TULSA, Okla. – ECU began the second half of its American Conference schedule Thursday night, falling 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-18) to Tulsa inside the Reynolds Center.
Team Records: ECU (15-8, 7-4 AAC) | Tulsa (11-12, 5-6 AAC)
Senior outside hitter Ashton Mares paced the Pirates with a double-double of 13 kills and 16 digs while sophomore libero Brandee Markwith notched a match-high 19 digs. Senior outside hitter Lael Ceriani also reached double figures with 10 digs. Emily Thorson paced the Golden Hurricane with 15 kills and Rachel Moore added 10.
Tulsa out-hit ECU .262 to .200, recording 47 kills to the Pirates’ 41. The Purple and Gold held the upper hand in digs 55-52, but the Golden Hurricane out-blocked ECU 9.0 to 5.0.
Set One: The Pirates led 7-2 and 11-7 early before the Golden Hurricane rallied with a 9-5 run to knot the score at 16. Tulsa would push ahead 23-20, but ECU scored two straight to draw within one. The Golden Hurricane netted the final two points to win the stanza by three.
Set Two: After a ball-handling error by Tulsa gave the Pirates a 14-9 advantage, the Golden Hurricane began to chip away at the deficit and made it a one-point stanza at 18-17 via a service ace. ECU scored two consecutive points to establish a three-point lead, but Tulsa ended the set on an 8-3 run to win it by two and take a 2-0 match lead into the intermission.
Set Three: The Golden Hurricane scored the first five points of the third frame and would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Tulsa built a 19-14 edge before closing out the match by netting six of the final 10 points.
News and Notes
ECU fell to 2-17 all-time against Tulsa.
Senior middle hitter Natalie Montini recorded her 300th career block.
The Pirates remained winless in 2017 when failing to out-hit its opponent.
ECU lost consecutive conference matches for the first time this season.
Up Next: ECU plays its fourth-straight road match Saturday, taking on SMU in Dallas, Texas. First serve at Moody Coliseum is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET