Volleyball Preview

Senior right side Bri Wood focuses as she prepares to serve the ball to the opponent during the match against the University of Memphis on Oct. 3.

East Carolina volleyball (7-8, 3-3 American Athletic Conference) will play Wichita State University (9-6, 3-3 AAC) on Oct. 15 in Wichita, Kansas, for the Pirates’ seventh conference game of the season.

The game will take place at 7 p.m. in Charles Koch Arena on Wichita State's Campus. East Carolina will play against Wichita after they recently won against Temple University Oct. 8 (4-13, 0-6 ACC). The Pirates won with a clean sweep of 3-0. The win against Temple made it the third win for the conference season for Pirate volleyball.

In ECU’s previous game against Temple, the team walked away with a .222 hitting percentage with a total of 48 points and 35 assists. Senior outside hitter Sydney Kleinman walked away from the game with 13 kills and two aces. Right side senior Bri Wood made nine kills and one block. The team reached 25 points in each set while Temple reached 21, 19 and 16 points in the first, second and third sets respectively. 

The Pirates held a strong defensive line when they took on Temple University. Wood finished with 10 digs and Kleinman with seven. On the offensive side, freshman defensive specialist/libero Tia Shum wrapped up the game with 16 kills and freshman setter Peyton Evenstad walked away with 16 assists and eight digs.  

Both teams will come into the Oct. 15 game off of a win. The Wichita Shockers have won their last three conference games against the University of South Florida (6-11,0-6 ACC), the University of Memphis (8-10,1-5 ACC) and Southern Methodist University (7-9,3-3 ACC). East Carolina has already taken on the three teams and managed to win against the Memphis Tigers on Oct. 3, 3-0 and USF on Sept. 26, 3-1. However, the Pirates lost to SMU 0-3 on Oct. 1. 

The Pirates will travel to Kansas after the last four games took place at home in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates currently hold a .467 hitting percentage while Wichita holds a .600. In the Shockers previous game against SMU, redshirt sophomore outside hitter Brylee Kelly achieved 29 kills. Kelly has made the second most kills in Wichita State's volleyball history, with the current record set at 30 by Emily Stockman a former player in 2009, according to Goshockers.

Wichita went into five sets when they played SMU, which gave both teams the opportunity to rack up more points. Freshman middle blocker/right side Natalie Foster for Wichita made 17 kills and eight blocks. Fosters teammate freshman right side/outside hitter Sophie Childs made nine kills and four blocks while freshman middle blocker Morgan Stout finished with seven kills and five blocks. 

The Pirates and Shockers have not played against each other in two years; the last game happened in 2019 on Nov. 17 in Greenville and was a loss for the Pirates. In the final game of the season, the Pirates walked away with a final score of 0-3. Wood, a junior at the time, managed to make 11 kills and nine digs for the Pirates. Senior outside hitter Natalie Tyson made 10 kills and two blocks, while Kleinman finished with nine kills. 

Wichita has managed to come up on top over the Pirates in its last five games since 2017. Wichita has walked away from every game with a clean sweep of 0-3. The only time the Pirates won a set against the Shockers happened on Nov. 4, 2018 as the Pirates managed to win the second set 25-18. The set win was led by a kill from Tyson that put the Pirates ahead. 

The Pirates will next play the University of Tulsa (9-6,4-2 AAC) on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. in the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The game will be broadcasted through ESPN+ for fans to watch.

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