ECU Heads To SMU Before Hosting Tulsa In Split Weekend
Oct. 19, 2011
DALLAS, Texas - In the midst of a 13-match losing skid, East Carolina looks to get back on track when it travels to SMU Friday before returning home to face Tulsa Sunday. Match times are 8 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. The Pirates are also searching for their first Conference USA victory of the year.
East Carolina dropped a pair of 3-0 decisions at Southern Miss and Tulane last weekend. Amanda Lutzow led the charge offensively, collecting 18 kills while turning in her second double-double of the season. She posted 10 kills and 10 digs in the contest in Hattiesburg Friday. Zarah Cecich recorded a team-high seven digs against the Green Wave - the first time she has paced the squad in the statistic in a match this season.
The series between ECU and the Mustangs is tied at four matches apiece while the Pirates are 1-7 against the Golden Hurricane with their lone win occurring during the 2005 season as East Carolina won in four sets in Greenville.
SMU has won four of its last five matches, including a four-set victory at Tulsa which snapped the Golden Hurricane's 26-match conference winning streak. Last weekend, the Mustangs fell 3-2 at Memphis before picking up a 3-1 win at UAB. SMU sits in a three-way tie for sixth place in the league standings with Memphis and UCF, and can up their position with wins over ECU and Marshall this weekend.
Jessica Oliver leads the Mustang offense with 250 kills, good for 3.05 per set. She also owns the second-highest hitting percentage on the squad at .236 which is behind Courtney Manning's .312 mark. Kelli Becerra has dished out 673 assists for SMU this year and is averaging 8.23 helpers per frame. Defensively, Sidney Stewart paces the team with 415 digs - giving her the top total in the league. She also boasts the best average in C-USA at 5.06 per set. As a team, the Mustangs are hitting .182 while posting averages of 11.41 assists, 0.87 aces, 17.01 digs and 2.55 blocks.
Meanwhile, the Golden Hurricane has proven a formidable opponent for most teams this season as Tulsa resides in first place in the league standings with a 8-1 record. In the first NCAA RPI rankings of the campaign, the Golden Hurricane check in at No. 21. Tulsa has won 11 of its last 12 contests, collecting road sweeps of Memphis and UAB.
A big reason for the Hurricane's success is the offensive prowess of junior Tyler Henderson, who averages 4.92 kills per set - the fourth-highest mark in the nation. Last year, she led the country for much of the season before earning Conference USA's Player of the Year honors. Junior Jordan Clampitt, last season's C-USA Setter of the Year, has recorded 650 assists and has shared the duties with her sister Bailey. Jessica Adams paces the back row defensively with 375 digs (4.81 d/s). Collectively, Tulsa is first in the league in three statistical categories - hitting percentage (.254), assists (13.79) and kills (14.71 k/s) while residing in the top half of three more.
CAMPBELL COMING ON STRONG
ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS Redshirt junior Kelly Derby has been named to three all-tournament squads this season at the Jefferson Cup, UNCW Mayfaire Tournament and the Thunder Invitational. The middle hitter is attacking at a .301 clip this season, a team high, and is second on the squad with 30 total blocks. Additionally, Derby has committed just 12 errors on 146 attempts in 2011.
GETTING IN ON THE ACTION Freshman Zarah Cecich played in two sets in the Jefferson Cup, experiencing her first extended action of her collegiate career. She posted two kills and dished out 12 assists to go along with seven digs and three block assists. Cecich also started the first contest of her career at UNC Wilmington, dishing out 25 assists and leading the Pirates to a four-set victory. The Indiana native has served as ECU's setter the last 10 matches.
DID YOU KNOW?
AMONG THE BEST
NEXT UP FOR THE PIRATES