Lady Pirates ready to tip off season|2009 basketball schedule released

Published 8:50 pm Thursday, October 1, 2009

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — A potential matchup with 2009 WNIT champion South Florida, eight games against last season’s postseason qualifiers, 14 home contests and the Eighth-Annual Lady Pirate Invitational help to constitute the East Carolina women’s basketball team’s 2009-10 schedule, as released by school officials Wednesday.
“I am excited about the schedule we have put together this season,” head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener stated. “We have a great mixture of home and away contests and a solid non-conference slate that will definitely prepare us for the rigors of Conference USA, which should be as strong as it has been since the realignment.”
The season commences with a pair of home games (Nov. 13 and 15) against defending conference champions, as Charlotte (Atlantic 10) and Western Carolina (Southern) each won their league tournaments for the first time in program history in 2009. A visit from in-state rival UNC Wilmington is then followed by ECU’s first road contest of the season at American University, a 2009 WNIT participant, Nov. 22.
Returning home Nov. 29, the squad will host the Lady Pirate Invitational, welcoming Eastern Kentucky, Bethune-Cookman and Towson to Minges Coliseum. Although East Carolina does not face the Colonels, EKU head coach Chrissy Roberts, a former Lady Pirate assistant coach, returns to Greenville.
Yet another NCAA Tournament participant awaits ECU on Dec. 2, as Virginia Commonwealth makes the return trip to Greenville after the Lady Pirates visited Richmond a season ago. That contest marks the last home date for East Carolina for more than a month.
The Lady Pirates kick off a six-game road trip, beginning Dec. 5 at Gardner-Webb and continuing at Hampton Dec. 12. It’s off to Tampa next, as ECU participates in the USF Shootout, hosted by South Florida. The Lady Pirates square off against Houston-Baptist in the first game, Dec. 19, and will take on either North Carolina Central or the Bulls the next day.
A trip up north to the Bronx closes out non-conference play for East Carolina, as it will face UMBC and Binghamton at the Fordham Holiday Classic.
The quest for the Lady Pirates’ first-ever Conference USA regular season title begins in Minges Coliseum Jan. 4, as ECU welcomes Marshall in the league opener for both teams. In addition to the Herd, the Lady Pirates also host Southern Miss, 2009 C-USA Tournament champion UCF, UAB, Memphis, UTEP, Tulane and Tulsa while traveling to Houston, Rice and SMU before making the return trip to the other East Division schools.
The 2010 Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championship is slated for March 8-12 at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. For the past 14 seasons, the league has awarded the championship trophy to nine different schools, including East Carolina in 2007. The winner of the event earns the conference’s automatic berth to the 2010 NCAA Championship.
East Carolina Women’s Basketball
2009-10 Schedule
Nov. 13 Fri UNC Charlotte 8:00 pm
Nov. 15 Sun Western Carolina 2:00 pm
Nov. 19 Thurs UNC Wilmington 7:00 pm
Nov. 22 Sun @American University 2:00 pm
Vs. Bethune Cookman 5 pm
Vs. Towson 7 pm
Dec. 2 Wed Virginia Commonwealth 7:00 pm
Dec. 5 Sat @Gardner Webb 7:00 pm
Dec. 12 Sat @Hampton 6:00 pm
Dec. 19-20 Sat-Sun @South Florida
Houston Baptist 12 pm
NCCU / South Florida 12 or 2 pm
Dec 28-29 Mon-Tue @Fordham University
UMBC and Binghamton 5pm, 7pm
Jan. 4 Mon Marshall 7 pm
Jan. 8 Fri Southern Miss 7 pm
Jan. 10 Sun UCF 2 pm
Jan. 15 Fri @Houston 7 pm
Jan. 17 Sun @Rice 2 pm
Jan. 23 Sat @SMU 5 pm
Jan. 28 Thurs UAB 7 pm
Jan. 30 Sat Memphis 4:30 pm
Feb. 4 Thurs @Southern Miss 7 pm
Feb. 6 Sat @UCF TBA
Feb. 11 Thurs UTEP 7 pm
Feb. 13 Sat Tulane 2 pm
Feb. 21 Sun Tulsa 2 pm
Feb. 25 Thurs @UAB 7 pm
Feb. 27 Sat @ Memphis TBA
Mar. 3 Wed @ Marshall 7 pm
East Carolina spikes UNC-Wilmington
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — Down 2-1 in the match, the East Carolina volleyball team regrouped and rallied past UNC-Wilmington, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Minges Coliseum in a non-conference contest. The Pirates, taking a 25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-8 win, improved to 8-7 overall while the Seahawks are now 9-8 in 2009. The home team kept two streaks alive with the win, as ECU has beaten UNCW in 13 straight meetings while also extending its midweek winning streak to 15, dating back to the 2004 season.
Seniors Melissa Zentner and Hannah Fenker were two major contributors to the triumph, as each set a new career high mark. Zentner put down 25 kills, smashing her previous best of 16 against UAB in 2008, while Fenker distributed 68 assists, topping the 59 she recorded against UNC Greensboro last season. Additionally, with 17 kills, senior Stephanie Turner moved into 10th on the program career ledger, now owning 862.
Britney Roper and Kelly Derby added 13 kills, respectively.
Defensively, sophomore Amanda Lutzow set a single-match personal high with 22 digs, besting the 15 she produced against N.C. State last season. Lizzy Bruin set another career-best mark with 16 digs.
The Pirates jump back into C-USA play this weekend, traveling to SMU and Tulsa for a pair of matches. The contest against the Mustangs is slated for an 8 p.m. start on Friday at Moody Coliseum. The contest will serve as East Carolina’s 100th as a member of the league, joining C-USA before the start of the 2001 season.
ECU soccer scores for Riley’s Army
Team raises more than $4,000 for Childhood Cancer Awareness
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — The final horn sounded and East Carolina soccer players celebrated their 1-0 victory over Rice on Friday. The final score indicated that the Pirates won by just a goal, but they enjoyed a much greater triumph off the field that day.
During the Conference USA opener against the Owls, ECU’s players, coaches and team trainer joined in the fight against childhood cancer by wearing and auctioning off pink jerseys. The Pirates had hoped to collect around $2,000 from the event, but more than doubled that goal by raising $4,255 for the Riley’s Army charity of Greenville.
“I am so grateful to the Pirate Nation for supporting Riley's Army,” head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. “ECU's motto is ‘servire (to serve)’ and it is great to be part of a community that looks out for each other.”
Riley’s Army, founded in April of 2007, supports nine-year-old Greenville resident Riley Philpot, her family and others in the area with children battling cancer. The charity recruits and trains volunteers to sit with pediatric cancer patients and their siblings, as well as provide meals and financial, logistical, spiritual and other types of support.
At age six, Riley was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor on her right kidney. A Wilms’ tumor is the most common malignant tumor of the kidneys in children. After what appeared to be a successful operation and removal of the tumor, the cancer returned and several spots on her lungs were found.
She endured another round of procedures and treatments, and appeared to be on her way to a full recovery and remission until the cancer returned again. Riley continues her battle with cancer today. She loves soccer and attends Pirate matches whenever she is able.
The bidding for each jersey started at $20 and increased in increments of $5. The average jersey ended up selling for $125 Friday with one going for as high as $500. After the match, winners of the jerseys were announced and each player, coach or trainer presented the highest bidder with his or her jersey.
“Our commitment to Riley's Army is not finished,” Donnenwirth added. “We need to continue the fight against cancer and provide support to families whose lives are profoundly changed when this disease strikes.”