GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina never found its footing Friday night in its American Athletic Conference home opener, falling to SMU 3-0 (14-25, 16-25, 15-25) inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The Mustangs (7-6, 3-0 AAC) were solid in serve-receive, running their offense to the tune of a .307 hitting percentage on the back of 48 kills. Conversely, the Pirates (5-7, 1-2 AAC) fired at a .092 clip and mustered just 25 total kills. SMU also enjoyed statistical advantages in service aces (6-3), digs (61-47) and total blocks (7.0-3.0).
Rachel Woulfe paced all players with 11 kills and hit .385 for the victorious Mustang side while Jadyn Bauss procured a double-double of 10 kills and 12 digs. Bri Wood led the ECU offense with eight kills and added 13 digs. Tia Shum finished with a contest-best 15 digs.
SMU never trailed in the opening set, eventually pulling in front 11-6 after a solo block by Kaylyn Winkler. The lead grew all the way to nine at 17-8 and that would represent the final margin of victory in the frame.
The Pirates went on the offensive in the second stanza, getting some offense going and building a 10-5 advantage following consecutive attacking errors by Hanna Jacobs. East Carolina would push in front 12-5, however, the Mustangs took over from there – scoring 20 of the last 24 points to ease into intermission with a two sets to none edge.
A kill by Jacobs saw the visitors establish a 10-5 lead in the third. The Pirates took a timeout trailing by six at 12-6 and would eventually slice their deficit to 14-11 thanks to consecutive aces by Janiece Jefferies. Unfazed, SMU rattled off six-straight points to put the set and match out of reach.
Up Next: East Carolina continues its homestand Sunday in an American Conference match versus Memphis. First serve is set for Noon.