Lady Chants capture school record 13th straight victory

ccuvolley-2The Chanticleer volleyball team topped Charleston Southern in straight sets (25-13, 25-22, 25-21) Friday night, setting a Coastal Carolina program record with its 13th straight victory. All but two of those 13 wins have been 3-0 decisions, including each of the last nine.

The previous record for consecutive matches won was set at 12 by the 2000 Chanticleer volleyball squad.

Friday’s win improves Coastal’s overall record to 20-4, marking the second straight 20-plus win season for the Chants, and fourth since switching to the 25-point scoring format in 2008. The victory also keeps Coastal atop the Big South standings with a perfect 12-0 conference record.

Leah Hardeman’s ninth double-double of the season paced the Chants as the sophomore outside hitter put down 15 kills at a .306 clip and finished with 12 digs, one shy of the team-leading 13 recorded by Lian Bernett.

Annayka Legros joined Hardeman in double figure kills with 10, while Bernett and Natasa Savovic each tallied nine.

Bernett also added three blocks on the night and recorded her 100th career service ace. She joins Chelsy Kimes, a three-time All-Big South selection, as the only other Chanticleer to record 1,000 career kills and digs, and 100 aces.

Sara Boothe led the match in assists, setting a career high with 43. The freshman setter has now surpassed 40 assists in two matches this season, each of which lasted just three sets.

Coastal closed the match hitting .377 as a team, bringing its season average to .281.

Coastal cruised to a 12-point win in the opening set as the Chants, led by the six kills of Hardeman, came out hitting .400 to start the match. Only two Buccaneers managed multiple kills in the set as Charleston Southern was limited to hitting .103, its lowest percentage of the night.

Coastal improved its hitting to .405 in the second set and had built a comfortable 16-8 lead midway through, but six kills by CSU’s Meredith Parrott helped spur the Bucs to a late rally. Trailing by four, Madison Martin landed two straight aces for the Bucs, leaving Coastal with a slim 21-19 lead. CSU could not maintain its momentum, however, and an attacking error from Connor Malone put an end to the rally. Legros, Savovic and Eszter Nagy each recorded kills to close the set.

The final set proved to be a back-and-forth affair that featured 16 ties and five lead changes. CSU led by a point late in the set until a service error from Parrott brought the Chants even at 21-21. Coastal jumped on the opportunity and responded with consecutive blocks. Bernett got a hand on each as she sent the first back herself, and was assisted by Nagy on the second. Nagy sealed the match with back-to-back kills, and finished the night hitting .538.

Coastal closes regular season play next weekend as the Chants face a pair of road tests at Campbell (Friday, 7 p.m.) and High Point (Saturday, 2 p.m.). A win in either match would guarantee a regular season Big South championship for the Chants as High Point suffered its second conference loss of the season to Liberty on Friday night.

Photo courtesy of Big South

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