Coastal Rallies to Down High Point in Four
CONWAY - After surrendering a close opening set, the Coastal Carolina volleyball team rallied to take the next three to top the visiting High Point Panthers 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 25-21) Friday night at The HTC Center.
The win extends Coastal’s current win streak to four matches while improving the Chanticleers to 11-4 overall and 3-0 in the Big South . High Point, meanwhile, suffered its first conference loss and now holds an 11-7, 1-1 record.
Leah Hardeman led a group of four Chanticleers that recorded double figure kills. Hardeman’s 16 kills were followed by 13 from Lian Bernett and 11 from Natasa Savovic. Eszter Nagy rounded out the group with 10 kills on 17 attempts for a team-best hitting percentage of .471.
Sara Boothe finished with 26 assists, the fifth time this season the freshman has surpassed the 25-assist mark. Fellow freshman Carla Cahill led all players in digs, accounting for 24 of Coastal’s 73 total.
For the seventh straight match the Chants hit over .200 as a team, finishing with a .235 hitting percentage to High Point’s .110.
Coastal also out-blocked High Point 11-7. Freshman Alise Petersone led the Chants’ blocking efforts with a career-high of six.
High Point opened the match hitting .361 in the first set. Paced by the five kills apiece from Haley Barnes and Molly Livingston, the Panthers grabbed the lead early and stayed in front of the Chants for the majority of the set. Coastal managed to tie the set late at 20 points a side, but two Hardeman errors and a Livingston kill gave HPU a three-point cushion. The lead would be enough for the Panthers to hold on for a two-point set win.
The Chanticleer defense limited High Point to hitting -.053 in the second set as Coastal cruised to an eight-point win. The Chants led by as many as 11 points in the latter stages of the set, but a late High Point rally managed to cut into Coastal’s lead. Bernett went off for six kills, while Savovic, Nagy and Dora Lulic each accounted for blocks.
Coastal led start-to-finish in the third frame, jumping out to a 9-3 lead and riding a .238 hitting percentage to close the set and take a 2-1 match lead. The Chants received three kills apiece from Bernett, Nagy and Lulic, while Petersone recorded three of Coastal’s four team blocks.
The final set saw just three lead changes as High Point held the advantage in the first half of the game. The Chants managed the even the set at 15 all after going a 7-3 run. HPU’s first timeout after Coastal gained an 18-17 advantage did nothing to slow the Chants’ momentum as CCU won four of the next five points. Coastal came out of High Point’s second timeout leading 22-18, and received kills from Hardeman and Savovic – who combined for 11 kills in the set – to help close out the match.
Coastal returns to the court on Saturday to host Campbell. The afternoon has been moved up an hour, and will now take place at 1 p.m. at The HTC Center.