Sept. 25, 2009
ECU Volleyball Gameday Central
Match Notes In PDF Format
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team opens the home portion of its 2009 campaign Friday night, welcoming UCF to Minges Coliseum for a 7 p.m. contest. Each squad has played just one conference match to date, as the Pirates fell, 3-1, at Marshall on Sept. 19 while Southern Miss got the best of the Knights on the same day, holding off a UCF charge to capture a 3-2 win in Orlando.
LOOKING BACK: The Pirates rebounded from a tough loss at Marshall to push past Campbell, 3-1, last Tuesday evening at Gore Arena. Three outside hitters combined for 43 kills in Stephanie Turner (16), Britney Roper (16) and Melissa Zentner (11). Senior setter Hannah Fenker completed her second double-double of the season, picking up 14 digs to go along with 47 assists. ECU matched its season-high kill total with 60 while also smashing its previous campaign high in digs, collecting 72.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: UCF enters the contest having lost four-straight matches. Most recently, the Knights dropped a five-set decision to MEAC powerhouse Florida A&M in Orlando. Erin Campbell paces UCF offensively, having recorded 181 kills while Meredith Murphy owns a squad-best 231 digs.
INCHING TOWARD THE TOP
PICKING IT UP ON BOTH SIDES OF THE NET
With 16 kills and six digs at Campbell Tuesday night, Stephanie Turner began to threaten some of the top players in school history for their places in the top 10. Turner needs just seven more digs to pass Liz Hall for eighth-places while needing 28 kills to supplant Gwynn Baber for 10th. Additionally, classmate Hannah Fenker is just 178 assists away from jumping teammate Katie Koop for eighth-place.
ECU enjoyed one of its most efficient efforts of the season, collecting 60 kills and 72 digs in the 3-1 triumph over Campbell. The 60 kills match the season hig h set against UNC Asheville while the 72 digs are a new campaign best, smashing the previous high of 58 versus St. John's.
WAY DOWN LOW
In the match with Savannah State, the Pirates allowed just two points to the Tigers in the first set. It is the fewest given up by East Carolina since rally scoring went into effect in 2001. Only UAB has matched this feat nationally this season, holding Alcorn State to a pair of scores in the first set of a 3-0 decision on Sept. 4 at the Magnolia Invitational in Oxford, Miss.
QUEENS OF THE ACE
Giving opponents trouble this season with their serving, the Pirates have notched an impressive 72 aces for an average of 1.69 per set, a mark which currently leads C-USA and is 35th nationally. ECU has taken advantage of some good placement and poor passing by its opposition, having recorded 11 aces each against VCU and Savannah State.
With a current 6-6 non-conference record, the Pirates have a good chance of sustaining a four-year streak in which they have posted a winning record in non-league contests. East Carolina has the streak-decider on Tuesday when it hosts UNCW in its final non-conference tilt. Over the past four-plus seasons, the Pirates have garnered a 44-25 ledger outside of C-USA.
ANYTHING BUT EVEN
East Carolina's record may stand at a symmetrical 6-6, but the Pirates have notched more kills (528-463), attempts (1414-1291), assists (478-418), aces (72-59) and points (677.0-603.5) than their opposition. However, ECU's foes own the edge in digs (543-513) and total blocks (81.5-77.0).
A GOOD START IS ESSENTIAL
Just as breakfast is a good start to a day, the Pirates winning the first set of a match has proven quite beneficial. When taking the first frame this season, East Carolina is 5-1.
PLAYING FOR A CENTURY
Seniors Hannah Fenker, Stephanie Turner and Melissa Zentner have all reached the 100-match plateau for their careers. Fenker and Turner passed the milestone against Arkansas while Zentner reached the mark with her play in the contest vs. Savannah State.
Briana Fleener became the final member of the 2009 East Carolina roster to experience collegiate match action, as she played four sets at the WSSU Invitational. She enjoyed her best effort against Savannah State, recording seven kills on nine attempts with two errors to hit .556. Fleener also picked up two blocks at Marshall.
Redshirt sophomore Britney Roper enjoyed one of her finest outings as an East Carolina volleyball player against Winston-Salem State, pounding the Rams for 12 kills. Even more impressively, she hit at a .667 clip on 18 attempts while committing no errors. That percentage is the second- highest mark by a Conference USA player this season. Additionally, her 20 kills against St. John's represent the third-most in a single match among league athletes in 2009 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 the Red Storm a personal-best five times.
WHO IS THAT BACK THERE??
In an attempt to shake things up in the back row, head coach Pati Rolf has placed senior Katie Prast and sophomore Amanda Lutzow in the libero position to feature their solid passing and defensive skills. Lutzow has begun to excel in her new role, picking up a team-best 13 digs at Marshall before corralling 12 at Campbell.
Through the first month of the season, the Pirates have faced a solid slate of competitors, as ECU's opponents have accrued a record of 89-82 (.528).
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.
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.