Lady Chants open season by sweeping Notre Dame

ccuvol-hardemannThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team played its first of three matches at the 2016 Shamrock Invitational Friday evening, defeating the host Notre Dame Fighting Irish in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 28-26).

With the win in Friday’s match – the first between the two institutions – the Chanticleers remain undefeated in 2016 and are off to their second 4-0 start in as many years. It is additionally just the fourth 4-0 start in program history, and first time all four victories have come in straight sets.

Coastal held statistical advantages in nearly every category, including kills (48-41), hitting percentage (.274-.215), assists (47-40), digs (54-43) and team blocks (8.0-4.0)

Annayka Legros led the Chants offensively with 13 kills and a .667 hitting percentage, and added five block assists for 15.5 points. Leah Hardeman tallied her second double-double of the season with 11 kills and 11 digs, and was joined in double-double territory by Sara Boothe (23 assists, 12 digs).

Jemma Yeadon and Rebecca Nunge each reached double-figure kills for the Fighting Irish with 13 and 10, respectively, and Yeadon completed her double-double with 12 digs.

Notre Dame led by as many as four points early in the opening set before Coastal went on a 14-6 run to reverse the four-point difference and take a 20-16 lead. From there, kills by Natasa Savovic, Boothe, Hardeman and Dora Lulic helped close out the four-point set win. Legros led the Chants in the set with three kills, two blocks and a .750 hitting percentage.

Unlike the first and third sets Coastal never surrendered its lead in the second set after an opening kill from Hardeman, her first of four in the middle frame. Legros also tallied four, but it was Lulic that led the Chants in kills with five.

The Fighting Irish appeared to be in control of the third set, leading by as many as eight points, before the Chants cut their deficit to a more manageable three points, 20-17. Notre Dame held set point before a service error evened the score at 24-24, and a Lulic kill gave Coastal its first lead of the set. The two sides traded points before Tahleia Bishop put down the final kill to give the Chants the 28-26 set win.

Coastal plays two matches on Saturday to close out the Shamrock Invitational. The Chants face Purdue at 10 a.m. before squaring off against Howard at 4:30 p.m. The Boilermakers won Friday’s match against the Bison to improve to 3-1.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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