The East Carolina volleyball team returned to the friendly confines of Minges Coliseum on Wednesday night and walked out 3–0 winners over the Campbell Camels. The Pirates now have an overall record of 7-2, which is the program’s best start since the 2000 season when that squad had an identical record through the first nine matches. With tonight’s victory, the East Carolina volleyball program has now amassed 401 total wins, including going 62-42 under current head coach Chris Rushing.
From the onset, it was evident that tonight’s match would be all Pirates. In the opening set, ECU doubled the Camels score throughout as the Pirates led 10-5, 14-7 and 18-9 before winning 25-14. Junior right side hitter Stephanie Turner paced the offense with four kills in just five attempts and no errors, good for an .800 hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Katie Prast also pounded home four kills while redshirt sophomore middle blocker Erica Banning and freshman outside hitter Amanda Lutzow each added three kills. As a whole, the team had a dominating .538 attack percentage in the opening set.
In set two the Pirates fell behind 5-2 before storming back to tie the score at seven points each. From then on it was all ECU. The Pirates scored the next seven points to take a commanding 14-7 lead which they would never release. Campbell did not get within five points the rest of the way as East Carolina pulled away for a 25-16 victory. Set three was more of the same; the Pirates controlled play from the start and won the final set 25-10. It is the second time this season East Carolina has held an opponent to just 10 points in a set. In the third frame, the Pirates had leads of 5-0, 10-3, 15-5 and 20-8.
For the match, ECU was paced on offense by the trio of Banning, redshirt freshman outside hitter Britney Roper and junior outside hitter Melissa Zentner, who each totaled eight kills. Junior setter Hannah Fenker registered 42 assists, the highest three-set total for the team this season. The Pirates also posted an outstanding .413 hitting percentage for the three sets, while holding the Camels to an .043 team attack percentage. At one point during the third set, Campbell was hitting -.176 as a team. Leading the defensive stand for East Carolina was sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Bruin who had four total blocks in the contest.
Up next for the Pirates is this weekend’s road trip to Winston-Salem and Wake Forest University to take part in the Black & Gold Challenge. ECU faces Delaware at 4:30 p.m. on Friday inside Reynolds Gym. The host Demon Deacons are up next, at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, and East Carolina rounds out the Classic with Western Michigan at 4:30 p.m. later in the day.