Nov. 3, 2009
CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina University volleyball team rallied back from a two-set deficit to defeat Winthrop 3-2 (21-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-16, 15-11) on Tuesday night at Kimbel Arena. The Chanticleers improved to 16-11 overall and 9-4 in the Big South while the Eagles fell to 17-9 and 9-4 in the Big South. Both teams are currently tied for third place in the league with the regular season coming to a close.
Coastal Carolina was led by junior Chelsy Kimes, who finished with 22 kills and eight digs. Megan Bickford, Amanda Russell and Sierra Livesay combined for 37 kills to help give the Chants the spark they need to come back from a two-set deficit. Meagan Tracey guided the team with 55 assists and had a season-high four blocks. Russell added five service aces, tying her career high set last season against South Carolina State.
Winthrop was led by Sara Felts, who finished with 16 kills while Kelley Taylor added 14 kills. Kaley Viola recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs for the Eagles while Becca Toor added five blocks on defense.
Starting the match, the Eagles came out hitting hard, dominating the Chanticleers and holding them to a .159 team attack percentage. However, coming out of the locker room after the second set, Coastal Carolina made some personnel changes, switching Becky Stowers to libero, and the momentum started to shift the Chants way. From the second set on, the Chants never hit below .282 as a team and won its first match after trailing two sets.
In the first set, Winthrop came out strong going out to an early 4-1 lead. The Eagles remained in the lead until Coastal Carolina came back to tie the set at 11-all. After the first tie, there would be six more and two lead changes with Winthrop taking the final lead at 19-18. The Eagles went on a 4-1 run to put them at 22-19 and kills by Toor and Taylor and a Chant attack error gave Winthrop the first set. Both Sara Felts and Becca Toor led the Eagles with four kills and Chelsy Kimes led the set with six kills.
The second set started similar to the first with Winthrop going out to a 3-0 lead. The Chants would battle back to tie the set at 5-all, but the Eagles would regain the lead once again. Down by three at 10-7, the Chants went on a 4-0 run to tie the set and forcing Winthrop to take a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Eagles went on a 5-0 run themselves, putting them ahead 16-11. Winthrop never allowed Coastal Carolina to build a comeback and the Chants found themselves down two sets.
Coastal Carolina came out of the locker room looking like a different team and went out to a 6-2 lead. Winthrop tried to build a comeback, but the Chanticleers’ hitting could not be stopped and they won the third set. Amanda Russell led Coastal Carolina with six kills and Kimes added five. Becky Stowers provided a spark to the team and came in registering six digs.
Still down by one set, Coastal Carolina started the fourth set similar to the third going out to a 4-1 lead. The Chants dominated all the way and held Winthrop to a .000 team attack percentage to their .282, forcing the match into a fifth set. Megan Bickford went a perfect 5-for-5, recording a 1.000 attack percentage and added three blocks on defense. Senior Meagan Tracey registered three blocks and 11 assists.
In the deciding set, both teams fought hard, but Coastal Carolina went up 4-1 and Winthrop never could get in sync. The Eagles came to within one point of tying the set at 7-6, but Jill Nyhof came up with two big kills. Sierra Livesay came up with four of her 11 total kills in the fifth set to help lead the Chants to a match victory.
Coastal Carolina returns to the court on Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. to celebrate Senior Night against Presbyterian at Kimbel Arena. Winthrop returns home to face Presbyterian at home on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m.