Cookeville, Tenn. – McKenna Kirkpatrick tied her season-high of 10 kills on Saturday morning as the USC Upstate volleyball team continued play at the Golden Eagle Invitational with a 3-0 loss to the East Carolina Pirates at the Eblen Center.
The Spartans fall to 0-5 on the season while the Pirates improve to 3-2 overall.
East Carolina won the match by scores of 25-17, 25-22 and 25-21.
STATS OF THE MATCH
- Madison Haake collected her team-leading fourth double-double of the season, and 53rd of her career, after concluding the match with 22 assists and 12 digs.
- Kirkpatrick led USC Upstate offensively with 10 kills and hit .304 for the match.
- Gloria Ikenegbu also hit over .300 in the contest, posting a team-best .364 mark to go with five kills.
- Payton Duncan recorded double-digit digs for the third time this year after finishing with 18.
- Natalie Tyson and S'mara Riley had a team-best 10 kills for the Pirates.
- Janiece Jeffries added 27 assists and Maggie Hallow contributed 18 digs.
- The Spartans finished the match with 56 digs, 35 kills and 34 assists, and hit a match-high .250 during the second set.
- Set One: East Carolina opened the set on a 6-2 run and led by four on an attack error. USC Upstate answered with a 6-2 run of its own and evened the score at 8-8 on a kill by Mackenzie Lauer. The Pirates broke the set open with a 10-3 run and held an 18-11 lead following an attack error. The Spartans got as close as 20-15 late when Kirkpatrick connected on a kill. East Carolina went on to win the set 25-17 with a kill.
- Set Two: USC Upstate started by scoring five of the first six points and led 5-1 on a service ace from Lauren Phillips. Lily Dempsey kept the Spartans ahead several plays later with a kill to make the score 8-4. Midway through the set, another kill from Dempsey gave USC Upstate a 15-13 advantage. The Pirates then went on a 9-3 run and took a 22-18 lead after an attack error. The Spartans responded with three consecutive points and trailed 22-21 on Kirkpatrick's kill. East Carolina scored three of the final four points to capture the set 25-22.
- Set Three: For the second straight set, USC Upstate began with a run after registering seven of the first nine points to lead 7-2 on a combination block from Kirkpatrick and Ikenegbu. The Pirates came back with a 7-1 run and took a 9-8 lead on a Spartan attack error. USC Upstate posted four of the following five points and went in front 12-10 on Haake's kill. The lead changed hands over the next few plays until East Carolina went in front 21-17 after a Spartan attack error. USC Upstate got to within two points twice with the last coming at 22-20 on Dempsey's kill. The Pirates scored three of the last four points to win the set 25-21 and earn the 3-0 match victory.
- The Spartans close out play at the Golden Eagle Invitational versus New Orleans at 5 p.m.
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