CONWAY, S.C. – East Carolina dropped its first match of the Chanticleer Classic to host Coastal Carolina 3-0 (15-25, 23-25, 20-25) Thursday evening inside the HTC Center.
The Pirates fell to 0-4 while the Chanticleers improved to 4-2.
Natalie Tyson exploded for a match-high 17 kills and hit a stout .457 to pace ECU while Sydney Kleinman recorded six kills and 11 digs in her first contest of the campaign. Kenzie Beckham made her collegiate debut at the setter position, finishing with 29 assists, seven digs and a kill. Doris Carter led Coastal Carolina with 14 kills and a .480 hitting percentage.
The Pirates produced their highest team hitting percentage of the young season, checking in at .206, but the Chanticleers fired at a .317 clip while also holding the upper hand in kills (41-36), aces (8-3), digs (46-41) and total blocks (7.5-2.0).
The teams traded the lead back in forth to start the match, but Coastal Carolina broke a 5-5 deadlock with a 7-0 to establish some breathing room on the way to a first-set victory.
The second frame could not have started better for East Carolina. A kill by Sophia Kruczko put the Pirates in front 5-1 before the lead grew to 12-4 following a Tyson ace. ECU looked poised to tie the match, later leading 19-10, but could not hold on down the stretch as the Chanticleers ended the set on a 15-4 run to win it by a pair.
Coastal Carolina raced out to an 11-5 advantage in the third, but the Pirates made one last push. A kill by Priscilla Jones eventually knotted the score at 15 and a bad set by the Chanticleers then pushed East Carolina ahead by one. CCU scored six of the next seven points, however, to claim a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Up Next: East Carolina returns to action Saturday in Conway with matches against Radford (10 a.m.) and UNCW (1 p.m.).