Volleyball Holds Off UTSA in Season Opener
FORT WORTH, Texas - The Coastal Carolina volleyball team opened the 2017 season Friday with a five-set victory (25-19, 25-20, 19-25, 17-25, 15-13) over UTSA in the first match of the TCU Cowtown Classic. The Chants relinquished an early 2-0 match lead before winning a thrilling fifth set.
Coastal carries a 1-0 record into its second and final match of the Cowtown Classic, set for Saturday at 6 p.m. ET against TCU.
Coastal was led by an outstanding effort from Leah Hardeman, who paced the Chants with a 23 kill, 15 dig double-double. The senior outside hitter added a .340 hitting percentage and tied for the team lead with four blocks. Four of Hardeman's kills came in the deciding set, with the final two breaking a 13-13 tie and swinging the match in favor of the Chants.
The two sides were nearly even in all statistical categories, with Coastal holding slim leads in hitting percentage and digs. The biggest difference was Coastal's defensive presence at the net, as the Chants totaled 11 team blocks to UTSA's five.
Joining Hardeman with four blocks each were Leah Levert and Larissa Dos Santos in the middle. Levert added nine kills at a .562 pace, and Dos Santos put down five shots while hitting .400. Freshman Kyla Manning made an impact in her first career match, putting down 11 kills to join Hardeman as the only Chants to reach double figures in the category.
Coastal led the entirety of the opening set as Boothe served to a 4-0 advantage to start, and the Chants continued to build upon their lead. CCU led by as many as seven points in the set, initially taking a 10-3 lead before going ahead 17-10 to take firm control of the game.
The Chants jumped out to another early lead in the second frame, going on a 10-4 run from the opening serve. UTSA rallied to even the set on five occasions, however, including a 19-19 deadlock later in the game. An Alvis service ace then sparked a run of four straight points for the Chants that included a pair of kills from Levert, and two straight UTSA errors allowed the Chants to finish off the set.
Neither side led by more than two points midway through the third set, at which point UTSA used a 5-2 run to take a 20-16 lead. Coastal managed to trim its deficit to two points, but was unable to retake the lead.
A 10-10 tie in the fourth set was broken by a 10-5 UTSA run, and four errors from the Chants helped UTSA force a match-deciding fifth set.