Camels welcome East Carolina on Tuesday

Alexis Hein (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)
Alexis Hein (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Campbell concludes a four-match home stand on Tuesday when in-state foe East Carolina comes to Gore Arena/John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center. The first serve of the contest broadcasted for free on the Big South Network is set for 7 p.m.

New this year, each Big South Network video broadcast is free and can be accessed on any device with a web browser including iPads and iPhones.

The above video features head coach Greg Goral and current Big South Player of the Week Heather Wilson discussing the team's preparations for East Carolina.

Promotions for the contest with the Pirates include Twitter Tuesday and beat the heat with free popsicles when the doors open at 6 p.m. Be sure to tweet at @GoCamels and @GoCamelsVB from your seat to win great prizes.

All Campbell home events now have mobile live stats available that can be found at The service allows fans to track the action from anywhere, including at the match.

The Camels travel to the Morehead State Eagle Invitational on Friday for a 4:30 p.m. match against Hampton. Campbell faces West Virginia on Saturday at 11 a.m. and host Morehead at 7 p.m. The tournament is a homecoming of sorts for coach Goral, who spent the past five seasons on the Eagles' sidelines as an assistant/associate head coach. 


Camels All-Time vs. East Carolina: 7-34
Series History: Campbell opened the 2012 season at East Carolina with a 3-2 victory led by Lindsey Coats with 16 kills, .375 attacking pct. and nine blocks, fifth most in program history. The Pirates won the first 17 meetings before Campbell went 4-2 from 1996-98. ECU then took eight-consecutive matches before the Camels broke through in 2004 with a five-set win. Campbell has taken the past two matchups in 2010 and 2012.Scouting Report: East Carolina is 2-4 on the campaign with victories over The Citadel (3-0) and Morgan State (3-0).  Loyola (3-0), East Tenn. St. (3-0), UNCG (3-0) and Wake Forest (3-0) have topped the Pirates. The primary offensive threat is Nicole Willis with 4.17 kills per set. Zarah Cecich and Bella Borgiotti have combined to run the offense with 10.56 assists per frame. The back row is paced by libero Shelby Beasley with 3.89 digs per set, while Virginia Fitch and Kierra Lee-Dunston have each blocked at least one attack per stanza. Head coach Julie Torbett is in her first season guiding the Pirates' program.

Campbell has been a tough opponent with four five-set victories and a 5-2 mark on the campaign. The Camels captured the  title at the Hampton Inn of Holly Springs Invitational. Jessica Groen has posted a team-best 3.03 kills per set, while Lindsey Coats, Alexis Hein, Lorin Thomas and Katelyn Layden are all reliable hitters averaging around 2.00 kills. An 8.83 assists per set ratio has been tallied by Heather Wilson. Mary Crema stabilizes the back row with 5.56 digs per frame. Thomas has put up a solid block by disrupting 1.00 attacks per set.

Head coach Greg Goral has used a positive approach in leading the Camels. The resiliency and pure fight the squad has shown in coming from behind to win four five-set matches over William & Mary, San Jose St., Indiana St. and Georgetown has been impressive. This is just the fourth time the program has started 5-2 or better with the only other first-year coach to accomplish the feat being T.J. Meager in 1998.

Wilson earned the Camels first overall volleyball player of the week honor on Sept. 9 since rejoining the Big South in 2011.  The Concord, N.C., totaled 8.56 assists, 2.38 digs and 1.06 kills per set. She registered a pair of double-doubles including a personal-best 50 assists and 15 digs against Georgetown. A 45-assist, 13-dig and 8-kill performance was achieved by Wilson vs. Indiana State. 

Opponents are unable to focus on limiting the effectiveness of just a single hitter, because coach Goral has five offensive threats that can step up in any give match. Groen has tallied 3.03 kills per set, but Hein, Thomas, Coats and Layden are all consistent attackers hovering around 2.00 kills per set.

Crema has notched a pair of career-best 31-dig performances against San Jose St. and Indiana State. She was the first  Camel to hit the 30-dig plateau since Sarah Hill vs. Mercer (10/24/2009). The Loveland, Ohio, native has stabilized a back row that has eclipsed the 100-dig mark three times this season - William & Mary (120), Georgetown (115) and San Jose St. (112). Communication bas been key in a back row that produced five players reaching double-digits in digs during each of the team's four five-set victories.

Wilson, a three-year starter for the Camels, has amassed 2,409 assists, the fourth most in school history. She recently passed Pam Hughes (1999-00), who had 2,292 assists. The Concord, N.C., native is also seventh all-time with 6.88 assists per set.

Hein, Wilson, Groen and Layden showed their versatility on offense and defense by notching at least one double-double on the season. Four double-doubles have been achieved by both Wilson and Hein. Groen set career bests with 17 kills vs. SJSU and 14 digs at William & Mary. A 22-dig and 16-kill performance surpassed career totals for Hein. The 20 digs vs. SJSU and 50 assist vs. Georgetown for Wilson were the first time she has hit those numbers. Layden registered a personal-best 19 digs vs. the Spartans.

Crema was tabbed as the Big South defensive player of the week after totaling 5.77 digs per set to open the season. She reached her first 31-dig performance vs. San Jose St. and added 29 digs at William & Mary. The Camels tallied over 100 digs in each of their two victories.