HOUSTON, Texas – Abbie Jackson posted a match-best 17 kills to lead Houston to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-21) American Athletic Conference victory over East Carolina Friday afternoon at the Fertitta Center.
The Cougars (22-5, 12-3 AAC) hit .323 as a team on the strength of 54 kills while the Pirates (9-15, 5-10 AAC) fired at a .200 clip with 34 kills. Houston also held the upper hand in digs (58-53) but ECU had the better of the blocking by a 5-4 margin.
In addition to Jackson’s offensive efforts, Kennedy Warren notched 11 kills while Kate Georgiades paced all players with 21 digs. Bri Wood recorded a double-double of 12 kills and 12 digs to lead East Carolina as Janiece Jefferies also produced a double-double with 14 assists and 10 digs.
The Cougars raced out to an 11-6 lead in the opening set following a kill by Celeste Darling. The Pirates rallied however, going on a 9-3 run to push in front 15-13. ECU led by as much as 18-16 later in the frame, but a kill by Jackson sparked a 3-0 Houston spurt that gave the home side some breathing room. The Pirates closed within 21-20 thanks to a kill by Natalie Tyson. However, the Cougars netted the final four points.
The teams battled to a 7-7 deadlock in the second stanza before Houston grabbed the next six points to establish some breathing room. East Carolina could not pull much closer the rest of the way as the Cougars headed into the intermission up two sets to none.
Looking to complete the sweep, Houston built a 6-3 advantage in the third frame just to see the Pirates score three straight via Cougar errors. The home side began to pull away in the middle of the set, going ahead by as much as 17-10. With Houston holding match point at 24-19, ECU claimed two more points before a Kennedy Warren kill closed things out.
Up Next: The Pirates head to New Orleans for a 2 p.m. match Sunday against Tulane.