GREENVILLE, N.C. – Despite dominating the second and third sets Saturday afternoon, East Carolina faltered down the stretch as Charlotte rallied for a 3-2 (25-22, 8-25, 14-25, 25-19, 15-7) American Athletic Conference win inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates (19-10, 10-8 AAC) wrap up the 2023 campaign this Wednesday at UTSA while the 49ers (11-19, 4-14 AAC) close out the season the same day against Tulsa.
ECU enjoyed a decisive advantage in kills (53-35) but could not overcome 35 attacking errors that led to a .113 hitting percentage. Charlotte was even worse in the statistic, firing at just .060 efficiency. The Pirates racked up 10 service aces and 10 total blocks while the 49ers collected 18 total blocks.
Angeles Alderete notched a double-double of 13 kills and 15 digs to pace the offensive efforts to go along with double-double performances by both East Carolina setters in Julianna Askew (26 assists/13 digs) and Payton Evenstad (17 assists/12 digs). Lara Kretschmer notched a team-best 10 kills for Charlotte.
The Pirates led the first set late on as an Alderete kill made it 20-19 but the 49ers would score six of the last eight points to grab an early match advantage. ECU settled down in the second and third frames, allowing Charlotte just 22 points. However, the 49ers seized momentum in the fourth, winning it by six before forcing the Pirates into a negative hitting percentage in the fifth (-.148) to secure just their second win in the last 14 matches.