ECU Volleyball

Senior outside hitter Natalie Tyson throws the ball up to serve against the University of North Carolina on Feb. 28.

East Carolina volleyball (0-3,0-0 American Athletic Conference) fell short over the weekend losing three games, as it took on Wofford College (2-4,0-0 Southern Conference) on Sept. 3 as well as North Carolina State University (2-4,0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (6-0,0-0 ACC) on Sept. 4.

The Pirates began its weekend in Raleigh with the season opener against Wofford at Reynolds Coliseum. The team went into the match missing a portion of the team, according to ECUpirates after canceling its last match against Liberty University due to COVID-19. The Pirates started with seniors right side Bri Wood, outside hitter Sydney Kleinman and setter Janiece Jefferies along with six freshmen. 

The final score of the game came out to be 3-0, Wofford came in hard hitting a season-best .367, according to ECUPirates. East Carolina hit a .107 and freshman right side Sophia Kruczko made her name known to the crowd in her match with the Pirates as she landed seven kills and 13 attempts.

Fellow freshman libero Alex Singleton bagged six digs, and her other teammates did not fall short. Freshman middle blocker Amelia Davis came in with four blocks and setter Payton Evenstad with 21 assists, three digs and three blocks, according to ECUPirates. 

The Wofford Terriers scored the first five points in the opening set, with stand-out players Addison Foote and Emily Hodsdon. Foote had a .500 hitting average and 30 assists with five digs while Hodsdon, the Southern Conference Setter of the Week, came on strong with blocks. ECU pulled out with a 19-16 later in the set.

ECU took the lead at the start of the third set coming in at 17-14, Wofford then managed to get a pair of kills against the Pirates to bring the score to 25-29. The Pirates finished a hard fight and came out with 23 kills, 15 errors and 6 blocks. ECU then took on fellow ACC member North Carolina State University on Saturday afternoon.

Going in with a young team the Pirates had a few more freshmen launch their college careers in Reynolds Coliseum. A few of the ECU starters included defensive specialist freshman Anaiah Jones, outside hitter Merritt Woodson and libero Tia Shum, according to ECUPirates. NC State came in heavy with the defense and Wolfpack player Melissa Evans made 14 kills and only two errors, according to gopack. 

The Pirates and Wolfpack kept pace with each other in the first set when they came out with a 7-7 tie to begin the match, then were ahead by three points before the Wolfpack gained the lead. To finish out the first set, ECU came home with 17 and the Wolfpack 25. The second set did not get much better for the Pirates as the Wolfpack held down on its homecourt. The Pirates still had some stand-out moments, as Jones brought the score up 13-8 for a brief moment before the Wolfpack scored seven more points.

The second frame of the game finished with a 14-25 score in favor of NC State. In the third set, ECU struggled to one-up the Wolfpack, falling behind 9-3 according to ECUPirates. NC State hit a .245 and ECU fell into the negatives with a -.125. The game finished 3-0 with NC State making 44 kills and six blocks on the Pirates while ECU made 11 kills and five blocks.

Pirate volleyball closed out the weekend by taking on the University of Chapel Hill Saturday night. The final score of the game came out to be 3-0, as the Pirates fell short to UNC. Pirate senior hitter Natalie Tyson guided the Pirates offensively, while Davis came in with six kills and four blocks. 

The Tar Heels managed to gain an 11-3 lead on the Pirates, however, sophomore hitter Priscilla Jones fought hard for her team to get a kill for the Pirates. Later on, in the first set ECU pulled out a run managing to almost catch up to UNC. In the second set, the Pirates took a 7-3 edge while blocking the Tarheel offense.

However, UNC bounced back as they took a 17-15 lead over the Pirates. ECU took a slight lead again as they got up to 21-20 but UNC managed to score the final five points. The Pirates closed out the weekend and will take on Coastal Carolina tomorrow (3,2,0-0 Sunbelt Conference) at 6 p.m. in the Chanticleer Classic in Conway, South Carolina.

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