Lady Chants swept by USC in opening round of NCAAs

ccuvol-huddleblackThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team ends the 2014 season with a 25-7 overall record after falling in three sets to Southern California in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship.

The Chanticleers’ 25 wins this season are the third-most in program in history, while their 11-3 Big South record is the best since 2008 when Coastal won 13 conference matches.

USC, meanwhile, improves to 16-15 and advances to Saturday’s second round match where the Trojans will face the winner of Hampton and No. 7 North Carolina.

Leah Hardeman led the Chants’ attack with 14 kills, and added seven digs. Eszter Nagy totaled six kills and led the Chants hitting .333. Lian Bernett, Annayka Legros and Katie Martin finished with four kills apiece for Coastal.

Sam Skryd led all players with 22 assists, while Jenna Orner recorded a match-high with 15 digs. The Chants tallied three team blocks, receiving a solo and assist from Legros and assists from Bernett, Nagy and Martin.

As a team the Chants hit .149, which was surpassed by the .293 pace of USC.  The Trojans finished the match with 45 team kills, led by the 17 from All-American Ebony Nwanebu. Fellow All-American Samantha Bricio also posted double-digit kills, finishing with 11. USC recorded five team blocks, including three assists from middle blocker Alicia Ogoms.

The Chants looked impressive to start the match, taking nine of the set’s first 13 points including five straight on the serve of Bernett. The Trojans claimed the next three points to shorten the lead, and eventually tied the set at 13-13. USC took a 15-13 lead into a media timeout, but Coastal tallied the first two points out of the break to once again even the set. A USC timeout at 19-19 slowed the Chants’ momentum, and the Trojans outscored Coastal 6-1 to finish off the game.

The match opened up in the second set as each team hit over .270. The Chants posted 12 kills in the second set, led by three apiece from Hardeman and Legros. The Trojans, however, received five kills apiece from Bricio and Nwanebu on the outside, and finished the set with 18 as a team. Coastal stayed point-for-point with USC until midway through when, trailing 13-12, the Chants surrendered seven of the next 11 points to fall further behind. Bricio and Nwanebu then combined for four kills to help win the set.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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