Volleyball Outlasts Georgia Southern in Five Sets
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Coastal Carolina volleyball team overcame first and fourth set losses at Georgia Southern on Thursday night to defeat the Eagles in five sets (21-25, 25-15, 26-24, 24-26, 15-8) and remain on top of the Sun Belt east division.
Coastal's ninth straight win improves the Chants to 15-7 overall, including a 12-1 conference mark. Georgia Southern drops to 7-18, 3-10 to remain fifth in the east division.
The Chants were powered by Leah Hardeman's match-high 26 kills. The senior outside hitter added a .333 hitting percentage, three blocks and 10 digs to record her 15th double-double of the season.
Georgia Southern was led by Lauren Reichard and Skylar Ball. The former had 17 kills and five blocks, while the latter tallied 16 kills and six blocks. Both student-athletes turned in hitting percentages over .500.
The Eagles turned the tide of the opening set by winning four straight points to take a 16-12 lead. The Chants never recovered as Georgia Southern rode the nine kills of Reichard and Ball to a 1-0 match lead.
There were four ties in the second set but the Chants never trailed, and Coastal eventually used an impressive eight point streak to take a commanding 20-11 lead en route to a double-digit set win.
The third set was back-and-forth the entire time with 19 ties and seven lead changes. Coastal hit .333 to GS's .212, but the Eagles were kept in the set by another nine kills from Reichard and Ball. Coastal did not take the lead for good until a Hardeman kill put the Chants in front, 25-24. Hardeman then helped finish the set with a block assist alongside Aristea Tontai.
Coastal had an opportunity to finish the match in the fourth set after taking a 24-20 lead, but Georgia Southern mounted an impressive comeback, winning six straight points to take the game, 26-24.
Coastal rode a .438 hitting percentage to win the deciding set, with Hardeman landing four kills and Larissa Dos Santos and Kyla Manning each contributing a pair. A 5-1 CCU run broke an early tie and put the Chants in firm control of the set.
The Chants look to extending their winning streak into double digits Friday with a 6 pm match at Georgia State.