Nov. 2, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB volleyball team secured a spot in the Conference USA Tournament by sweeping the East Carolina Pirates, 3-0 (25-14. 25-14, 25-14) on Friday night inside Bartow Arena.
The victory propels the Blazers to 17-12 overall and 9-4 in C-USA play and secures a spot in the eight-team C-USA Tournament field.
“We are thrilled to have clinched a spot in the C-USA Tournament, but realize we need to stay focused with three matches left on the schedule,” head coach Kerry Messersmith said. “Marshall comes here on Sunday and they are a tough team.”
UAB returns to the court on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT with a tilt against the Thundering Herd. The Blazers are currently 9-1 at home in 2012, the best in C-USA.
Messersmith was pleased with team’s serving, as the Blazers connected for nine service aces on the night, tying a season high. She also noted that the team was very efficient on offense, as the Blazers hit .324 (43k-9e-105ta) as a team.
“We served very well tonight and that is something we really struggled with against Tulsa (last week),” Messersmith said. “Offensively we played extremely well and I couldn’t happy with our overall team effort tonight.”
Not only was UAB’s offense effective against East Carolina (1-23, 0-13 C-USA), but the Blazers’ defense collected 60 digs and seven blocks and held the Pirates’ attack to a .081 hitting percentage.
The Blazers’ strong effort on the attacking end was led by senior Sam Serley. The middle blocker put away 12 kills and made only one error on 16 swings (.688). Serley added four total blocks, including two solo swats. In the match, Serley recorded her 400th career block assist and now has a total of 525 stuffs over her four year career.
Setter Alison Woods posted her 12th double-double of the season and 45th of her career, distributing 28 assists along with 10 digs.
Nichole Willis paced the ECU offense with a team-best 13 kills and Shelby Beasley recorded a match-high 22 digs.