The East Carolina volleyball team ended its losing streak against the Houston Cougars in four sets Thursday, before losing to Tulane Saturday.
The Pirates struggled throughout the first set of Saturday’s defeat, as Tulane led by as many as eight points and the Pirates couldn’t recover, losing 25-18.
The second set was a tight contest early, but it seemed that every time the Pirates tied up the score, Tulane retook the lead. After the deficit was cut to one, the Green Wave took control and led 23-18 before the Pirates attempted a comeback in the end. The comeback fell short, as the Pirates fell to the Green Wave in the second set 25-22.
The Pirates started strong in the third set, leading the Green Wave by seven early. Tulane was then cut the lead to three, but the Pirates maintained control of the third set and won 25-21 to force a fourth set.
Tulane led 7-2 early, but the Pirates scored five straight to tie the set at seven. Ultimately the Pirates could not force the fifth set and ended losing the set 25-22, and the game three sets to one.
Against the Green Wave, four players had at least eight kills, but Ashley McRae tied her career-high with 19 kills in the contest.
“As the match progressed, our passing got a lot better and that opened up our offense which allowed me to score more,” McRae said. “We had good energy and came together more which helped us win the third set.”
Thursday, the Pirates looked to snap their six-game losing streak on senior night against the Cougars.
The first set was dominated by the Pirates, as they lead by as many as 11 points. The Pirates never looked back in the set and won 25-14.
The second set was a tight contest throughout, but the Cougars took control in the end and won the second set 25-20.
Looking to snap their losing streak, the Pirates knew the Cougars would be playing with desperation and they knew they had to play smarter. The Pirates scored the last two points of the game to win 26-24, finally end their losing streak.
Senior I’Tiana Taylor led the way with 13 kills and senior Sydney Darden added 10 kills with two aces.
“With our opponent being Houston and them being last in the conference gave us a little bit of confidence,” Darden said. “Since it was Senior Night, people felt the pressure of getting the win, so everyone tried to contribute everything they could to make it a team effort.”
Being that it was senior night, Sabrina Gonzalez, Darden, McRae and Taylor were honored after the victory and emotions ran high.
“You always want your seniors to get to have a win on their Senior Day. I am really happy that they were able to have that win and really encourage the team to make that night special for them,” Torbett said. “I thought that the seniors who contributed significantly to the game played with their heart and that is what you want for them. They did not even know that with the win we can not have a losing season.”