Memphis rallies past ECU volleyball in five sets

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (ECU) – ECU capped its weekend of American Athletic Conference play with a five-set setback at Memphis. The Tigers won the match by scores of 24-26, 13-25, 25-16, 25-14 and 21-19.

Sophomore setter Shelby Martin recorded the first triple-double in program history with 10 kills, 14 digs and 34 assists and led four Pirate players in double-digit kills. Sophomore right side Bri Wood notched 13 kills and 13 digs and sophomore outside hitter Sydney Kleinman tallied 10 kills and 12 digs. Kelsea Bivens led Memphis with 33 kills.

The Tigers out-hit ECU .233 to .169 and ended up with the advantage in digs (83-80). The Purple and Gold racked up 14 total blocks to Memphis’ 7.5.

A tight battle at the outset of the match began to swing in favor of the Pirates when a 3-0 run capped by a Kleinman kill made the score 20-17. ECU stayed in front by two at 22-20 after a Brianna Hudson ace, but Memphis rallied to tie the score at 23 on a Hannah Flower kill. The Pirates stayed strong and scored three of the last four points to earn a two-point set win and a 1-0 match lead.

ECU asserted control right away in the second when a Kleinman ace gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead. The Purple and Gold kept rolling from there, using big blocks and an efficient offense to run away with a 12-point margin of victory and grab a two-set lead at the intermission.

The Tigers, looking to avoid the sweep, pulled ahead by three at 15-12 in the third after a service ace. Memphis was able to hold ECU at bay and sent the match to a fourth set. The Pirates fell behind early in the fourth and could not recover as the match stretched to the decider.

ECU jumped out to a 6-1 lead but the match suffered through two lengthy delays from there and the Tigers emerged from the confusion in the gym for the 21-19 victory and the match.

The Pirates are back at home next weekend for a pair of contests against Tulsa and Wichita State.