BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Coastal Carolina University volleyball team played spoilers as it defeated Gardner-Webb 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17) on the Bulldogs senior night Friday, Nov. 7 at Paul Porter Arena. Coastal Carolina improves to 22-8 this season and 10-3 in the Big South, while Gardner Webb dropped back to 5-23 overall and 3-11 in league play.
Sophomore Chelsy Kimes (Munster, Ind./Munster) had a match-high 24 kills as the Chants out-hit the Bulldogs .243 to .170. Gardner-Webb was led by Laura Wilcox who registered 18 kills in the match.
Gardner-Webb grabbed an early 9-8 lead in the first set, before Coastal Carolina struck the next five points to go ahead 13-9. The Bulldogs rallied back to tie the score at 16-16. The Chants answered again with a four point rally for a 20-16 edge. Sophomore Megan Bickford (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) earned Coastal Carolina a 23-18 advantage with a solo block, but the Bulldogs continued to attack and pulled within one point at 24-23. Sophomore Amanda Russell (Liberty, Ind./Union County) finished off the set with a kill earning the Chanticleers a 25-23 win.
Coastal Carolina and Gardner-Webb swapped points for most of the set, before the Chants pulled ahead 23-19, causing the Bulldogs to call a timeout. Two more kills from the Chants nabbed a 25-21 victory in the second frame heading into the break.
Gardner-Webb played its way to a 9-6 lead in the third frame and went on seven-point run to go up 21-14. The Chanticleers stormed back into the set as Kimes pounded home a kill to tie the score at 23-23. The Bulldogs would tally the next two points to claim the set 25-23.
In the fourth frame, the squads would trade points again with neither team earning a real advantage. With the score tied at 11-11, the Chanticleers recorded seven of the next eight points for an 18-12 lead. The Bulldogs could not carry the senior day momentum to push a fifth frame as Coastal Carolina took the fourth set 25-17.
Earning 29 digs in the match, senior Brett Starbuck (Glen Allen, Va./J.R. Tucker) moved into third place on the Coastal Carolina all-time digs list with 1,379 digs as a Chanticleer.
With tonight’s win, Coastal Carolina records its first 21+ win season under Head Coach Kristen Bauer. The Chanticleers have passed the 21-win mark two times, in 1996 and 1998. During both seasons, Coastal Carolina captured the Big South title and made a trip to the NCAA tournament.
Coastal Carolina closes its road schedule Tues, Nov. 11 with a match at Winthrop. First serve is set for 6 p.m.