MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Playing without the services of leading scorer Sydney Kleinman, East Carolina fell in four sets (25-18, 20-25, 22-25, 21-25) to Memphis Friday night inside the Larry O. Finch Center.
The Pirates (8-12, 4-7 AAC) hit .160 offensively with 46 kills while the Tigers (10-13, 3-8 AAC) collected 58 kills and fired at a .194 clip. Memphis also held the upper hand in the defensive statistics, out-digging ECU 84-72 and out-blocking the Pirates 13-8.
Bri Wood (15 kills, 18 digs) and Natalie Tyson (11 kills, 16 digs) both produced double-doubles while Payton Evenstad also tallied a double-double of 22 assists and 10 digs. Tabytha Tolke paced four Tiger players who notched double-digit kills with 13 while completing her own double-double of 13 kills and 13 digs. Bailey Houlihan collected a match-best 26 digs while East Carolina’s Tia Shum topped the Purple and Gold back row with 19 digs.
The Pirates broke open a close first set that was knotted at 16 points apiece with a 3-0 run capped by a Wood kill to seize control. ECU was then able to stretch its advantage all the way to 23-17 before Tyson ended things with a kill.
East Carolina forced an early Memphis timeout in the second frame when Sania Mccoy recorded a kill to give the Pirates a 10-6 lead. ECU was unable to hold on down the stretch though as a 6-0 Tiger run in the middle of the frame proved too much to overcome.
Memphis fended off late Pirate rallies in the third and fourth sets to earn the win and a season series split.
Up Next: East Carolina closes the weekend Sunday at SMU. First serve inside Moody Coliseum is set for 2 p.m.