The Coastal Carolina University volleyball team (9-7, 2-3 Big South) dropped its first home conference match of the season in thrilling five-game fashion ( 30-28, 29-31, 26-30, 30-14, 18-20) to UNC Asheville on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Kimbel Arena.
The first game started slowly as UNC Asheville jumped out to a 8-2 lead only, to see Coastal catch them at 13 all. From there the match was back and forth, with neither able to open up more than a four-point lead. With CCU trailing 27-23 and looking at possible game one defeat, sophomore Alicia Meyers (Temecula, Calif./Temecula) would rally the team to tie the game at 28 all. Sophomore Laura Obert (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother Mercy), after a ball handling error by Asheville, would record the game-winning kill for the Lady Chanticleers.
The second game was one in which Coastal had control throughout. Serving at game point 29-25 was when UNC Asheville was able to storm back to score the games last six points, behind the strong serving from Elif Unlu for a game-two victory.
With the game tied at one apiece, CCU again had early control of the third game at 16-12, only to see the Lady Bulldogs storm back to the tie game up at 18 all, and then pass the Chants by scoring 12 of the games next 20 scores to put Coastal one game from elimination.
The Lady Chants would not go quietly though, as they got control of the fourth game and would not relinquish on the way to a 30-14 victory.
This set up a deciding fifth game, Coastal did not start well as it was Asheville who stormed out to 12-9 lead. Coastal again would fight back and score five of the games next six points to take a 14-13 lead and put a match victory within their grasp. Asheville then rose to the occasion and tied the game at 14. With both teams sensing victory within reach, neither was able to open up the two point lead necessary for a match win. The two volleyed, with opportunity presenting itself several times for the win. Finally when match reached 19-18, Asheville was able to claim ownership as junior Talia Ogles kill gave them a 20-18 victory.
Coastal was led by Obert, who tallied 19 kills. She was one of five Chants in double figures in kills. Others to reach the mark included junior Katherine Jensen ( Vancouver, British Columbia/Sentinel Secondary (Ole Miss)), who had 16 kills, Meyers who tallied 14, junior Krista Kimble (Lake Forest, Calif./Temecula Valley). who had 13, and sophomore Ashley Scheible (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) with 12. Five Chants also recorded double figures in digs led by Jensen and Kali Banghart (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton) who each had 24. Meyers tallied 17 digs, Jacylnn Yocum (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) and Jennifer Hampton (Lake Forest, Calif./ El Toro) had 14 and 13 digs, respectively. Hampton was the match leader with 69 assists.
CCU will play its second game of the weekend at home, as it welcomes Big South Conference rival Birmingham-Southern to Kimbel Arena for a 2 p.m., match on Sunday, Oct. 10.