Nov. 21, 2009
Release courtesy of Big South Conference
RADFORD, Va. - The No. 4-seeded Coastal Carolina University volleyball team won the 2009 Big South Championship after defeating No. 2 Liberty 3-1 (25-16, 25-18, 25-27, 25-21) on Saturday, Nov. 21. The last time the Chanticleers won the Big South Championship was in 1998, when they beat Liberty 3-1. The Chants earned the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament and will find out their destination on Sun., Nov. 29. This will be Coastal's third appearance ever in the event, having gone in 1996 and 1998, and the first under Head Coach Kristen Bauer.
Coastal Carolina took control of game one with a 4-0 spurt, capped off by back-to-back blocks, to push its lead to 17-11 and cruise to a 25-16 win. Tournament MVP Chelsey Kimes continued her attack prowess from the night before (19 kills) with eight kills and a .467 hitting percentage to pace the Chants who hit .311 as a team. Scrip registered a team best four kills for the Lady Flames.
Kimes finished the match with 16 kills (.277) and 50 for the tournament. She was joined on the all-tournament team by her teammates Sierra Livesay and Megan Bickford, Liberty’s Nicki Scripco and Kelly Haseman and CSU’s Amanda Hill.
Livesay concluded the day with a team-best 18 kills with Bickford chipping in with 12. Meagan Tracey dished out a match-best 50 assists and with her 10 digs was one of three Chants with double-doubles (Kimes and Livesay).
Scripko who tried to rally the Lady Flames in game four, finished with a match-high 20 kills her third straight 20-plus kill match (66 total).
Defensively, Haseman led everyone on the floor with 33 digs, while Megan Pollard dug 27 balls for the Chants.
With the score tied at 13-all, the Chants used a 7-2 run behind two Bickford kills to take a 20-15 lead and roll to a 25-18 win. Tracey capped off the run with a pair of aces, the first two of the match for either team.
Liberty won a highly competitive game three, 27-25, holding off several comebacks by Coastal. An early 4-0 spurt, highlighted by a pair of blocks, gave the Lady Flames a lead they would not relinquish. The Chants would rally to tie it five different times, but a kill by Loren Thomas and an attack error extended the match for Liberty. Scripko and Karyl Bacon led LU with five kills apiece. Livesay also found the floor five times for Coastal.
Coastal jumped out to a 10-3 lead in game four. After Liberty cut it to 10-6, Coastal Carolina pushed its lead to 17-9 with a 7-3 spurt. However, the Lady Flames would not go down without a fight as they rallied to get within 22-20. However, the Chants were able hold off the rally as Jill Nyhof ripped her final kill to clinch the championship.
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Kristen Bauer
“Honestly, I am a little bit shocked, not how my team played but just in general the year that we had not coming as the first, second, or third seed. So we are just thrilled and proud that we played so well. I know that Liberty didn’t have their best match today, but they are a team that we have to hold up to high standards. They really are just good people.”
Liberty Head Coach Shane Pinder
“It was great to be back in the championship match. I’m proud of our Seniors – they never gave up. Everyone on the team showed a lot of character today and played hard. But we have to give credit to Coastal because they played efficiently and made us earn every point. We wish them luck in the NCAA.”