Lady Chants douse Flames, grab share of first place in Big South

The Coastal Carolina volleyball team continued its recent string of strong play with a 3-1 victory over Liberty University inside The HTC Center Saturday afternoon. The Chants now sit in a tie for first-place in the Big South Conference standings with Liberty.

Coastal ended a three-match losing streak to Liberty that dated back to the 2009 season.

CCU improves to 7-10 on the season and 5-2 in Big South Conference play while Liberty falls to 15-7 and 5-2 in BSC action.

The Chants took the opening set 25-22, the second set 26-24 and the fourth set 25-18 while LU won the third set 25-20.

CCU was led by junior Kindra Bailey who had 13 kills and just two errors while hitting .611 on the match. She added a service ace, three digs and five blocks including one solo. Freshman Gabriella Horvath had 13 kills, nine digs, a service ace and one block. Junior Meghan Laffin added 12 kills, four digs and a pair of blocks.

Junior Lauren Alejo dished out 35 assists and had three service aces while junior Sam Skryd led the way in digs with 15 while adding nine assists. Sophomore libero Jenna Orner had 13 digs and added a pair of assists.

Liberty was led by Lillie Happel who had 14 kills and eight digs while Caroline Douglas had 10 kills and a pair of blocks.

The Lady Flames jumoed out to an early 8-3 lead in the opening set but a well called timeout by Head Coach Joszef Forman stopped the run. Freshman Eszter Nagy came out of the timeout and provided a kill that sparked an 11-5 run by the Chants to take a 14-13 lead in the set. The Lady Flames jumped out again to a slim three-point lead but with the score set at 17-14 in LU’s favor the Chants began another 11-5 run to take the set 25-22 victory.

The Chants controlled most of the second set but with the score at 22-16 in CCU’s favor the Lady Flames began an 8-1 run to take a 24-23 lead that forced Forman to use a timeout. Once again following the timeout Nagy came through in the clutch nailing a kill to knot the set at 24. A service ace by Horvath gave the Chants their first set point of the stanza and a kill from Laffin sealed the set in the Chants favor 26-24.

The third set was back-and-forth almost the entire way but with the score knotted at 20 the Lady Flames scored five unanswered points to take a 25-20 victory in the set.

The fourth set opened like the third closed as the Lady Flames scored three-straight points to take the early lead. The Chants ended the run with a kill from freshman Monica Hall. The kill sparked an 8-2 run by the Chants to take an 8-5 lead. The Lady Flames came back to tie the score at nine but CCU answered with five-straight points including a pair of kills by Bailey. The Chants would continue to roll from that point on as they held the Lady Flames at bay and hung on for the 25-18 victory.

The win was the first conference match for the Chants this season that did not last five sets.

Coastal will return to action this Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. as they host SEC foe University of South Carolina inside The HTC Center.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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