Pirates' Rally Cut Short in 3-0 Loss to Houston
Oct. 12, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Nicole Willis tallied her team-leading seventh double-double of the season as East Carolina dropped a 3-0 (20-25, 13-25, 26-28) decision to visiting Houston Friday night at Minges Coliseum.
With the loss, the Pirates fall to 1-17 on the year and 0-7 in Conference USA action, while the Cougars move to 5-13 overall and 4-4 in league play.
Willis was ECU’s leading scorer as she registered 11 kills and notched 10 digs. The junior right side also added a solo block, an assist, and 12.0 points in the match. Hannah Allgood and Shelby Beasley paced the defense with 10 digs each, and Allgood contributed a pair of kills for the Pirates. Whitney Campbell led East Carolina with a .357 attack percentage after knocking down seven kills on 14 attempts and committing just two errors. Campbell also posted four total blocks to equal 9.5 points. Zarah Cecich was consistent at setter as she recorded 28 assists in the contest.
As a team, the Pirates posted a .137 attack percentage, tallied 32 kills, 41 digs, and put up 5.0 blocks. The Cougars edged the Pirates in digs with 46, and out-blocked the hosts with a total of 9.0 blocks, while adding 44 kills.
Set one was close early on as the two squads matched each other point for point. But after a few errors by the Pirates followed by a Cougar block, Houston would take a permanent lead (10-7). East Carolina rallied, and pulled within one (19-20), but the Cougars finished the set on a 5-1 run.
The Cougars used that momentum to push ahead in game two. The visitors never relinquished the lead and defeated the Pirates by a score of 25-13.
Down two sets to none, the Pirates fought hard in the third set. East Carolina battled and played Houston through 17 ties and eight lead changes; the majority of which came in the final moments of the set when ECU knotted the score at 21 on a block by Willis. The two squads exchanged points until the game was even at 26-all, when Houston took advantage of a pair of Pirate miscues to end the game and match.
East Carolina will hit the road for a Sunday match-up against conference foe Rice in Houston, Texas. The match is set for 2 p.m., on Oct. 14.