Volleyball Faces NC State, Charleston Southern Saturday
Sept. 10, 2011
WILMINGTON, N.C. - After a 3-1 win over Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire Tournament host UNC Wilmington Friday, East Carolina returns to Hanover Hall for a pair of matches Saturday against NC State and Charleston Southern. First serve against the Wolfpack is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., while the Pirates will meet the Buccaneers at 5 p.m.
After dropping the first set to the Seahawks, ECU responded with wins in the next three frames. East Carolina (2-3) picked up its 15th-straight win over UNCW (3-5) while also grabbing its first true road victory since a 3-1 triumph over Campbell Sept. 28, 2009.
Senior Britney Roper paced the Pirates offensively with 12 kills on 27 attempts while committing just three errors for a sparkling .333 hitting mark. She also tied her season high with three service aces and contributed a block assist. In the back row, sophomore Shelby Beasley racked up a match-high 15 digs as the only player on either side to reach double figures. In terms of blocking, team co-leader and redshirt junior Kelly Derby was credited with four (three assists). Additionally, in her first collegiate start, freshman Zarah Cecich handed out 25 assists.
East Carolina produced its highest hitting percentage (.253) of any match this season, putting down 34 kills on 87 attempts with 12 errors. ECU was buoyed by respective .409 and .421 attack performances in the second and third sets. The Pirates also ended up out-digging the home side 35-32 while out-blocking their fourth consecutive opponent to the tune of 7-4.
In the all-time series between ECU and NC State, the Wolfpack leads 31-4 while against Charleston Southern, the Pirates own a 3-1 mark.
In Friday's earlier match, the Wolfpack (7-1) outlasted the Bucs three sets to one. Senior Margaret Salata led NC State with 15 kills, a .423 attack average and 20 overall points. She added seven total blocks and six digs. Freshman Nicole Glass had 11 kills and six block assists, while senior Luciana Shafer finished with 10 kills. Senior Kelly Wood had a team-high 18 digs.
Freshman Dariyan Hopper made her first start of the season on the outside, recording nine kills on a .350 attack average.
CSU (0-8) displayed a balanced attack as Wynter Davis and Sydney Tracy both notched nine kills with Kayla Klinger chipping in with eight. Ashley Higginbothem led the way for the Bucs with 19 digs and Kirsten Struksnes accounted for 28 of the teams 30 assists. CSU finished with 35 kills, 53 digs, 10 block assists and hit .094.
UP NEXT FOR THE PIRATES: East Carolina continues its 11-match road swing next weekend, traveling to Huntington, W.Va., for the Thunder Invitational. The Pirates open the tournament and their league schedule at the Cam Henderson Center against Marshall Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.