MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Bradley made quick work of East Carolina, sweeping the Pirates 25-16, 25-17, 25-23 Saturday morning to open the second day of competition at the Panther Invitational. Off to the best start in program history, the Braves improved to 5-0 on the year with the win.
BU's five-match win streak is the team's longest since winning eight consecutive matches in 2005 and the 5-0 start to the year surpassed the previous best starts to seasons (4-0) in program history accomplished during the 2000 and 1993 seasons. The Braves have won 12 consecutive matches played on a neutral court dating back to the 2008 campaign.
Bradley held a 19-16 lead in the opening set, before closing out the first frame with a 6-0 run. Junior Amy Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) collected six kills on just nine swings, while sophomore Courtney Keefe (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) added five kills and seven digs to help highlight the 25-16 BU win.
Junior Lauren Zerante (Elmhurst, Ill./York) highlighted a 7-0 Bradley run in the second set with three consecutive aces to help power the Braves to a 25-17 victory and a commanding two-sets-to-none lead.
The third set went back and forth before a late Bradley push allowed the Braves to complete the sweep. Knotted at 23-23, Angelos, junior Alise Tupuritis (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West) and senior Madelyn Ervin (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy) combined for a block to give BU match-point at 24-23. Ervin collected all five of her kills in the third set and closed out the contest with a kill as Bradley took the third frame 25-23.
Bradley controlled the match with defense, forcing 23 East Carolina (1-4 overall) attack errors and limiting the Pirates to an .069 attack percentage. The Braves owned a 58-41 advantage in digs and collected nine blocks in the sweep.
Angelos hit .500 in the match and tallied a match-high 11 kills. Keefe added eight kills and 12 digs in Bradley's third sweep in five matches this season.
Bradley closes out play at the Panther Invitational Saturday afternoon with a 4:30 p.m. match against Western Michigan.