Coastal Downs Georgia Tech in Four Sets in Home Opener
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina volleyball team recorded a four-set victory in its 2016 home opener Friday night at the HTC Center, downing Georgia Tech 25-19, 25-19, 18-25, 25-22 in the second match of the Coastal Carolina Classic presented by Hilton.
The victory is Coastal's third straight against the Yellow Jackets, and improves the Chants to 8-2 on the season. Georgia Tech falls to 8-3 with the loss, and moves to 1-1 in the tournament after winning the opening match against North Florida Friday morning.
The CCU Classic continues on Saturday at the HTC Center with a pair of matches for the Chants. Coastal takes on North Florida at 11 a.m. before closing the tournament with a second match against Georgia Tech at 5 p.m.
As a team the Chants held advantages in kills (50-44), hitting (.173 - .132), aces (7-0) and blocks (9-6).
Annayka Legros continued her impressive season with a match-leading 14 kills while hitting .296, a team high. The senior middle blocker was also a large presence defensively with five total blocks (four assists, one solo).
Leah Hardeman followed with 13 kills, and nearly completed the double-double with nine digs. Sara Boothe and Kate Federico provided 24 and 20 assists, respectively, and Carla Cahill set personal and match highs with 20 digs. Natasa Savovic accounted for three of Coastal's seven aces while putting down eight kills and tallying seven digs.
Teegan Van Gunst closed the match with 13 kills, and was the only Yellow Jacket to reach double digits in the category. The senior outside hitter also notched 16 digs to complete the double-double.
Coastal opened the match hitting .278, and overtook the lead in set one after consecutive kills from Tahleia Bishop put the Chants in front 11-9. The back-to-back points from Bishop sparked an 8-3 Coastal run that put the Chants comfortably ahead 17-12. Georgia Tech managed to cut the deficit to three points later in the set, 22-19, but a kill from Hardeman and an ace from Boothe helped put the game away.
The Chants surrendered the opening point of the second set, but led for the remainder of the game after Legros put the Chants ahead 2-1. Georgia Tech was limited to hitting .024 in the set, and the six kills and two blocks from Legros powered the Chants to a 25-19 set win.
Georgia Tech responded by hitting .400 in the third frame, and received five kills Van Gunst. Coastal held a brief lead right from the start, but an early 8-3 Yellow Jacket run created too much of a difference for the Chants to overcome.
The closing set was the closest of the match, and featured nine ties and six lead changes. Savovic led all players with six kills in the fourth while Dora Lulic aided the win with three blocks. Coastal didn't secure the lead for good until Savovic's fourth kill of the set gave the Chants a 16-15 edge. Georgia Tech managed to the even the set one final time at 22-22, but a Yellow Jacket service error was followed by kills from Savovic and Bishop to close the match.