The East Central University volleyball team lost to the University of Central Oklahoma, 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 18-25, 24-26) at the Kerr Activities Center in non-conference action.
The Lady Tigers (5-12) were led by junior Danielle Essix, who tallied her third double-double of the season. Essix garnered 19 kills and five digs, while adding a .311 (19k-5e-45ta) hitting percentage, two blocks and one service ace. Senior Tatiana Booth added 14 kills on a .324 (14k-3e-34ta) attack percentage. Junior Jessica Wilkinson also netted a double-double, with 28 assists and 10 digs.
The opening set was close at the start before ECU took a 10-6 lead. The Bronchos (6-11) then tied the set at 12 and took a short lead before the set became a battle again. The final of 10 tie scores came at 18-all, when UCO used a 2-0 run to take the lead for good in the set and went on to win 23-25.
The Bronchos took an early 2-5 advantage in the second set and the Lady Tigers were trailing 6-10 before mounting a come-back. ECU started an 8-0 run that pushed them ahead 14-10. UCO fought back to tie the set at 15 and the back-and-forth battle continued through 22-all. ECU then took advantage of two kills from Essix to take a two-point lead. The Lady Tigers traded serves with the Bronchos to earn the 25-23 win.
The third set was close at the start, but UCO used a 4-1 run to take control of the set (3-7) and never trailed by less than three points on its way to an 18-25 win.
ECU took control of the fourth set from the start, going up 3-1. The Lady Tigers kept the lead until late in the set despite several runs by the Bronchos. ECU was up 15-11 before UCO fought back to tie the set at 17. The teams then traded points and runs late into the set, with the final of seven tie scores coming at 24, with UCO earning the final two points of the set for the 24-26 win.
The set was close in the team statistical columns, with the teams earning the same .153 hitting percentage. However, the Bronchos used advantages in blocks (8-14) and service aces (5-8) to earn the win.
The Lady Tigers will continue their six-match non-conference swing with four matches at the Washburn Lady Blues Fall Classic in Topeka, Kan., Oct. 5-6. ECU will face Truman State, Emporia State, Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western State during the two-day tournament.
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