The East Carolina University volleyball team (5-7, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) will be on the road to Tulsa University (7-5, 0-0 AAC) Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the teams first conference game of the season.
In the last matchup on Nov. 19, 2021 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, the Pirates lost 3-2 in extra sets. East Carolina lost the first two sets and came back to win the third and fourth to send the game into a fifth set. ECU hit for .144 while Tulsa hit .181 overall in the game.
Between the teams, East Carolina has a six-game losing streak going into the Sept. 23 game. The consecutive losses started Oct. 26, 2017 in Tulsa. There was another consecutive losing period that spanned over 16 games from the second game ever played between the teams from Oct. 1, 2006 to Oct. 1 2017. The match played in 2017 was the dividing game between the losing streaks.
The Pirates led in the second set before being pushed off the pedestal by Tulsa. In the third set, ECU scrapped by 26-24 over Tulsa because of a kill committed by the Pirates to extend the game to four sets in which the team won. During the fifth and final set of the game the Hurricanes led during most of it and won 15-10.
ECU lost 1-2 in the Virginia tournament, previously known as the Jefferson Cup, on Sept. 16 through Sept. 17 in Charlottesville, Virginia, at Memorial Gymnasium. The Pirates played first against the University of Virginia (UVA) (8-3, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and lost 1-3 on Sept. 16. East Carolina trailed during the game as their hitting percentage was almost half that of UVA’s .314.
Two aces were recorded from the Pirates but they were outdone by the Cavaliers’ seven. The Cavaliers also lead the game in blocks, digs and kills. The Pirates won the second set to tie the match at intermission but did not keep the energy going into the second half of the match as UVA won the next two sets.
In the second match of the tournament, East Carolina was swept 3-0 against the University of Maryland (9-3, 0-0 Big 10 Conference). Maryland went undefeated during the weekend. The second set was the closest the Pirates were from pulling the win out from the Terrapins (Terps).
During the second set, the Pirates were in the lead until the Terps rallied back 16-15 and then proceeded to pull away even further to end the set 25-22. The third set was the worst out of the game when ECU lost 25-13.
Despite the losses from the first day, the Pirates scraped together the 3-1 win from Mercer University (4-8, 0-0 Southern Conference) on the last day of the tournament. From the statistics during the game ECU led 7-6 aces, 7-4 blocks and 58.5 overall points. In kills, assists and digs the Pirates had a slight lack against the Bears.
During the third set, the ECU defense kept Mercer to a zero hitting percentage and in the fourth set a .086 compared to the Pirates third and fourth set hitting percentage of .471 and .333. The second set is the only one the Bears were able to slide in and win 25-18.
East Carolina will be back on the road to face Wichita State University (5-6, 0-0 AAC) in Wichita, Kansas, at Charles Koch Arena on Sept. 25 at noon. Ticket prices range from $5 to $8 and can be purchased on the Shockers event website.