GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – ECU dropped a 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 16-25, 19-25) decision to Tulane in its home finale Sunday afternoon inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
Senior setter Madison Clark notched a double-double on her Senior Day, picking up 10 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore right side Bri Wood also tallied a double-double with 10 kills and 15 digs while junior libero Maggie Hallow collected 14 digs of her own. Dayna Kern recorded a team-best 14 kills for the Green Wave and Kaylie McHugh paced the back row with 19 digs.
“I thought Madison played well today on her Senior Day,” head coach Julie Torbett said. “This young team has learned some valuable lessons this year and we will adjust some things in the offseason to give our players more confidence heading into next year. For now though, our sole focus is going up to Cincinnati looking for an upset victory to end the year.”
Tulane (24-8, 12-5 AAC) committed 30 attacking errors but held a 59-39 advantage in kills while also out-digging ECU (13-15, 5-12 AAC) by an 82-67 count. The Pirates held the upper hand in total blocks 8.0-4.5 – holding the Green Wave well under its 2.53 blocks per set season average.
With the score knotted at 10 in the opener, Tulane ripped off a 7-0 run to take control of the set. A kill by redshirt freshman middle blocker Sydney Hall on a Green Wave overpass cut the Tulane lead down to 21-19, but the visitors netted four of the final five points to take an early match lead.
ECU broke a 6-6 deadlock in the second with two solo blocks and never relinquished the lead in the stanza. A kill by freshman outside hitter Natalie Tyson put the Pirates in front 15-10 and prompted a Green Wave timeout. An attacking error by Lexie Douglas kept ECU ahead 20-15 and the Pirates rolled from there to win the set by seven and tie the match at intermission.
The teams wrestled the lead back and forth in the third, settling for a tie at 11 points apiece. A pair of attacking errors and a service ace allowed Tulane some breathing room at 14-11 and that would be all the Green Wave needed. Tulane kept ECU at an arm’s length and a Pirate attacking error ended the set in the Green Wave’s favor.
ECU jumped ahead 3-1 in the fourth, but Tulane rallied back to tie the score at seven. Three consecutive kills by Kern helped the Green Wave edge in front 11-7. After a Pirate timeout, a 9-5 Tulane run stretched the Green Wave lead to eight at 20-12. ECU sliced its deficit down to 23-19 late in the set. However, a Kayla Dinkins kill and Pirate attacking error proved the final two points of the match.
ECU wraps up the 2018 season Wednesday at 1 p.m. when it faces Cincinnati at Fifth-Third Arena.