Dec. 4, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. – In a sold-out crowd at the Nebraska Coliseum, the Coastal Carolina University volleyball team fell to No. 7 Nebraska 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-15) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Dec. 4. The Chanticleers, who were making their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 1998, finished their season 20-14 while the Huskers move on to face Northern Iowa in the second round of the tournament tomorrow.
Chelsy Kimes led the offense with eight kills and added 10 digs while Megan Pollard led the defense with 13 digs. Jill Nyhof finished with three blocks and Meagan Tracey and Kelsie Mauck shared the role of setter with nine and seven assists, respectively. Megan Bickford recorded the only service aces for the Chants and it was the first service ace the Huskers had given up in seven matches.
The nerves set in during the first set and it took a while for the Chanticleers to get comfortable. Nebraska won the first point, taking the lead and keeping it throughout the entire set. Amanda Russell tallied the first kill for the Chants followed by a block by Nyhof and Russell to put Coastal down by two. As soon as Coastal started to look like they were adjusting to the loud atmosphere, Nebraska went on an 8-0 run making the lead deficit too lard for the Chants to battle back. Chelsy Kimes was held to just two kills while the team only hit a .049 hitting percentage compared to Nebraska’s .300 team hitting percentage in the first set.
The Chants started to settle down in the second set, forcing four ties and even taking the lead at 6-5 off a Megan Bickford kill. Nebraska retook the lead and after the final tie of the set at 11-all, and the Huskers went on a 7-0 run to put them ahead at 18-11. Coastal tried to battle back, but again the lead was too large for a comeback and the Huskers went up 2-0 in the match.
Coastal Carolina kept it close in the beginning of the third set, forcing six ties and three lead changes. At 7-all, Coastal took the lead on a block by Nyhof and Russell, but the Huskers answered back by going on a 4-0 run to put them ahead 11-8. The Chants tried to stay close, but another 6-1 run by Nebraska put them up by seven at 20-13. Coastal fought hard, but Nebraska’s hitting was too hard to stop and took the match, moving on to the second round of the tournament.
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Kristen Bauer
“To play in front of the Husker fans was really a dream come true tonight. I think the result we would have changed if we could have, but this was just an amazing atmosphere and we’re happy to be here.”
On Coastal Carolina at the start of the match
“We tried to prepare the team for what they would see and feel when they got to the Coliseum tonight. We had some jitters, but I was glad to see us down a little bit and fight back and forth. Unfortunately for us, Nebraska’s defense was stellar. Whatever we threw at them, they were able to pick up. I was telling the ladies after the match that they would come from about ten feet away and play outside their area, they just got every ball up that we threw at them.”
On the benefit of getting into the NCAA tournament
“We talked about our season kind of being up and down and passing through some adversity and having like the dream ending coming to Nebraska and getting to the NCAA tournament. A few years ago, we talked to our freshmen the very first day and said that they needed to lay the ground work for a legacy here. We’re really trying to push and one of our goals was to make the NCAAs. This group was able to do that. We said that we kind of stepped up on another rung of the ladder and next year we have that taste now. We know what it’s like. We want to be back. So hopefully we can just press on and continue with that success.”
Nebraska Head Coach John Cook
“Well, we are one game better than we were last year, so we’re getting better. I thought we came out, like last year, we came out fired up and pumped up and played great. Like last year, there is always going to be a letdown. Fortunately this year, we were able to avoid a second-game total letdown like we did last year and pulled ourselves out and got a chance to get a lot of players in that haven’t had a lot of playing time. It was fun to see Paige (Hubl) and Megan (Pendergast) out there and Jordan Wilberger as well. It was a good night, we’re getting ready for a tough one tomorrow.”
On the attitude of the team coming into tonight
“We don’t really talk about it, we just talk about trying to be relaxed. I know their adrenalin is going to be pumping. You sit around waiting all day, we haven’t played in a week; it’s the NCAA Tournament. It’s just a different feel. It’s something our young players need to go through, and it’s something we have to burn off that adrenalin a little bit and try to control it.”