The Chanticleers were led by a trio of sophomores, including Chelsy Kimes (Munster, Ind./Munster), who hammered home 12 kills, while Megan Bickford (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) and Amanda Russell tallied eight kills a piece. Freshman Kelsie Mauck (Muncie, Ind./Delta) registered a match-high 35 assists in the contest.
"I think the team came out strong tonight," said Head Coach Kristen Bauer after the win. "They were excited to finally play in front of our own fans and we always seem to play well at Kimbel."
The Chants jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set on a block by Bickford and Mauck. The Panthers crawled back to a one point deficit at 8-7, but a kill by Russell would give Coastal Carolina a two point cushion at 9-7. The Chanticleers led 24-22, using a Kimes kill to nab the first set 25-22.
Coastal Carolina started with a clean slate again going up 4-0, before the teams traded points playing to an 18-18 tie. A Panthers attacking error and another kill by Bickford earned the Chanticleers a 25-21 win in the second set.
The Panthers started the third set on a five-point run, before the Chanticleers called a timeout. Coastal Carolina worked their way back into the set with a three-point rally that included a Bickford kill and one from senior Kristin Wolf (Andover, Kan./Andover Central). With the set tied 13-13, a kill by senior Brett Starbuck (Glen Allen, Va./J.R. Tucker), two service aces from Kimes and kills by Bickford and Russell built a seven point lead for the Chanticleers at 20-13. With the game in hand, Coastal Carolina cruised to a 25-16 victory.
"We trailed for the first part of the third set but we stayed calm and just played point-by-point," Bauer commented. "Megan (Bickford) did great for us on the attack and Brett’s backcourt vision carried us through the match."
Coastal Carolina will be in action Saturday, Sept. 13 when they take on the Troy Trojans at 12 p.m. and then play the final match of the Courtyard by Marriott Chanticleer Invitational at 6 p.m. against the Chattanooga Lady Mocs.