Coastal volleyball opens new season, arena, coaching era

The Coastal Carolina volleyball team opens the season Friday at the Big Orange Bash in Clemson,  just one of many new things for the Lady Chanticleers in 2012.

The Lady Chants have a new leader in the form of head coach Jozsef Forman,  who came to Coastal after a two-year stint as the associate head coach at Auburn University.

The team also has a new home in a state-of-the-art facility, The HTC Center, leaving the small but friendly confines of Kimbel Arena. The HTC Center seats 3,212,  more than triple that of Kimbel Arena

Forman has stepped up the schedule, beginning with Friday’s season opener against tournament host Clemson. Coastal will also take on Xavier University and South Carolina State University at the Big Orange Bash. The competition does not get any easier the following weekend at the University of Pittsburgh Invitational as the Chants battle Pitt, Butler University and Howard University.

“We have really high level competition to open up the season,” said Forman. “I think the opening two tournaments will be a good test to see where our team stands. I wanted to schedule these two tournaments to show the squad where we want to be in the future.”

The Lady Chants also will rely heavily on four newcomers to the squad, including 6-foot-3 student-athletes Monica Hall and Júlia Milovits, whom Coach Forman believes will add to Coastal’s blocking advantage this season as well as add some firepower to the attack. Another member of the recruiting class, Jenna Orner, is a transfer from Jacksonville University who coach Forman thinks can step in and play a defensive specialist role or even spend some time as the libero.

With 12 returnees on the roster, including rising senior Jamie DiMaggio, who was named Preseason All-Big South at the libero position, and 2011 Big South All-Freshman team member Lian Bernett.  Coastal also returns Kindra Bailey and Katie Martin, both of whom started every match for the Chants and ranked as the team’s top two blockers.

The Lady Chants will play three road tournaments before competing in their home opener at The HTC Center on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. against Winthrop University in Big South Conference volleyball action.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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