GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina closes out its four-match homestand hosting a pair of American Athletic Conference West Division opponents in Tulane and North Texas.
The Pirates and Green Wave do battle Friday, Oct. 6, at 6 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum before the Mean Green come calling Sunday at Noon.
Both matches will stream live via ESPN+ with a combination of Brittany Hoyt, Evan Budrovich and Patrick Johnson on the call.
ECU split a league set with Florida Atlantic last weekend, sweeping the Owls Friday before dropping a four-set decision the next day. The Pirates (12-4, 3-2 AAC) are alone in second place in the AAC East Division, just a match back of South Florida. East Carolina looks to improve its form at home, having posted a 3-3 record in Greenville while producing a 9-1 mark in neutral and true road matches.
The Purple and Gold rank among the league statistical leaders in several categories, pacing the circuit in hitting percentage (.253) while slotting third in opponent hitting percentage (.151) and fourth in both points per set (16.87) and aces per set (1.66). Individually, sophomore middle blocker Carlia Northcross continues to enjoy a breakout campaign as she is second in blocks per set (1.22). Additionally, sophomore outside hitter Angeles Alderete is eighth in kills per set (3.02) and senior setter Julianna Askew ranks eighth in aces per set (0.39).
Tulane looks to get off the mark in American Athletic Conference play, entering the weekend with a 4-12 overall record and 0-4 league mark. The Green Wave have had some close calls, falling to South Florida and Temple in five sets while losing 3-0 and 3-1 decisions to North Texas. Tulane ranks last in the conference in kills per set (11.11) and assists per set (10.38) while slotting 13th in hitting percentage (.166). However, the Green Wave does lead the league in blocks per set (2.69) and is third in digs per set (16.09). Sabrina Skyers in the AAC leader in blocks per set, checking in with an average of 1.39 while Savannah Perry is second in aces per set (0.47) and Lauryn Burrows checks in second in digs per set (4.80).
The Tulane Series
Tulane leads the all-time series with East Carolina by a 23-7 margin and has won nine of the 15 meetings in American Conference action. The Pirates’ most recent win over the Green Wave occurred last season at Minges Coliseum – a 3-1 ECU victory on Oct. 2, 2022.
About North Texas
AAC newcomer North Texas is tied for fourth in the West Division, carrying a 9-9 overall record and 3-2 league ledger into its Friday night road match at UAB. The Mean Green ranks third in the conference in hitting percentage (.237) and assists per set (12.35) as well as fifth in kills per set (12.97). North Texas had three players named to the Preseason All-AAC Team, including Sh’Diamond Holly who is currently first in the league hitting percentage (.460). The Mean Green owns conference victories over Florida Atlantic and Tulane (twice) to go along with a pair of losses to Tulsa.
The North Texas Series
North Texas and East Carolina have only met once on the volleyball court – a 3-0 Mean Green victory in Denton back on Sept. 27, 2013 when both institutions were members of Conference USA. The Pirates departed C-USA for the newly-formed American Athletic Conference the next season.
By The Slimmest Of Margins
Of East Carolina’s 17 set losses this season, 10 have occurred by just two points. Conversely, the Pirates have won 39 sets and have captured 31 of them by more than two points.
Behind Enemy Lines
East Carolina’s 3-2 win at Virginia Tech marked the Pirates’ first road victory over a so-called “Power Five” club since Sept. 10, 2019, when ECU rallied from a 2-0 deficit to knock off NC State in five sets at Reynolds Coliseum. It was also the second win over an ACC opponent for head coach Adler Augustin who guided the Pirates to a sweep of North Carolina in the spring of 2021.
East Carolina Picked To Finish Second In AAC East Division
The Pirates have been tabbed to place second in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference this season according to a release of the preseason coaches poll Aug. 21. ECU garnered 70 points and five first-place votes, slotting just behind Memphis. The Tigers collected seven first-place votes and 72 points. Florida Atlantic and Temple tied for third place in the division, followed by South Florida, UAB and Charlotte. SMU is the favorite in the West Division and earned seven votes to win the overall regular season title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Rice, the 2022 Conference USA Tournament champion, received six votes to take the regular season crown.
Record – 12-4 (.750) // AAC Record – 3-2 (.600) // Last 5 Matches – 3-2 (.600) // Last 10 Matches – 8-2 (.800) // Last 15 Matches – 11-4 (.733) // ECU will play the 90th match of the Adler Augustin era when it hosts Tulane Friday evening. // The Pirates’ all-time record stands at 568-859 with the program is in its 46th season of competition.
East Carolina visits AAC East Division rival Temple Oct. 13-14 for a pair of matches at McGonigle Hall.