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Roundup: Gilbert contacts coaching candidates

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East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert watches ECU play Memphis in women's basketball in Minges Coliseum on Feb. 9.

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BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Research by East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert and prospective ECU women’s basketball coaches about the Pirates has begun.

Gilbert said Thursday that he doesn’t want to put an exact timeline on a hire, but he has worked toward identifying final candidates. ECU was led by three different head coaches since the start of last preseason, overcoming unique circumstances to finish with a second straight 16-15 record.

“I have developed a list and have people obviously more toward the top of the list and having conversations with them,” Gilbert said. “I want to learn more about them and have them learning more about us and asking questions. … I do think this is a good job, you just have to look at where we finished this year and that we went through a very non-traditional basketball season with the transition of multiple coaches.”

Former veteran coach Heather Macy resigned during the preseason amid an internal review led by the ECU athletics’ office of compliance, leading first to Chad Killinger serving as interim head coach and then Nicole Mealing taking over the lead role in December.

The Pirates tied for seventh place in the American Athletic Conference.

Gilbert added that he wants a new coach to have full freedom to hire their staff.

“When we bring in a new coach, that new coach will have the opportunity to interview the staff that is here and they will decide if they want to make them part of a new staff,” Gilbert said. “I have visited with our staff and with our student-athletes to talk to them about the process.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

Softball begins in AAC

East Carolina began its American Athletic Conference slate by going 1-2 at Memphis, falling 9-1 on Sunday in the rubber match when the Tigers posted a 10-1 advantage in hits.

Rachel McCollum was 4-for-4 in the Game 1 win by ECU (19-13, 1-2). Erin Poepping pitched all eight innings, striking out 11 Tigers (17-14, 2-1) in the victory, and also pitched a complete game in the series finale loss Sunday.

Tennis teams

East Carolina went 2-0 in tennis action during the weekend, including the Pirates’ women’s squad winning 4-2 at Temple.

ECU (17-2) won its 17th straight match and moved to 3-0 over American Athletic Conference opponents. The lone singles match that was a rout was engineered by ECU’s Alisa Diercksen at the No. 3 position with a 6-0, 6-0 decision.

The ECU men dominated in singles action at River Birch, defeating Presbyterian 5-2 for the Pirates (13-4) to improve to 7-1 at home.

Lacrosse loss

Despite an edge in the draw circle, the ECU women’s lacrosse team could not convert possession to goals and fell 15-8 to Longwood on Saturday for ECU (5-6) to drop its fifth straight game.

PCC wins three

Pitt Community College softball swept a rare tripleheader Saturday at Bryant & Stratton College, winning 6-3, 19-1 and 6-3. PCC (11-1, 8-0 Region X) is on a 10-game win streak.

Meghan Moore hit a grand slam in the 19-1 rout.

In baseball, the Bulldogs (14-6-1, 8-4 Region X) completed their sweep of Bryant & Stratton on Sunday with an 8-0 victory to outscore the visitors by a total count of 24-3 during the weekend. Hot-hitting Chandler Blackwelder hit a home run and John Owen struck out six batters in seven scoreless innings.

HIGH SCHOOLS

TRACK AND FIELD

The boys’ 3,2000-meter run at the Bulldog Invitational hosted by Nash Central featured South Central’s Fletcher Bost winning in 10 minutes, 9.36 seconds, and he was followed in order by D.H. Conley’s Peyton Walters (10:11) and Seth McKinney (10:29).

South Central, which got individual victories by Kayla Smith (400m, 1:04.51) and Aisha Taylor (shot put, 33-6.5), finished first in the boys’ standings.

Conley highlights were led by its boys’ 4x800 relay team of Eli Orians, Jalen Wilson, AJ Miller and Zach Tucker taking first to continue their undefeated season. A'riana Crumpler won the discus (103-4) and was second in the shot put.

BASEBALL

Cardinal Gibbons 4

J.H. Rose 3

Cardinal Gibbons led 4-0 after two innings and held off Rose’s late comeback attempt.

Grant Charles Jarman was 4-for-4 with two RBIs for the Rampants (8-3), who scored two of their runs in the seventh inning. Wade Jarman finished 2-for-3 and Ryker Galaska 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.

D.H. Conley 16

West Johnston 2

D.H. Conley’s 10-run second inning helped the Vikings cruise to their 10th win of the season.

Josh Lysaght and Robbie O'Neal led the offense for Conley (10-1), including Lysaght finishing with three hits and three RBIs.

Teach 14, John Paul 2

Eleven runs by the Teach Trailblazers paced them in a rout of John Paul II. Harrison Hardee was the winning pitcher and he went 3-for-3 with three runs scored at the plate.

SOFTBALL

D.H. Conley 6

Southern Wayne 0

Lauren Wiles was the winning pitcher with 10 strikeouts in the Vikings’ shutout win. On offense, Alexis Phillips was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs, Lexi Phillips (2-for-4) hit a home run and Trinity Nichols was 2-for-3.

South Central 8

C.B. Aycock 2

South Central led wire-to-wire and finished with 11 hits in defeating Aycock.

Amya Evans was 2-for-3 with four RBIs. SC teammate Anna Mewborn (2-for-3) scored three runs.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

August 20, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers led East Carolina’s football team in rushing last season with 592 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.

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August 19, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston described the Pirates' No. 1 center, Branden Pena, as a "tough joker" on Saturday.

The football-centric praise showed how far the relationship has come between Pena and Houston since December.

"Branden Pena is a guy that I didn't know his name…

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August 17, 2019

Moments of reflection Saturday brought East Carolina first-year head football coach Mike Houston back to the spring.

The physicality he saw Saturday during the Pirates' final preseason scrimmage was vastly different from the spring Purple-Gold Game.

Darius Pinnix displayed his punishing rushing…

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August 17, 2019

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August 17, 2019

In an exhibition match defined by defense, Jenna Dages scored the only goal for the East Carolina women’s soccer team to top VCU 1-0 on Friday night inside Johnson Stadium.

Dages’ goal came at the 45:34 mark. From there, goalie Meaghan Haley and ECU's defense helped to maintain the lead.…

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August 17, 2019

Here are five East Carolina football players who have stepped up during preseason camp and will be looking to continue their momentum when the Pirates complete camp with a scrimmage Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium:

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August 16, 2019

East Carolina’s football practice Friday morning ended with center Branden Pena snapping to quarterback Holton Ahlers in the victory formation, and then the Pirates celebrated. Kicker Jake Verity also made a 57-yard field goal during a late-game sequence.

On the day before an important…

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August 16, 2019

Jayda Hylton-Pelaia has played countless soccer matches in Canada and the United States, impressing plenty of observers with her fluid dribbling and defensive skills.

Her effect on American Athletic Conference coaches was felt Tuesday when she was named AAC preseason defensive player of the year,…

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August 15, 2019

Bruce Bivens is as vocal as ever on the East Carolina football defense, which can both excite and worry first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston.

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August 15, 2019

UCLA transfer receiver Audie Omotosho was in shoulders pads Thursday as he continues to work toward being in full fear and available to compete in Saturday's scrimmage.

Omotosho officially joined the Pirates on Wednesday after not catching a pass for the Bruins from 2016-18. Houston gave insight on…

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