Volleyball Closes Road Trip In Houston

UABSPORTS.COM Junior Nicole Jones is averaging over four digs per set in league play
Junior Nicole Jones is averaging over four digs per set in league play

Nov. 12, 2010

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HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina volleyball team plays the final two matches of its four-game road swing Friday and Saturday, traveling to Texas for showdowns against Houston and Rice. The Pirates will face off against the Cougars Friday at 8 p.m. while heading across town Saturday to battle Rice.

ECU dropped a pair of league matches last weekend at No. 25 Tulsa and SMU, falling by 3-0 scores Friday and Sunday.

Against the Golden Hurricane, Juniors Amanda Lutzow and Nicole Jones combined for 25 digs to lead the defense, which collected 37 in the three sets. Offensively, Lutzow put down a team-high six kills while sophomore Kelly Derby was the top force at the net with three blocks.

The Hurricane enjoyed a .305 hitting mark and held East Carolina to zero percent. Both teams tallied 95 attempts, but the Pirates committed 20 errors as compared to 11 for TU. Tulsa also held a 4-3 advantage in blocking.

On Sunday in Dallas, Juniors Jackie Varnum and Britney Roper downed eight kills each to pace the Pirate offense while Lutzow picked up seven. The Pirates had no players in the negative in terms of hitting. Freshman Kasey Kavanaugh was key in the output as she handed out 30 assists, the most for the rookie in a three-set match. Defensively, East Carolina had a trio of players collect five digs as part of a 28-dig team effort.

The Mustangs enjoyed an efficient hitting day, putting down 45 kills on 92 attempts with just 12 errors for a .359 mark. However, the Pirates won the blocking battle by 1.5 (8.5-7).



The Cougars enter the weekend with a 17-10 overall record and an 11-4 mark in league action. Houston has won its last five matches, including four-straight sweeps to put themselves in sole possession of third place in Conference USA.

Meanwhile, Rice is 14-13 overall and 9-6 in C-USA action after dropping a pair of 3-2 decisions at home to Memphis and UAB last weekend.

The Pirates faced both the Cougars and Owls at Minges Coliseum earlier this season, falling in four sets to Rice and in three frames to Houston. The Cougars hold a commanding 10-1 advantage in the all-time series between the schools while the Owls have won four of seven meetings with ECU.

East Carolina returns home for three of its last four matches, starting next weekend against Southern Miss and Tulane.