ECU volleyball downs Norfolk State in straight sets for third straight victory

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – Junior right side Bri Wood posted 12 kills and 14 digs Saturday afternoon to lead East Carolina to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-22) win over Norfolk State inside Minges Coliseum on day two of the Pirate Invitational.

Wood's third consecutive double-double was complemented by a nine-kill performance out of sophomore outside hitter Natalie Tyson who did not commit an error in 20 attempts to finish with a .450 hitting percentage. Junior setter Shelby Martin distributed a season-high 33 assists to go along with seven digs and five kills while senior middle blocker Toya Osuegbu recorded eight kills in 11 attempts with just one error for a .636 hitting percentage. Redshirt junior libero Brandee Markwith paced all players with 17 digs.

Anna Rupertova pounded down 12 kills to pace the Spartans (0-8) while Myleah Carter collected a team-best 16 digs.

ECU (7-1) out-hit Norfolk State .291 to .184, also holding the upper hand in total digs (62-46) and finishing with slight edge in total blocks (3.0-2.0).
With the teams tied at nine in the first set, the Pirates notched five of the six next points to force the Spartans into a timeout. A kill by Wood eventually stretched the advantage to 20-12 and East Carolina limited the visitors to just three more points to grab an early match lead.

The Pirates scored first in the second stanza via a kill by junior outside hitter Kaiya Heyliger-Powell. ECU never relinquished the lead, building a 15-9 cushion midway through the set thanks to a kill by redshirt sophomore middle blocker Sydney Hall. The Pirates' edge grew all the way to 20-13 before East Carolina eventually closed things out with a six-point margin of victory.

It was all Pirates in the third as a service ace by sophomore defensive specialist Alden Willis made the score 11-3. ECU extended the lead to 18-10, but Norfolk State made one last push – tying the set at 21. The Pirates held strong, winning four of the last five rallies to complete the sweep.

East Carolina closes out the Pirate Invitational later Saturday evening, facing off with USC Upstate at 7 p.m.