Volleyball Hosts Second-Place SMU Friday
Oct. 15, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team looks to end a six-match losing streak Friday, hosting second-place SMU in a Conference USA contest at Minges Coliseum. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
The Pirates dropped a pair of league contests last weekend at UCF, falling in three sets both Saturday and Sunday evening. Redshirt junior Britney Roper paced the offense with 16 kills during the two matches while classmate Amanda Lutzow put down 13 kills with just four errors on 13 attempts for a .200 percentage. Additionally, redshirt junior Nicole Jones picked up 26 digs - an average of 4.33 per set. The Placerville, Calif., native has racked up double figures in four-straight contests and is putting up an average of 4.40 digs per set since taking over the starting libero role.
After falling to league leader Tulsa in a thrilling five-set affair last week, the Mustangs responded with a weekend sweep over Memphis, defeating the Tigers 3-1 and 3-0. Kelli Becerra was named Conference USA's Co-Setter-of-the-Week as a result, averaging 10.08 assists per set.
Dana Powell paces the SMU offense, owning 233 kills thus far in 2010. She is one of five Mustangs putting up hitting marks of .214 or better (min. 200 attempts) and kills per set averages of 1.53 or higher. Becerra has been the force behind running that efficient offense, having dished out 741 assists. Defensively, Sidney Stewart anchors the back row with 314 digs, but she is not alone as Powell and Kathryn Wilkerson both boast 244 and 248, respectively. As the second-best blocking team in C-USA, the Mustangs are led by Courtney Manning's 94 total stuffs, which calculates to a 1.34 per set average - tops in the league.
ECU leads the all-time series with SMU 4-2, but the Mustangs won last season's meeting in Texas 3-0. The Pirates' last win against the Dallas-based institution occurred in 2008 when East Carolina won a five-set affair at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates have taken three of the last four matches.
Following Friday's bout, East Carolina remains home to battle Tulsa. The match will get underway at 1 p.m. and will serve as Parent's Day.