Pirates drop marathon home finale to Shockers

ECU Pirates

Bri Wood (ECU Sports Information photo)

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – In a match that lasted well over two hours Sunday afternoon, East Carolina could not get over the hump against Wichita State as the Shockers claimed a 3-1 (29-31, 25-22, 35-33, 25-21) American Athletic Conference victory inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

The Pirates (9-18, 5-13 AAC) were vying for their first-ever win over Wichita State (18-9, 12-6), but the Shockers took the final three sets of the contest to remain in third place in the league standings.

Wichita State ended up having the slight advantage in hitting percentage (.163-.159) and kills (63-54) while ECU edged the visitors in the digs column (80-79).

Brylee Kelly led all players with 29 kills and hit .344. In their final appearances at Minges Coliseum, seniors Natalie Tyson and Bri Wood collected 13 and 11 kills respectively. Both players also completed double-doubles with 16 and 17 digs each.

East Carolina began the first set with a bang, rolling up a 6-1 lead. A kill by Kelly reduced the Shocker deficit to 13-11, forcing the Pirates to use a timeout. Despite Wichita State tying the frame a couple times, ECU was able to hold on in extra points to take the early match advantage.

A kill by Natalie Foster saw the Shockers grab a 15-13 edge at the second-set media timeout. Consecutive aces by Jennings Hall and a block by Tyson and Aaliyah Griffin put the Pirates back in front 18-17, however, an 8-4 run by Wichita State allowed the Shockers to snatch the set away and tie the match at intermission.

East Carolina enjoyed leads late in both the third and fourth stanzas, but Wichita State had the answer each time. After claiming the third by an astonishing 35-33 margin, the Shockers rallied from an 18-9 deficit in the fourth to win the clinching frame by three.

Up Next: The Pirates put the 2021 fall season to bed next week, traveling to Cincinnati and Temple Wednesday and Saturday. Both matches are slated for 1 p.m. first serves.

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