Volleyball Continues C-USA Play At Tulane
Oct. 21, 2010
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The East Carolina volleyball heads out on the road to continue league play, traveling to Tulane Friday before making its way to Southern Miss Sunday.
The Pirates dropped a pair of matches at home last weekend, falling to SMU and Tulsa in three-set decisions. Against the Mustangs, freshman Shelby Beasley tallied a career-high 23 digs while redshirt junior Nicole Jones and senior Marina Gusman-Brown racked up 17 and 13, respectively. Offensively, junior Amanda Lutzow paced the squad with eight kills to go along with eight digs. At the net, redshirt sophomore Kelly Derby and freshman setter Kasey Kavanaugh shared the team lead with four blocks apiece.
In Sunday's matchup against Tulsa, freshman Whitney Campbell paced the ECU offense with six kills while classmate Kasey Kavanaugh dished out 13 assists. Defensively, Jones racked up nine digs, complemented by four blocks by Derby.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: Tulane (5-15, 2-6 C-USA) is led offensively by Milica Jovic and Izabela Grot, who own 214 and 211 kills, respectively. They also sport identical 3.10 kills per set averages. Mel Mandelbaum has done most of the setting and she boasts 695 assists (10.07 per set). Defenisvely, Amaris Genermaras paces the back row with 208 digs, good for just over three a set. Addtionally, Lindsey Shepard complements the defense with 50 total blocks.
For Southern Miss (10-9, 3-5 C-USA), the offense runs through Ashley Mell who has recorded 333 kills for an average of 4.56 per set. Kelsea Seymour makes that offense go as she has dished out 820 assists (11.23). Lisa Knecht leads the charge defensively, racking up 349 digs (4.78 average) while Lauren Sears sports a team-best blocking total of 47.
THE SERIES WITH TULANE: The Pirates have lost all nine meetings against the Green Wave. In fact, ECU has only taken one set off of Tulane in 29 tries. Last season, the Green Wave recorded a 25-16, 25-14, 25-20 victory in Greenville. This season is the first in which the squads will play a home and home series.
THE SERIES WITH SOUTHERN MISS: East Carolina has fared much better against the Golden Eagles, holding a record of 7-8. Southern Miss has won the last four of five meetings after the Pirates captured both matches during the 2006 season. ECU is 2-5 when battling the Golden Eagles in Hattiesburg.
LIBERO FOUND: Redshirt junior Nicole Jones has captured the starting libero role during the last six matches and she has not dissapointed. In her last 21 sets she has picked up 92 digs, an average of 4.32. In all conference matches, Jones owns exactly 100 digs and ranks 11th in C-USA.
STUFFED: One positive has remained constant for the Pirates during the 2010 season - team blocking. In defeating Binghamton in the last nonconference matchup, East Carolina owned a 17-5 advantage at the net. So far this season, ECU is averaging exactly two blocks pet set while its opponents have just 1.81 per frame. In the league rankings, the Pirates are fifth in the statistic. Additionally, East Carolina has outblocked its opponent in 10 of 20 matches.
WELCOME TO THE STAFF: Jackie Simpson, a two-time AVCA All-America setter and University of Wisconsin alumna, has joined the staff as a volunteer assistant coach for the remainder of the season. She finished her career in a Badger uniform ranked second all-time in career assists and ranks in the top 10 on the career charts for the Big Ten Conference. As the four-year starting setter, she led Wisconsin to a pair of Elite Eight appearances and a Sweet Sixteen showing.
UP NEXT FOR ECU: After the short two-game road swing, the Pirates return to Minges Coliseum for showdowns with Rice and Houston. ECU faces the Owls Friday, Oct. 29 before taking on the Cougars Halloween afternoon.