ECU women's volleyball rolls past N.C. Central in four sets
Senior middle blocker Toya Osuegbu hit a program single-match record .833 to lift East Carolina to a 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17) non-conference victory over N.C. Central Tuesday evening inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
With their fifth-straight triumph, the Pirates move to 9-1 overall while the Eagles remain winless at 0-12.
“It was a win over an improving N.C. Central squad,” head coach Julie Torbett said. “We need to continue working in the gym to clean things up and play more consistently.”
Osuegbu finished the match with 10 kills and no errors in 12 attempts while adding two blocks. Junior right side Bri Wood posted a double-double for the fifth-straight match, ending up with 15 kills and 16 digs. She committed just three errors for a .343 attacking percentage. Junior outside hitter Sydney Kleinman paced the offense with 16 kills and hit .303. Defensively, redshirt junior libero Brandee Markwith led all players with 23 digs. Additionally, junior setter Shelby Martin notched her fifth double-double of the campaign to the tune of 21 assists and 11 digs.
Jasmine Sanders was the top offensive performer for the visiting squad, racking up 16 kills, while Jessica Pilivi recorded a squad-high 14 digs.
East Carolina put down 58 kills and hit .269 on 145 attempts, limiting N.C. Central to .136 efficiency – including a negative mark (-.032) in the fourth frame. The Pirates also out-dug (76-58) and out-blocked (7.0-6.0) the Eagles.
ECU was the first to 10 in the opening stanza, leading it 10-6 following a kill by Osuegbu. The Pirates surged further in front thanks to a nice serving run by sophomore outside hitter Natalie Tyson who served six consecutive times to help increase the advantage to 18-8. A Kleinman kill made the score 22-12 before East Carolina eventually won the set by eight.
The Pirates rung up an 18-10 cushion in the second stanza after a N.C. Central attacking error. The Eagles made a push late, rallying within 23-21, but a pair of kills by Wood helped stave off the visitors and give ECU the frame by two.
Looking to seal the sweep, the Pirates built a 15-10 edge in the third only to see NCCU go on a 7-1 run to catapult in front. The Eagles led 24-21 late in the set and held on to win it by a pair to force a fourth.
N.C. Central set the pace early in the fourth stanza, moving ahead 6-4 after a McKayla Young kill. However, East Carolina turned the tables and ripped off an 11-3 run that afforded the Pirates the 15-9 upper hand. The Eagles did not threaten again as ECU clinched the set by eight and the match.
East Carolina returns to the court Friday when it pays a visit to Gardner-Webb. First serve at Paul Porter Arena is scheduled for 6 p.m.