Nov. 11, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Junior middle blocker Cori Martone posted a double-double with 16 kills and 17 digs, but it was not enough as the Tulane University volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Conference USA foe East Carolina in the season finale on Sunday afternoon in Minges Coliseum.
The two teams split the first two sets with the Pirates earning a 25-20 win in the opening set and the Green Wave evening things up with a 25-14 decision in the second frame. East Carolina, however, won the next two sets by a combined 17 points to earn its first league victory since Nov. 24, 2010.
In defeat, Tulane concludes the 2012 season with a 6-21 overall record and a 4-12 mark in C-USA play. The Pirates, meanwhile, improved to 2-25 on the year and 1-15 in conference action.
The Green Wave had 45 kills to East Carolina's 39, 42 assists to the Pirates' 34 and 53 digs to ECU's 43. The difference in the contest came at the serving stripe where the home team had 11 aces and just three errors while Tulane had three aces and 11 miscues. In addition, East Carolina had two less attack errors and had 9.0 team blocks to the Green Wave's 7.0.
Martone shared match-high kill honors with senior right-side hitter Izabela Grot, who had four digs and a solo block in her final collegiate contest. Junior Mel Mandelbaum and senior Lilly Wolfe had 22 and 16 assists, respectively, and both finished second to Martone defensively with eight digs each. Sophomore middle blocker Olivia Utt paced the Green Wave with two service aces and five block assists.
The two teams traded the first 24 points of the opening set before East Carolina broke a 12-all tie with a 4-0 run and never looked back. The Pirates scored the first point of the next frame, but that would be the home team's lone lead of the stanza as Tulane rattled off the next four points. The Wave clung to a 10-8 lead before going on an 8-0 run to all but put the set away.
The third set was a back-and-forth battle with both teams taking turns going on runs. Tulane led early 5-2 and later used an 8-3 run to cut a 13-6 deficit down to one. With East Carolina on top 16-15, the Pirates outscored the Green Wave 9-4 the rest of the way to earn the six-point win.
It was a similar story in what proved to be the final frame as Tulane and East Carolina traded blows early on and sat deadlocked at 9-9 after 18 serves. From there, the Pirates had runs of 4-0, 3-0 and 5-0 before scoring three straight off of Green Wave miscues to end the ballgame.
Kelly Derby led two East Carolina players with double-digit kill totals with 14 while Nicole Willis had 12. Zarah Cechich posted a match-best 33 assists, Shelby Beasley had a team-high 12 digs, and Virginia Fitch led all players with five blocks (2 solo, 3 assists).