DELAND, Fla. – A school-record 37-dig performance by sophomore libero Brandee Markwith and a career-high 20-kill effort by senior outside hitter Lael Ceriani helped ECU pick up a 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20) non-conference volleyball road win over Stetson Friday evening in the second match of the Hatter Classic at the Edmunds Center.
Markwith matched the 37 digs collected by Erika Figueroa in a five-set match against UConn back on Nov. 25, 2015.
Ceriani added a personal-best 13 digs for her first double-double in a Pirate uniform while Mares tallied her second double-double of the short campaign with 11 kills and 10 digs. Additionally, senior middle hitter Natalie Montini chipped in with 14 kills, five digs and seven blocks and freshman right side Bri Wood enjoyed her highest output to date with 13 kills. Rebecca Ingram and Eva Deisa paced the Hatters with nine kills each.
All in all, ECU put four players in double figures in the kill column and finished with a .205 hitting percentage while limiting Stetson to .108 efficiency. The Pirates also recorded more digs (86-81) and total blocks (13.0 to 10.0).
Team Records: ECU (3-2) | Stetson (0-4)
Torbett’s Take: “I was pleased with how aggressively we served and blocked. That was the difference tonight. It was nice to see so many of our players achieve career highs and we hope to carry that momentum into tomorrow’s match.”
Set One: The Purple and Gold came out with a vengeance, racking up a 5-1 lead before Stetson answered by scoring seven of the next 11 points to pull within 9-8. With the frame later tied at 19, ECU put together a 6-1 run and captured the set after Mares tipped the ball over the block and down on the Hatters’ side.
Set Two: The second stanza was a back and forth affair that saw ties at 12 and 16 points. The Pirates scored the next five to propel themselves ahead 21-16 and did not surrender the lead the rest of the way. After Stetson rallied to within 24-23, a Hatter attacking error gave ECU the set by two points.
Set Three: Neither team was able to establish more than a three-point edge through much of the third set, but the Pirates crept ahead 21-19 after a Montini kill. Stetson was able to win out in the end, scoring six of the final seven points to extend the match to a fourth frame.
Set Four: ECU pulled away midway through the fourth stanza, establishing a 17-10 advantage following a Montini kill. The Pirates led by as much as 23-15 before closing the set out by five points to complete the victory.
News And Notes
ECU improved to 39-16 in non-conference matches since the start of the 2013 campaign.
Head coach Julie Torbett recorded her 396th career victory
The Pirates notched their first true road win of the season
ECU posted a season-high 13.0 total blocks
Up Next: ECU closes out its stay at the Hatter Classic Saturday with a 4 p.m. matchup against Bucknell.