Volleyball Kicks Off Homestand Against UCF
Sept. 30, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina returns to Minges Coliseum Friday for the first time since the season opener on Aug. 26 as the Pirates host UCF in a Conference USA match. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. and tonight's contest will serve as family weekend for the team.
An 11-match road swing ended in Memphis and Birmingham last weekend, as ECU dropped consecutive 3-0 decisions to the Tigers and UAB Blazers. As such, the Pirates are looking to snap a seven-match losing streak.
Redshirt junior middle hitter Kelly Derby paced the offense during the two matches, downing 12 kills on 29 attempts with just four errors to post a .276 hitting mark. Complementing that performance was the back row effort of sophomore libero Shelby Beasley, who racked up 27 digs for a 4.50 per set average. Additionally, the Winter Park, Fla., native tallied a pair of service aces - one in each match.
If the Pirates are able to down UCF Friday, they would surpass their 2010 season output for victories as well as secure their first league win of the campaign. ECU leads the Knights 8-5 all-time and last picked up a win over UCF Sept. 25, 2009 in four sets at Minges Coliseum.
East Carolina is also putting a two-match home winning streak on the line as well. The Pirates' last loss at home occurred Nov. 21 of last season as Tulane downed ECU 3-0.
After posting a 16-16 overall record and a 9-11 C-USA mark in 2010, UCF is off to a strong start at 10-4 and 2-1. The Knights have a signature win to their credit this season, having knocked off then No. 3 USC in straight sets Sept. 2 in Fort Myers, Fla. UCF enters Friday's match having split its last four contests, however, the two wins were 3-0 victories over conference foes UTEP and SMU. The Knights also dropped a 3-2 decision to Florida International and lost 3-1 to Tulsa.
Against the Golden Hurricane, Junior Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas), moved up the record books once again, passing former Knight, Renata Menchikova, for No. 3 on the all-time dig list after collecting 15 defensive-helpers against Tulsa. The team leader in the category now boasts 1,200 for her career. Sophomore Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) and junior Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) also had solid offensive performances, totaling 13 and 12 kills, respectively.
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