BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Three outside hitters combined for 43 kills Tuesday evening as the East Carolina volleyball team pushed past Campbell, 3-1, at Gore Arena. The Pirates improve to 6-6 in 2009 while the Camels fall to 8-5. the trio of Stephanie Turner, Britney Roper and Melissa Zentner put down 16, 16 and 11 kills, respectively.
ECU pushed out to a 4-2 lead in the first frame when Zentner recorded the first ace of the match. Campbell then responded with a 5-3 run to knot the score at seven. Two kills each from Turner and Zentner helped the Pirates establish a 12-9 advantage, forcing the Camels to take their first timeout of the set. It would prove uneffective as East Carolina spread out the offense to each antenna and extended the lead to 19-12. Campbell would not threaten again, as the Pirates closed out the interval, 25-16.
The Camels took charge from the outset of the second set, establishing an 8-4 lead and drawing a timeout from the ECU sideline. Campbell kept its four-point cushion throughout the rest of the frame, using tough serving to knock the Pirates out of system and eventually clinching the set, 25-19 to tie the contest.
Turner led the offense through the first two intervals, collecting 10 kills while committing just one error on 24 attempts. She also picked up four digs to move within seven of taking over ninth-place on the ECU career ledger. Hannah Fenker and Amanda Lutzow paced the defense through two, each notching six digs. Additionally, Fenker handed out 25 assists for a 12.5 per set average.
The third frame stayed tight in the beginning, but the Pirates pulled away and established a 9-5 lead. The advantage would get larger, as two Camel errors made the scoreline 18-13 in favor of the visitors and forced a timeout from the Campbell sideline. The Camels used their last respite five rallies later, as the East Carolina lead ballooned to 22-14. However, Campbell mounted a furious rally, drawing to within 23-21 before the Pirates shut the door and scored the last two points of the set.
ECU pushed ahead by three points at the start of the fourth interval and would stretch the advantage to 12-8, forcing the Camels first timeout. As before, Campbell recovered to rally with two at 18-16. This time, it was not enough as the Pirates broke a 23-23 tie with two kills to seal the contest.
East Carolina matched its season-high total with 60 kills in the match while also smashing it previous 2009 digs total, collecting 72. Four Pirates ended in double-digit kills as Bruin joined the aforementioned trio by contributing 10. Bruin also set a new career high with nine digs, nearly completing the double-double. Meanwhile, Fenker distributed 47 assists, averaging more than 11 per set. Defensively, Fenker picked up a team-best 14 digs to complete her second double-double of the season while Nicole Jones and Lutzow matched each other with 12 digs.
After 12 matches on the road, ECU will finally have the opportunity to play in front of its home crowd, as the Pirates host Conference USA rival UCF Friday evening at 7 p.m. at Minges Coliseum.