Lady Chanticleers advance, face Radford in BSC final

2014 Big South Volleyball Semi Final High Point  vs. CoastalThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team dispatched No. 6 High Point in three sets on Friday night to advance to the Big South Championship final for the eighth time in program history, and the third time in the past three years under the direction of head coach Jozsef Forman.

The No. 2 Chanticleers will face No. 1 Radford in Sunday’s championship match at The HTC Center for the conference’s title and automatic bid to the NCAA Volleyball Championships. Sunday’s match begins at 2 pm, and can be seen on ESPN 3.

Coastal Carolina and Radford met each other in last year’s conference finale, with the Highlanders taking the crown in a three-set match. The teams’ meeting on Sunday will mark the first time since the 2008-09 seasons that the same schools will meet in back-to-back conference championship matches. Coastal and Liberty were the last schools to do so, with each side taking a title.

Friday’s semifinal win marked the third victory for the Chants over High Point this season.

Coastal was led offensively by senior Katie Martin, who led all players with 13 kills while hitting .448. Leah Hardeman tallied 12 kills and a team-high 13 digs for her second consecutive double-double, while Annayka Legros put down 10 shots at a .500 pace. Legros also finished with eight blocks, a single-game career high for the sophomore middle blocker.

Sam Skryd led the Chants with 35 assists, which was matched by High Point’s Kristin Heldt. High Point was also led by Haley Barnes’ 10 kills and Wavie Chin’s 15 digs.

As a team Coastal hit .265, while keeping the Panthers to .119. Coastal dominated at the net, registering 12 blocks to High Point’s 5.

The teams were neck-and-neck in a first set that saw the score tied 16 times. High Point opened the match with four straight errors, giving Coastal an early advantage, but the lead was erased quickly as the Panthers tied the set for the first time at 6-6. The scoring margin then remained within two points for the remainder of the set. Tied at 24-24, Martin and Hardeman combined for kills to give the Chants a 26-24 set win.

The second set, which saw the score tied on nine occasions, was just as close, though the Chants did hold a .286-.158 hitting advantage. Martin recorded five of Coastal’s fifteen kills in the set, while Hardeman and Legros each posted four. Once again the sides were tied at 24-24 late in the set, but a kill from Hardeman and an attack error from Chelsea Davis tipped the set in Coastal’s favor.

The deciding set was all Coastal as the Chants jumped out to a 10-6 lead and never looked back. Miona Milovanovic helped the Chants to the early lead with three blocks, and the sophomore middle blocker finished the set with five. Legros and Eszter Nagy also had multiple blocks in the set, while Hardeman led the Chants with four kills. Coastal closed the set hitting .333 with 16 kills.

No. 1 Radford advanced to conference final with a 3-2 win over No. 4 Winthrop in the day’s first semifinal match. The Highlanders will be making their 10th Big South championship appearance in program history on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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