Despite opening the match with a first-set victory, Southeastern could not carry over the momentum and dropped its home conference opener to rival East Central 3-1 on Friday night in Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 6-5 overall on the year and 1-2 in Great American Conference play and is also the first loss in Durant against the Tigers.
The SE offense struggled to keep pace after the first set, and was out-killed by a 56-to-38 margin, despite nearly matching ECU in total attempts and errors committed.
Emily Gentle was the only Storm player to reach double-figures, finishing with 11 kills in the match, while Julia Benford added seven in the middle and the trio of Courtney Miller, Megan Kunkel and Ariel Sanders each chipped in six.
Madelynne Cera dished out 32 assists in the match and added a pair of kills and 11 digs.
Taylor Benner led the back row defense with 18 digs on the match, followed by Cera’s 11. Miller added nine.
Benford posted four blocks on the night, including a pair of solos, while Gentle added four of her own with one solo.
The match got off on the right foot when SE scored the first two points of the match and never trailed en route to a 25-19 win in the set and a 1-0 advantage.
The breaks went the other way in the second set as ECU used a five-point mid-match run and a 10-4 run to end it to even the match at 1-1 after a 25-17 win in the second set.
The Tigers jumped out to a 6-2 by safesaver” href=”http://www.gosoutheastern.com/news/2013/9/27/WVB_0927133527.aspx?path=wvball”>lead in the third set and never trailed on their way to a 25-19 win in the third set, and despite a pair of runs to get within two points in the fourth set ECU was able to hold on for the 25-21 win to hand the Storm a 3-1 loss.
Southeastern will be back in action on Oct. 1 when it travels to Fort Smith, Ark., to take on Arkansas-Fort Smith at 7 p.m.