GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina volleyball team travels to Louisville Friday night and Cincinnati Saturday night to take on the top two teams in Conference USA this season. The trip marks the final road trip of the regular season for the Pirates. Game times are set for 7:30 p.m. both nights.
EAST CAROLINA PIRATES (10-14, 4-5 C-USA)
The Pirates defeated Charlotte in five games Saturday night at Halton Arena. ECU started out winning the first two games before Charlotte tied it up forcing a deciding fifth game. The Pirates took game five, 15-11, and improved to 4-5 in conference play with the win. ECU was led by sophomore middle blocker Jaime Bevan who finished with 11 kills, only one error, a hitting percentage of .385 and seven block assists.
Four Pirates recorded double digit kills en route to the victory. Bevan, junior outside hitter Erica Wilson and freshman outside hitter Mignon Dubenion recorded 11 kills each. Junior middle blocker Paige Howell added 10 kills for ECU.
Sophomore setter Heidi Krug finished with 46 set assists as well as a career high six total blocks and seven digs. Junior libero Johanna Bertini led the Pirate defense with 15 digs on the night.
The Pirates have won four conference matches this season with four remaining on the schedule, having already won three more conference matches than all of last season. The team has also matched their overall win total from last year of 10. ECU ranks fourth in C-USA with 1.90 service aces per game.
Krug recorded her 1,000th assist Saturday night, becoming just the seventh Pirate to reach such a mark. She now has 1,008 assists this season and 1,363 for her career. Wilson leads the team in kills with 251, averaging 2.95 kills per game. Howell ranks fifth in Conference USA with a .342 hitting percentage. Bertini leads the team with 364 digs, 4.14 digs per game average, which currently ranks sixth in C-USA.
LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (20-2, 10-0 C-USA)
The Cardinals defeated Tulane and Southern Miss on the road this past weekend, 3-0, in both matches. Against the Green Wave, Louisville was led by Lena Ustymenko who finished with 11 kills. On Saturday, the Cardinals were led by Ustymenko and Anastasia Yartseva who had 17 and 11 kills respectively versus the Golden Eagles. Ustymenko earned a share of the C-USA player of the week honors with Cincinnati's Myanna Hellsten for her performance this past weekend.
Louisville is hitting .310 as a team this season with their opponents hitting just .140. Yartseva leads the Cardinals with a .466 attack percentage. On defense, six Cardinals have more than 100 digs this season while two setters, Elena Pilnikova and Jennifer Craven, have totaled more than 400 assists each for Louisville.
CINCINNATI BEARCATS (18-8, 8-2 C-USA)
The Bearcats won two matches on the road this past weekend against Southern Miss and Tulane. Cincinnati was led by Julie DuPont who finished with 29 kills versus Southern Miss. Rachel Torblaa led the way for the Bearcats with 16 kills and only two errors against Tulane. Myanna Hellsten earned player of the week honors by recording 13 kills versus Southern Miss and 14 kills against Tulane. In the two matches this past weekend, Hellsten hit .543, recording 3.88 kills per game as well as 1.88 blocks per game. Setter Noel Olson tallied 124 assists on the weekend.
This year, Cincinnati is led offensively by DuPont, who has recorded 476 kills and averages 5.06 kills per game. The Bearcats have four other attackers who have more than 200 kills this season. Olsen leads the squad with 1147 assists on the season while Natalie Dossman and Dupont lead the way defensively for Cincinnati with 300 and 299 digs respectively.
Pirates vs. Louisville in '03:
Louisville's Sonja Percan put down a match-high 19 kills and added two block assists for a match-high 20 points and the No. 21 Cardinals out-blocked East Carolina 14-7 as Louisville defeated ECU in four games, 26-30, 30-24, 30-20 and 30-17 in Williams Arena. Louisville moved to 10-4 and 3-1 in Conference USA while ECU fell to 9-14 and 0-5 in C-USA.
Sophomore outside hitter Erica Wilson led the Lady Pirates with a team-high 18 kills. Freshman middle blocker Jaime Bevan hit .524 finishing with 13 kills and three block assists. Sophomore libero Johanna Bertini added 12 digs while freshman setter Heidi Krug added 11 digs. Louisville's Bing Sun recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs while Anastasia Yartseva chipped in 12 kills.
Pirates vs. Cincinnati in '03:
Cincinnati's Julie DuPont posted a match-high 26 points including 25 kills and one solo block and the Bearcats hit .456 as Cincinnati defeated East Carolina in three games, 30-22, 30-23 and 30-12, at Williams Arena in Conference USA volleyball action. ECU fell to 9-15 and 0-6 in C-USA while the Bearcats improved to 19-2 and 5-0 in C-USA. Sophomore outside hitter Erica Wilson led the Lady Pirates with nine kills on a .389 attack percentage. Sarah Vick added seven kills for ECU. Junior setter Jessica Vick recorded 24 set assists. DuPont, who finished the match hitting .488, led three Bearcat players in double figures. Rachel Torblaa added 12 kills while Maria Pongonis finished the match with 11 kills. Cincinnati out-hit ECU, .456-.156 notching 63 kills to ECU's 29 kills.
The Pirates will return home to play the final two matches of the regular season against DePaul on Friday (Nov.12) and Marquette on Saturday (Nov.13). Both matches are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. inside Minges Coliseum.