GREENSBORO, N.C. – Shelby Beasley solidified her place in the East Carolina volleyball record book as she recorded 20 digs to move into second place en route to helping the Pirates secure a 3-0 [25-11, 25-20, 25-14] victory over North Carolina A&T in a non-conference match on Tuesday night.
ECU (13-16) hit .247 in the contest as the Pirates’ defense forced North Carolina A&T (6-23) into a negative attack percentage of -.044. The Pirates held the edge in kills (36-25), assists (35-25), digs (54-45) and blocks as East Carolina tallied 9.0, while the Aggies were unable to register a single block.
“This was a positive win for us,” Head coach Julie Torbett said. “Everyone was able to contribute in the win tonight. I’m really proud of Shelby Beasley moving into second all-time in digs. Sierra Lee-Dunson did a good job coming in and scoring the final three points for the win.”
Beasley’s 20 digs were a match-high as the senior libero paced a solid ECU defense. Whitney Campbell was the only other Pirate to post double-digit digs with 12. She also added a team-leading nine kills to go along with a pair of blocks while hitting .368. Freshman Bella Borgiotti and junior Zarah Cecich split time at setter as the duo combined for 32 assists in the contest. Borgiotti finished with a match-high 18 helpers, while Cecich added 14.Twins Sierra and Kierra Lee-Dunson both turned in solid performances as Kierra put up a match-high six total blocks and Sierra came off the bench and hit .750 with three kills on four attempts.
The Pirates jumped out in front right from the start as they took a quick 6-0 lead to kick off the first set. The Aggies managed to get on the board after an ECU ball handling error, but the Pirates’ offense continued their hot-hitting as they took an 8-point lead (11-3). East Carolina hit .308 in the first set and went up by double digits (21-11) after a kill from Nicole Willis, who finished the match with eight kills and a .304 hitting percentage. The Pirates closed the first set on an 8-0 run as they cruised to a 25-11 victory.
North Carolina A&T had its best outing of the night in the second set as the Aggies managed to knock down 12 kills, however, they also counteracted their offensive output with 10 miscues. The Pirates, on the other hand, hit .143 in the frame as the set was the closest of the three games. Despite the Aggies’ efforts, East Carolina took an early 2-0 lead and never trailed. A&T was able to keep the set close, but the Pirates held a steady lead throughout and eventually took the second set by a score of 25-20.
East Carolina started the third set with a 1-0 advantage and, again, never relinquished its lead. The Pirates’ offense resumed its solid hitting from the first set and posted a .345 attack percentage in the frame with 12 kills. While the ECU offense surged, the defense was stout as the Pirates limited the Aggies to just -.029 hitting in the set. The Pirates held the lead throughout the frame and with the help of three-consecutive kills from Sierra Lee-Dunson, closed out the third set 25-14 to complete the sweep.
The Aggies were led by Aleena McDaniel who tallied a match-high 11 kills as she was the only player to record double-figure kills in the contest. Ashley Johnson recorded 15 digs, while Liz Martino dished out 18 assists in the setback.
The Pirates return to Conference USA action when they play host to Charlotte on Sunday, November 10, at 2 p.m. The contest also marks Senior Day as East Carolina will honor its five seniors in Shelby Beasley, Whitney Campbell, Virginia Fitch, Andrea Queck, and Nicole Willis. In addition to Senior Day, it is also ECU Pirate Club Day, ECU Alumni Association Day, and ECU Letterwinners Day. All Pirate Club and ECU Alumni Association members who show their respective membership cards at the ticket office will receive $1.00 admission, while former ECU letterwinners will be honored during the contest in an on-court presentation.
Live stats and video will be available for the match on ECUPirates.com.