ECU volleyball team drops season finale at Temple

ECU Pirates

(ECU Sports Information photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina could not put Temple away Saturday afternoon, falling to the Owls in five sets (21-25, 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 12-15) inside McGonigle Hall.

The Pirates close out their 2021 campaign with a 9-19 overall record and 5-15 mark in American Athletic Conference play. Temple ends the season at 7-24 and 3-17.

Natalie Tyson wrapped up her ECU career with a bang, exploding for a personal-best 28 kills and a .448 hitting percentage while completing a double-double with 13 digs. Bri Wood also put in a double-double in her final appearance as a Pirate with 17 kills and 11 digs. Alex Singleton added a career-high 14 digs. Miray Bolukbasi paced the Owls with 28 kills.

East Carolina hit a sizzling .338 on the strength of 66 kills while Temple also fired above .300, collecting 76 kills and hitting .310 collectively. The Pirates out-blocked the Owls 7.0 to 4.0 but the home team had the better of things in the digs column (65-60).

A tight first set went the way of Temple as it broke a 19-19 deadlock with a 3-0 run to grab control and win the frame by four. ECU flipped the script in the second stanza, scoring six of the final seven to win it by five. The Pirates rode a big advantage in the middle of the third set to capture it fairly easily, but the Owls responded with a four-point win in set four to force the decider.

A kill by Tyson helped East Carolina grab an 8-6 lead at the media timeout in the fifth set, but a 6-1 run by Temple was too much for the Pirates to overcome as Bolukbasi ended the match with her 28th kill. The Owls hit .458 in the set to clinch the comeback win.

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