Lady Chants drop season opener at UNC Wilmington

ccuvolley-spikeThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team won its opening set of the 2014 season, but host UNC Wilmington came back to take the next three games and notch a 3-1 victory in the first match of the UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Wilmington Mayfaire Classic on Friday afternoon.

After the Chanticleers rallied for a 25-23 victory in the first game, the Seahawks evened the match with a 26-24 win in the second and followed with 25-16 and 25-14 decisions in the last two.

In her first collegiate match, freshman Leah Hardeman led Coastal with 18 kills while adding eight digs. Senior Sam Skryd recorded a double-double, dishing out 25 assists and recording 12 digs, while senior Jenna Orner totaled a career-high 17 digs. Junior Eszter Nagy chipped in seven kills and six digs, sophomore Annayka Legros led in blocks with four and freshman Aleksandra Djuric had 13 assists.

UNC Wilmington started the match strong and led for most of the opening game, including a 15-10 advantage. However, Coastal won four of five points to get within 16-14 and eventually tied the set three different times. The Seahawks, though, had regained a 21-19 edge when the Chants reeled off three straight to take their first lead. A kill by Nagy, an ace by Gabriella Horvath and an attacking error made it 22-21. UNCW evened it back up at 23-23, but Coastal scored the decisive points on a kill by Legros and a combined block by Legros and Miona Milovanovich to take the game.

The second game was tight throughout, with 11 ties and four lead changes and neither team holding more than a three-point advantage. With the Chanticleers trailing 22-19, a pair of kills by Hardeman helped make it a one-point game. After UNCW got a point for a 24-22 edge, Coastal saved two set points and tied it on a service error and another block by Legros and Milovanovich. However, the Seahawks followed with a kill and a block to pull out the game.

UNC Wilmington, which finished third in the CAA last season, then took control of the third game with an eight-point run to build a 13-7 lead. It was a 19-10 advantage before CCU ran off five straight, getting kills by Lian Bernett, Hardeman and Katie Martin, an ace by Bernett and an attack error, forcing a UNCW timeout. However, the Seahawks later closed it out with four points in a row to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth game, Coastal took an early 3-1 lead, but another big run by the Seahawks enabled them to build a 16-7 advantage and eventually put away the set and the match.

After hitting .281 in the first set, the Chanticleers finished with an overall attack percentage of .143. UNCW went the other way, improving from .143 in the opening game to .209 for the match. The Seahawks also led in blocks (10-7), while CCU had a slight edge in digs (66-64).

Coastal finishes off play in the tournament with a pair of matches on Saturday. The Chants will face Eastern Washington at noon and then take on Fairfield at 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy of BSC Athletics

 

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