GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina began its final road trip of the 2021 fall season Wednesday afternoon with a 3-0 (22-25, 23-25, 15-25) setback to Cincinnati at Fifth-Third Arena.
The Bearcats (19-9, 14-6 AAC) hit an impressive .310 in the match while the Pirates (9-19, 5-14 AAC) fired at a .253 clip. ECU out-blocked Cincinnati 7.0-5.0 but the home side held the advantage in the total digs column by a 44-36 margin.
Natalie Tyson notched her fifth-straight double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. The Bearcats’ Abby Walker hit .435 on the strength of a match-high 13 kills while Sarah Norcom added 12 of her own.
The Pirates got off to a hot start in the opening set, racing out to a 5-1 lead. With ECU ahead 17-15 later in the frame, Cincinnati captured four straight to propel itself in front. East Carolina was able to tie the score at 21 thanks to a Walker attacking error, but the Pirates netted just one more point in the stanza as the Bearcats grabbed the early match lead.
Cincinnati looked comfortably in control in the second, building an 18-12 cushion. However, a 5-2 ECU run tightened things up considerably. Trailing 24-20, the Pirates fought off three set points before Kailea Carrier managed to put down a kill to seal the set victory for the Bearcats.
Looking to complete the sweep, Cincinnati began to pull away in the middle portion of the third set by turning a slight 8-7 edge into a 12-7 lead with a Walker kill. East Carolina did not threaten again as the Bearcats eventually closed things out via Walker’s 13th kill.
Up Next: ECU closes out the campaign Saturday at Temple. First serve inside McGonigle Hall is slated for 1 p.m.