PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – In an American Athletic Conference match that lasted nearly three hours, East Carolina held off Temple 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 18-25, 15-10) Wednesday evening inside McGonigle Hall.
The Pirates (7-10, 2-3 AAC) forced the Owls (7-9, 1-4 AAC) into 30 attacking errors, overcoming a .216 to .198 disadvantage in hitting percentage. Temple also recorded more kills (71-54), digs (85-76) and total blocks (9.0-7.0) while ECU finished with more service aces (7-4).
Angeles Alderete came alive in the latter stages of the match, tying for the squad lead with 11 kills. Shaylynn Hall also put down 11 kills with no errors on 20 attempts to hit a sizzling .550. Along the back row, Kenzie Beckham exploded for a career-high 32 digs, marking the first 30-dig outing for the program since Brandee Markwith notched 31 in a five-set win over Alabama A&M back on Sept. 21, 2019. Sophia Kruczko also turned in a career-high 10 kills and hit .320 to go along with a double-double performance out of Payton Evenstad who logged 25 assists and 13 digs.
Jelena Prolic led four Owls in double figures offensively with a match-high 24 kills on .162 efficiency as she committed 12 attacking errors. Nalani McBride paced the defensive efforts with 25 digs.
East Carolina led for most of the opening set, establishing a 17-11 advantage on a kill by Izzy Marinelli. Temple made things interesting in the closing portion, pulling within 23-21 on a Pirate attacking error, but ECU scored the final two points of the frame.
The Purple and Gold was unable to catch up in the second stanza as the Owls took leads of 18-14 and 22-17 on the way to a seven-point victory that knotted the score at the intermission.
Temple asserted early dominance in the third set, racing out to an 11-2 edge. Refusing to quit, the Pirates dug deep and put together a stirring rally that saw them eventually tie the score at 17 on a Kruczko kill. That was all the momentum East Carolina needed as the Pirates scored eight of the final 10 points to complete the comeback.
After the Owls cruised to the win in set four, ECU shook off an early 1-0 deficit and blitzed its hosts with a 9-1 run to race ahead by seven. Temple could only draw within four the rest of the way and the Pirates closed the deal with a block by Hall and Kellyn Trowse.
Up Next: East Carolina puts its two-match winning streak on the line Sunday in an encounter with Cincinnati. First serve inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum is set for Noon.