BYH, some see the glass as half empty. I say just get a smaller glass and quit complaining....

Torbett: Defense led Pirates past N.C. State


East Carolina's Toya Osuegbu jumps up to make a block during a game against Eastern Washington on Sept. 6, 2018, in Minges Coliseum.


The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

One of the many defining moments in East Carolina volleyball's 3-2 win at N.C. State on Tuesday night happened during the third set.

The Wolfpack won Games 1 and 2 and was on the verge of sweeping ECU, but the Pirates staved off defeat and rallied from there for their most impressive victory this season (19-25, 19-25, 29-27, 25-21, 15-10) and a potential breakthrough night for seventh-year coach Julie Torbett and her squad.

The win over NCSU gave ECU a 5-1 record, all in road matches, heading into hosting the Pirate Invitational in Minges Coliseum on Friday and Saturday.

"We led a lot of the way in all of the sets, but holding off two match points to get that win definitely elevated us to also get the fourth and fifth sets," Torbett said during a phone interview Wednesday morning. "It was a fun environment and we were down 2-0, so we did it in dramatic fashion. It showed that we have a lot of fight in us."

ECU's victory also helped to set the stage for another Pirate team, women's soccer, to host N.C. State at Johnson Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The volleyball Pirates already are 2-0 this year in five-set matches. That compares to an 0-3 mark in 2018, when ECU faced a slew of injuries and finished 13-16 after going 22-11 in 2017 and 15-15 the previous year.

"I'm very proud of the team, and any time we can beat a Power Five or an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent or a down-the-road rival, it's a good day," Torbett said.

The coach added that some of the players who missed matches a year ago, like libero Brandee Markwith and outside hitter Kalee Vanderhorst, were paramount in pushing the Pirates past the Wolfpack.

Vanderhorst is a heavy hitter for ECU along with being a key defender alongside blocks leader Toya Osuegbu. Shelby Martin is averaging 6.71 assists per set for a Pirate squad that beat Providence in a five-set match on Sept. 1 and will host George Washington on Friday at 7 p.m., then Norfolk State (1 p.m.) and USC-Upstate (7 o'clock) on Saturday.

"(Matches) are free this year so that is great for people to come out and bring friends and family," Torbett said. "This is a fun team to watch because we have a lot of power, but we also have some finesse about us as well. We are a little bigger, size-wise at the net, so we had 17 team blocks to N.C. State's eight blocks and I thought our defense was really what made the difference."

Golf opener

East Carolina's women's golf team completed its first match of a new season this week under first-year coach CC Buford, who saw her Pirates post a second-place finish at the 36-hole Minnesota Invitational in Woodbury, Minn.

ECU (13-1) finished second in the same event that it won in 2014 and was runner-up one year later.

Senior Siranon Shoomee led the Pirates this time, posting a career-low finish with a share of third place at 6-under-par 138. Her second-round 68 (4 under) tied her career-low round from the 2017 American Athletic Conference championships. Junior Dorthea Forbrigd earned her 12th-career top 10 with a 1 under for a share of seventh place.

Baseball staff

East Carolina baseball recently added Austin Knight, a four-year letterwinner at Ole Miss from 2012-15, as a volunteer assistant coach. He replaced Hunter Allen, who was hired by former Pirate coach Billy Godwin at UNC Greensboro to be a full-time assistant for the Spartans.

Knight spent the last two years at Louisiana Tech as a volunteer assistant specializing in working with catchers.

"He is a coach's son who has caught at the highest level collegiately at Ole Miss and also played in the 2014 College World Series," ECU head coach Cliff Godwin said in a release. "Austin brings a wealth of knowledge about the game of baseball to our program."

Soccer schedule

The East Carolina women's soccer team is 2-2-1 with four matches remaining in its nonconference schedule, and they are all versus regional opponents.

ECU, which shut out UNC Asheville and Virginia Military Institute on the road last weekend, hosts Old Dominion Thursday at 7 p.m. before playing at Charlotte on Sunday. N.C. State at ECU is Wednesday at 7 p.m., followed by a few days off before the Pirates play at UNC Greensboro next Sunday.

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


Humans of Greenville


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


September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy cruised to a 2-0 record in a frustrating day Saturday for East Carolina football, which lost 42-10 to the Midshipmen for ECU to drop to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the American Athletic Conference in coach Mike Houston’s first season with the Pirates.

Here are three…

East Carolina Navy Football-4

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Add quarterback Malcolm Perry prominently to the list of Navy football players to enjoy spinning, shaking, shedding and sizzling the East Carolina football defense.

In a series that began in 2006 and has been dictated by the Midshipmen and their punishing and methodical…

East Carolina Navy Football

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Among the improbable things for a disastrous day by the East Carolina football team Saturday was that Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry passed for more yards than Holton Ahlers.

Perry and a stingy Navy defense led the charge in the Midshipmen's 42-10 rout of the Pirates in the…

East Carolina Navy Football-3

September 14, 2019

Here are three Navy players to keep an eye on as East Carolina heads to Annapolis, Md., to face the Midshipmen in American Athletic Conference action:

Malcolm Perry

Any Navy team runs as good as its quarterback. Perry, a senior former running back, is far from a perfect passer but he remains as one…

Navy Football Preview

September 14, 2019

Q: What is your favorite form of social media?

A: I would say Twitter. It’s more active, everybody is on Twitter. I like Instagram, too, but I like Twitter more.

Q: Where is your favorite spot to eat at in Greenville?

A: I will say Kickback Jacks. I like Kickback Jacks. I love their spinach…


September 14, 2019

These three questions appeared in our Pirate Gameday section to preview East Carolina versus Navy in football. 

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. Check back after the game for the answers:

1. Any turnovers by the Pirates? Because of time of possession, turnovers…


September 14, 2019

Mike Houston didn't celebrate too long after his first victory as East Carolina's football coach, partly because he knew what was ahead in this week's trip trip to Navy.

ECU (1-1) and Navy (1-0) play their respective first American Athletic Conference game of the season today in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff…


September 13, 2019

Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo said earlier this week that he wants to see more passes this year from quarterback Malcolm Perry.

East Carolina defensive coordinator Bob Trott is not putting too much stock into any new Navy mindset and is still planning to mainly see running plays Saturday when…

Navy Football

September 12, 2019

East Carolina first-year athletics director Jon Gilbert said he noticed even before kickoff last Saturday night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that slow concessions could be an issue that could increase as the night progressed for ECU’s first home football game of the season, so he put a priority…


September 12, 2019

East Carolina’s football team heads north on Saturday to play Navy, which has beaten the Pirates in three straight meetings and holds a 5-1 all-time advantage in the series.

It will be the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams and coach Mike Houston’s league debut with the…

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