ECU volleyball team sweeps Temple

ECU Pirates

(ECU Sports Information photo)

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina kept Temple winless in American Athletic Conference play Friday night, defeating the Owls 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-16) inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

The Pirates (7-8, 3-3 AAC) hit a sparkling .394 in the final set to finish at .222 while limiting Temple (4-12, 0-5 AAC) to a .109 showing. ECU also bested the visitors in kills (38-34), assists (35-31), aces (4-2) and digs (53-48). The teams ended up even in total blocks with six apiece.

Sydney Kleinman was the only player on either side in double figures in kills, collecting 13 as well as two aces and seven digs. Bri Wood completed the contest just one kill shy of a double-double, recording nine kills and 10 digs. Additionally, in helping run the offense, Payton Evenstad tallied 16 assists and eight digs while Tia Shum anchored the back row with 16 digs of her own. Miray Bolukbasi paced the Owls with eight kills.

Three consecutive kills by Kleinman afforded the Pirates an early 6-3 advantage, but Temple started to settle in from there and eventually tied things at eight after a kill by Bolukbasi. A pair of East Carolina attacking errors and a Katerina Papazoglou ace saw the Owls push in front 15-11 at the media timeout. The Pirates had the answer after that, scoring six of the next seven points to retake the lead.

After Temple knotted the score at 17 on a Gem Grimshaw kill, ECU put down five kills in the next six points to forge ahead 22-19 and force the Owls to burn their final timeout. The Pirates met little resistance the rest of the way, clinching the opener by four.

The second stanza was a battle early, but Temple grabbed a one-point lead at the media timeout thanks to a Bolukbasi kill. With the Owls holding a 15-14 edge, East Carolina went on a 6-2 run that was sparked by a Wood kill and a solo block by Aaliyah Griffin – sending Temple to the bench for a timeout. The Pirates held the Owls to just two more points to win the set and take a two-sets to none lead at the intermission.

ECU put the clamps down in the third frame, racing out to a 9-2 cushion thanks to a strong serving run by Kleinman. Temple never threatened again as the Pirates clinched their sixth sweep of the season.

Up Next: East Carolina travels to Wichita State and Tulsa next weekend for a pair of American Conference matches.   

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