Sept. 10, 2009
Friday, September 11
East Carolina at Winston-Salem State at 1:00 p.m.
East Carolina vs. UNC Asheville at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 12
East Carolina vs. Wofford at 10:00 a.m.
East Carolina vs. Savannah State at 4:00 p.m.
ECU Volleyball Gameday Central
East Carolina Match Notes in PDF Format
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team closes out its regular season tournament schedule this weekend, traveling to Winston-Salem for the Winston-Salem State Lady Rams Invitational. The Pirates are slated to square off against the host Rams and UNC Asheville on Friday, Sept. 11 before returning the next day for meetings with Wofford and Savannah State.
Matching its output from the first weekend of play, ECU turned in a 1-2 record at
the Virginia Tech Tournament a week ago, falling to the host Hokies and Arkansas before responding with a 3-0 win over Norfolk State. Senior Stephanie Turner highlighted the offensive effort, collecting 26 kills for an average of 2.89 per set. Senior setter Hannah Fenker earned all-tournament honors, picking up 72 assists in nine sets for an average of 8.00 per frame. Additionally, continuing her development at the libero position, senior Katie Prast turned in a 22-dig effort to maintain her team lead.
Two of the matches this weekend will feature first-time meetings as the Pirates
have never faced Winston-Salem State or the Tigers. Against the Bulldogs and Terriers, East Carolina owns a combined 4-2 record, including a 3-0 ledger when playing Wofford.
Senior setter Hannah Fenker was recognized for her play at the VT Tournament, earning selection to the All-Tournament Team. She collected 72 assists in three matches for an average of 8.00 per set. Fenker also hit .500 in the contest against Arkansas, notching three kills on six attempts with no errors. The senior currently sits ninth on the Pirate career assists ledger with 1,271, trailing teammate Katie Koop by 405.
Redshirt sophomore Britney Roper enjoyed her finest outing as an East Carolina volleyball player against St. John's, pounding the Red Storm for a career-high 20 kills. Even more impressively, she hit at a .424 clip on 33 attempts while committing just six errors. Those 20 kills represent the third-most by a Conference USA player in a single match this young season and the third-most in a four-set contest.This feat is noteworthy since only Lizzy Bruin reached that plateau last season. Additionally, Roper aced St. John's a personal-best five times.
Senior outside Stephanie Turner produced a solid effort on opening weekend,
recording two double-doubles and notching three double-digit kill
efforts on her way to selection to the VCU Invitational All-Tournament
Team. With 17 kills against Wright State, she fell just one short of her
career high set on Sept. 1, 2006 against, ironically enough, the Raiders.
After sitting out her true freshman season with an injury, Kelly Derby showed what the Pirates were missing last season with a solid performance at the VCU Invitational. She produced 12 total blocks while also picking up a squad-best hitting percentage of .412, putting down 17 kills on 34 attempts with just three attack errors. Derby currently owns 18 total blocks this season, good for the team lead.
Zentner With A Zing
Along with Turner, senior outside Melissa Zentner earned a nod to the VCU Invitational All-Tournament Team, as she contributed 38 kills on 100 attempts with 13 errors to hit .250 for the weekend. She currently ranks second on the squad behind Derby while Zentner is also second in attempts, 28 behind Turner.
Just Get To The Second Set...
One anomally from the VCU Invitational was that the Pirates won the second set in each match they played. In fact, it was the only frame in which ECU won at least twice in the three contests. In all, the squad has won the second set in four of six matches.
But Avoid A Slow Start
If the Pirates can transfer their second set success in Richmond to the first frame, they will be tough to beat this season. In four matches this season, East Carolina has dropped the first set by a combined 24 points, including losing by just two against Wright State and Arkansas.
Queens Of The Ace
Giving opponents trouble this season with their serving, the Pirates have notched an impressive 40 aces for an average of 1.82 per set, a mark which currently leads C-USA. Despite dropping the contest with VCU, ECU took advantage of some poor Ram passing to collect 11 aces in the match while also recording the same number against Norfolk State.
With a current 2-4 non-conference record, the Pirates are in danger of ending a four-year streak in which they have posted a winning record in non-league contests. However, East Carolina has six more chances to record a non-conference triumph, starting this weekend in Winston-Salem. Over the past four seasons, the Pirates have garnered a 38-20 ledger outside of C-USA play.
Who Is That Back There??
In an attempt to shake things up, head coach Pati Rolf placed senior Katie Prast in the libero position to feature her solid passing and defensive skill. Prast has fared very well in her new role, racking up a career-high 15 digs against VCU and leads the team with 52 digs through six matches.
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Pirates have faced a solid slate of competitors, as ECU's opponents have accrued a record of 29-14 (.674).
The East Carolina volleyball team returns six starters and 12 letterwinners from the 2008 squad. The Pirates also compete this season without any true freshmen.
Welcome To Greenville
Coaching veteran Rolf is in her first season with ECU and boasts a career record of 414-271 in her 22nd season. For the past 21 years, she has led the programs at Minnnesota-Duluth and former C-USA member Marquette. Rolf also represents one of just 15 certified female international officials for volleyball in the world.
East Carolina has taken part in six of the last eight C-USA Tournaments. The only two seasons that the Pirates have not participated in the event are 2002 and 2003, as the squad became volleyball members of the league in 2002. Begin with the 2009 season, only the top eight teams in the standings qualify for the tournament.