Coastal wins Sun Belt title, earns automatic NCAA bid

ccuvol-sunbeltcelebThe Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina are the 2016 Sun Belt Volleyball Champions after claiming the title, 3-1, over top-seeded Arkansas State on Sunday at College Park Center.

It is the first volleyball title for the Chanticleers as a member of the Sun Belt Conference and they will represent the Sun Belt as the automatic qualifier for the league in the NCAA Volleyball tournament. CCU swept Georgia Southern on Friday, 3-0, then defeated Texas State, 3-1, before handing the Red Wolves their first lost since Oct. 7. The Chants have now won 17 consecutive matches.

After dropping the first set, 25-11, the Chants rattled off three consecutive set wins to claim the title. Momentum was clearly on the side of the Red Wolves (24-8) after the first set but the Chanticleers settled down, and took set two, 25-23.

Coastal (27-4) then took set three 25-19 and set four 25-21. Tahleia Bishop led the match with 15 kills for the Chants, along with nine digs. Leah Hardeman, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer, finished with a double-double with 14 kills and 18 digs. Bishop and Annayka Legros were named to the All-Tournament team. Hardeman finished the tournament with a tournament-high of 47 kills.

CCU’s opponent in the NCAA Volleyball Championship will be unveiled on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. on ESPNU as the official bracket will be released.

Carlisa May and Mallory Warrington were both selected to the All-Tournament team for the Red Wolves. May led A-State with 13 kills and finished with 42 for the tournament. Warrington totaled 45 assists and 16 digs, her team leading 15th double-double this season. She finished with 119 assists in three matches.

Photo courtesy of Sun Belt Conference

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