After dropping the first frame, the East Carolina volleyball team rallied to take the next three in dominating fashion to post a 3-1 victory over Campbell Tuesday night inside Carter Gymnasium. The Pirates broke a three-game winless streak to improve to 3-5 overall while the Camels dropped their fifth-straight match, falling to 4-6 on the season. The nine points scored by Campbell in game two marks the first time ECU has ever held an opponent to less than 10 points in a 30-point game since rally scoring was implemented by the NCAA in 2001.
The Camels took an early lead in game one at 8-4 but a 9-4 run by the Pirates gave them a 13-12 lead and forced a Campbell timeout. From there, ECU maintained a two-point advantage all the way until the Camels called their second timeout of the game with the score 27-25. With the Pirates leading 28-25, Campbell rattled off five-straight points to snatch the frame from ECU and take a 1-0 lead in the match. Sophomore Melissa Zentner led the offense in game one, recording four kills on eight attempts with no errors to hit .500. Another sophomore, Katie Prast, recorded the most digs of the squad with six while yet another second-year Pirate, Hannah Fenker, contributed seven assists. ECU was out-hit .279 to .167 in the frame but out-dug the Camels 23-19.
After a tough loss in game one, the Pirates came out on fire as they blitzed Campbell on the way to a 9-1 lead. The margin would only widen from there as ECU assumed advantages of 13-5 and 20-6 on its way to a 30-9 win that evened that match 1-1. Senior Kelley Wernert notched five kills on six attempts and no errors to hit a blistering .833 in game two while junior Trish Monroe turned in four digs. Fenker also dished out five assists in the frame. The Pirates managed to hit a stellar .391 while holding the Camels to a -.032. ECU also bested Campbell on defense 14-9.
Looking to take the lead in the match, the Pirates jumped out to a 9-6 lead in game three. After forcing a Camel timeout with a 14-7 advantage, ECU slammed the door, out-scoring Campbell 16-6 to take the frame 30-13 and a 2-1 lead in the contest.
Senior Mignon Dubenion provided the offensive spark for the Pirates, notching three kills on seven attempts with no errors to hit .429. Defensively, Dubenion and Zentner each recorded three digs while Fenker handed out seven assists. ECU held the Camels to negative hitting again as Campbell hit just -.182 while the Pirates compiled a .257. The Camels finally out-dug ECU 19-14.
With victory near, the Pirates found themselves tied at the start of game two 10-10. However, a 10-3 run would effectively put Campbell away as ECU took a 20-13 lead and cruised from there, out-scoring the Camels 10-6 to close out the match. Zentner was the offensive threat for the Pirates in the final frame, recording three kills while Monroe picked up her defense, notching nine digs. Additionally, Fenker provided eight helpers to bring her game total to 27. The Pirates out-hit Campbell .190 to -.082 while holding the Camels to a negative hitting percentage for the third-consecutive game.
ECU aced Campbell ten times during the match, the most against an opponent this season. For the match, Dubenion and Wernert both recorded double-digit kills with 11 and 10 respectively. It marks the 36th time in the last 40 contests that Wernert has notched double-digit kills. Freshman Lizzy Bruin also chipped in offensively, slapping a career-high four kills. On defense, Monroe led ECU once again as she turned in 19 digs, the seventh time this season she has reached double-digits in that statistic. Additionally, Prast’s 11 digs is a career-best for the outside hitter.
The Pirates will continue their road stretch as they roll into Raleigh to participate in the Holiday Inn Brownstone Volleyball Challenge. ECU will face off against in-state rival and host North Carolina State on Friday at 7 p.m. while battling Akron at 10 a.m. and Dartmouth at 5 p.m. on Saturday. All matches will be played in Reynolds Coliseum.