournament this weekend before wrapping up their home-stand next Tuesday against North Carolina A&T.