Blocking Helps Campbell Down East Carolina in Season Opener, 3-2

Lindsey Coats
Lindsey Coats

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The Campbell volleyball team knocked off host East Carolina, 3-2 (25-22 31-33, 25-20, 20-25, 17-15), on Friday night at Minges Coliseum to open the 2012 campaign. Junior middle blocker Lindsey Coats (Dunn, N.C.) registered career-bests in block assists with nine, the fifth most in school history, and kills with 16, while posting a .375 hitting pct.

The contest went back and forth as East Carolina responded to each Campbell rally, which led to 51 ties and 19 lead changes.

It all came down to the wire in the fifth set with freshman middle blocker Sam Zuber (Sunbury, N.C.) on the service line just missing an ace that lead to a block, putting the Camels up, 16-15. The next play was an error by the Pirates that ended the contest as Campbell took seven of the final eight points.

Junior setter Heather Wilson (Concord, N.C.) tallied her eighth career double-double with 39 assists and 10 digs. The offense flowed as sophomores outside Jessica Groen (Las Cruces, N.M.) posted 15 kills with a .409 attacking pct. and right side Brooke Kelley added 12 kills.

Passing was the key to the contest in fueling the Camels offense as three players – freshman libero Lauren Bewick (Winterville, N.C.), junior outside Chelsea Pachoud (Riverview, Fla.) and Wilson – achieved 10 digs each. Bewick led the back row by digging up 15 attacks.

Campbell recorded 17 blocks, the seventh most in program history, and the highest total since posting 20 at Lipscomb on Oct. 13, 2006. Seven players contributed to the effort including five block assists by senior middle blocker Kelsey Marek (Taylor, Texas) and sophomore outside Lorin Thomas (Raleigh, N.C.).

The Pirates had a tough time hitting through the block as the Camels forced their opponents to commit 51 mistakes leading to a .137 attacking pct.

The second set, a 33-31 loss, was the first time that Campbell hit the 30-point plateau since a 31-29 set one victory against Elon on Sept. 17, 2010.

This is just the eighth time that the Camels have opened the season with a win. The team returns to court on Saturday to conclude the East Carolina Classic with matches against Charlotte and Bethune Cookman starting at 11 a.m.

Campbell opens the home slate on Sept. 21 with Big South foe High Point at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center.