LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Coastal Carolina University volleyball team dropped both matches on Saturday, Aug. 25 as the Louisville Cardinals and the Memphis Tigers each defeated the Lady Chanticleers 3-0 in the Louisville Invitational at Cardinal Arena. Coastal fell to Louisville with game scores of 15-30, 20-30, 22-30, while Coastal was upended by Memphis with game scores of 26-30, 21-30, 20-30.
In Coastal's first match, Louisville, who received votes in the CSTV/AVCA Preseason poll, scored the first five points of the match. Back-to-back kills by freshman Chelsy Kimes (Munster, Ind./Munster) ended the Cardinals' run and pulled Coastal to within three points. The Lady Chants trailed by as many as 10 points before cutting their deficit to five. However, Louisville's offense controlled the remainder of the game en route to winning game one.
Game two proved to be a battle early on as there were nine ties and five lead changes. During the game, Coastal maintained a pair of three-point leads. Junior Brett Starbuck's (Glen Allen, Va./J.R. Tucker) service ace gave Coastal its first three-point advantage to make it a 10-7 game. After a Louisville kill cut Coastal's lead to two, sophomore Jill Nyhof's (Alpharetta, Ga./Northview) kill return the Lady Chants' lead to three. Coastal was unable to build a greater lead as Louisville's offense continued to keep the game close. The Cardinals tied the game 18-18 and used a service ace to take a lead Louisville would not relinquish.
Coastal and Louisville fought for control of game three early as there were five ties. Kills by sophomore Meagan Tracey (Scottsdale, Ariz/Horizon) and Kimes led to a 9-9 deadlock. Louisville reeled off seven straight points to take a 17-9 lead, but Coastal clawed back and came to within three points on two occasion with kills from both Nyhof and senior Nakia Thompson (Lexington, S.C./Lexington). Coastal continue to try to come back, but Louisville sealed the match with a final four-point run.
Kimes, Nyhof and Thompson led the Lady Chants with seven kills each, while Tracey totaled a match-high 30 assists.
Jana Matiasovska and Justine Landi each tallied 12 kills and hit .455 and .450, respectively. Elena Pilnikova had a team-high 27 assists and six block assists. Lecia Brown totaled a match-high nine block assists.
In the second match on Saturday, Coastal trailed by as many as five points before a Memphis brought the Lady Chants to within one. Memphis attempted to pull away, but Coastal stayed within striking distance and came to within one point on seven more times. Unfortunately, Memphis got a three-point run late in the match that helped the Tigers win game one.
Memphis jumped out to an early lead in the second game, but the Lady Chants battled back and tied the game at 14 with a Kimes service ace. A Memphis attack error and a kill by Tracey gave Coastal a two-point lead. However, Coastal's advantage was short-lived as Memphis tied the game and then took a 18-17 lead, which would be the final lead change of the game.
In the third game, Coastal was not able to overcome Memphis' offense as the Tigers used a pair of four-point runs to eventually build a 13-7 lead. The Lady Chants were able to cut the deficit to five on two separate occasions, but that would be as close as they could get.
Freshman Megan Bickford (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) and Kimes led Coastal with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Starbuck totaled a match-high 13 digs. Tracey totaled 32 assists in the match to bring her weekend total to 112.
Ashley Liford recorded the match's only double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs. Christine Bach also totaled 11 digs for the Tigers. Laura Cote put up a match-high 40 assists.
Following the conclusion of the Louisville-Tennessee Tech match on Saturday night, the All-Tournament Team was announced with Bickford earning a spot on the team. Bickford totaled 21 kills off 43 total attacks for a .326 hitting percentage. She also recorded her first collegiate block solo and had seven block asssists
Coastal Carolina returns to the court on Tuesday night (Aug. 28) when the Lady Chanticleers welcomes the College of Charleston to Kimbel Arena. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.