Nov. 2, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The East Carolina volleyball team played tough and kept the scores close for the second time on the weekend, but still found itself on the losing side of the scoreboard, as the team fell to Memphis 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-16). With the loss, ECU falls to 12-16 and 2-11 in Conference USA play and the Tigers move to 17-10 overall, with an 8-5 record within the conference.
The first set started well for the Pirates, as the team led 5-1, 10-4 and 12-6. East Carolina was able to keep its lead and even held a six point advantage as late in the set as 18-12. After that score, however, Memphis came storming back, winning eight of the next 10 points to knot the score at 20 points each. Again the Pirates went ahead, taking leads of 23-21 and then 24-23. Both times, the Tigers came back and ended up winning the set 26-24. Lizzy Bruin was the Pirates’ leader in kills for the set, finishing with four while four other ECU players recorded two kills each. Trish Monroe paced the defense with four digs and Erica Banning picked up three blocks.
No big leads were had by the Pirates to begin the second set, as the teams were tied at points two through six. Memphis again went on a run after the 6-6 tie, winning six straight points to double the Pirates’ score at 12-6. East Carolina narrowed the lead down to four points at 13-9 before another Tiger run pushed the lead to five points with a 16-11 score. ECU had another answer, cutting the deficit down to three at 17-14 before Memphis went on its final scoring streak of the set and put it away, winning 25-16. Offensively, East Carolina managed just five kills and had a hitting percentage of -.083.
ECU had a 3-1 advantage to start the final frame before watching the Tigers rattle off nine straight points to take a 10-3 lead. A Pirate comeback cut the lead to five points at 13-8 and down to four with a 16-12 score. Memphis again had the answer, putting away nine of the final 13 points to win the set 25-16.
For the match, East Carolina was led on offense by Bruin, who finished with five kills while Banning, Katie Koop and Katie Prast all tallied four. Monroe finished with a team-best 10 digs and Koop and Hannah Fenker both totaled seven. Banning led the blocking with five to round out the defense.
The Pirates will now have the week off before returning to action on Friday night against Southern Miss at 7 p.m. inside Minges Coliseum to kick-off the final homestand of the season. It will also be senior night, as East Carolina will honor Monroe is a special pregame ceremony. ECU will wrap up the weekend with UCF on Sunday at 1 p.m.