Volleyball Upsets Liberty in Big South First Round 3-1
LYNCHBURG, VA.- The Coastal Carolina volleyball team upset the third place Lady Flames of Liberty, 3-1 in Lynchburg on Tuesday Night. The game scores were 30-21, 30-25, 24-30, 30-25.
Coastal and Liberty matched each other point-for-point in game one until Nakia Thompson (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) and Ashley Scheible (Westerville, Ohio/North) got kills to put the score at 14-9. Coastal held onto their lead pushing ahead 19-12 until Liberty took a timeout. After the timeout, two Autum Black kills and one Coastal attack error put the score at 23-19. Black got another kill to pull within four but Jill Nyhof (Alpharetta, Ga./Northview) and Scheible each answered back, 27-21. Coastal then scored five unanswered points thanks to two kills from Thompson and a Liberty attack error to win the game 30-21. The Lady Flames were led by Black who hit for .600 percent on seven kills and Kendall Nichols who had three kills. As a team, Liberty hit .149 on eight errors. Coastal was led by Thompson who had seven kills on a .875 hitting percentage, Nyhof put down six kills on a .600 hitting percentage and Scheible ended the game with three kills and a .500 hitting percentage. As a team, Coastal hit .378 on only three errors.
Coastal took the early 9-5 lead off of two Nyhof and Kristin Rinne (Fountain Hills, Ariz./Fountain Hills) kills and four Liberty errors. However, Liberty got three straight points off of an Ashley Webber and Alysson Sanders kill along with a Coastal service error to put the score at 12-9. Thompson answered back with a kill but Liberty went on another three-point rally getting a big block from Kallie Corbin and Stephanie Stow and then kills from Sanders and Pike, 13-12. Liberty then tied the game at 16, getting a kill from Webber and taking advantage of two CCU errors. Kills from Corbin, Nichols, Black and another Coastal attack error gave Liberty the 21-18 lead. The Lady Flames got a block from Corbin and Stow to maintain the lead and then kills from each to pull ahead 24-22 before Nyhof blasted one down. Coastal tied the game at 25 off of a Lady Flame error and Rinne kill which forced the Liberty timeout. Coastal got two kills from Rinne and Thompson and one from Scheible to win game two, 30-25.
Liberty switched gears in game three and took the early 9-5 lead with five different Lady Flames getting kills. Coastal pulled within one getting a big block from Laura Obert (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) and Meagan Tracey (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) and an Obert kill to put the score at 9-8. Liberty then pulled away 13-10 off of a Black kill and a Corbin and Black block before Nyhof tallied two consecutive kills. However, Black kept Liberty ahead with a kill of her own keeping the 14-12 lead. Sanders and Webber then each tallied a kill pulling ahead 16-12 forcing a timeout. Liberty took its largest lead of the night 20-15 getting kills from Corbin, Stow and Nichols which forced the Coastal timeout. Coastal came back with a kill from Obert and pulled within four, 24-20. Nyhof then got two more kills and one from Rinne before Black and Sanders recorded two more kills putting the Lady Flames ahead by six. Liberty then took advantage of an open middle in the Coastal defense, getting another big kill from Sanders before a Coastal attack error and a Mary Alice Pike kill sealed the deal for the Lady flames, 30-24.
Game four was much closer as both teams matched each other point-for-point until Coastal took advantage of two Liberty errors and got two kills from Obert and one from Rinne to put the score at 19-16. The Lady Flames managed to stay within two after Webber blasted two kills and Sanders got the point off a tip but CCU answered back with a block from Scheible and Nyhof. Rinne got another kill to force a Liberty timeout at 23-19. After the timeout, Liberty had two consecutive attack errors to fall down by five points 25-20. The Lady Flames then got a kill from Pike who responded with a service ace and got a huge block from Black and Nichols to pull within three and forced the Coastal Carolina timeout. After the timeout, Coastal got kills from Rinne and Thompson to win the game 30-25.
Liberty was led by Black who had a .484 hitting percentage off of 18 kills and Nichols who ended with 10 kills and 10 digs. Corbin ended the night with 51 assists. Liberty hit .220 and had 10 total blocks. The Lady Chanticleers were led by Nyhof who had 21 kills and 10 digs and Thompson who had her 14th double-double, recording 18 kills and 15 digs on a .424 hitting percentage. Obert also had double-digits in kills with 10. Tracey ended the night with 49 assists. As a team, Coastal had 28 errors with a .236 hitting percentage and 12 total blocks.
"We knew we would have to climb a ladder tonight as you normally do against a host team. They beat us twice this year and even when we we were up two, we knew we didn't have it won as they had just come from two down against Radford over the weekend," Head Coach Kristen Bauer commented. "Our seniors played great tonight as Nakia Thompson played well offensively and Brett Starbuck did a great job defensively. We won some key points at the net and our block effort was especially sharp tonight."
"All the credit has to go to Kristen (Bauer) and what she has done with the Coastal Carolina volleyball program," Liberty's Head Coach Shane Pinder mentioned. "They did a great job and we wish them the best of luck as they move on in this year's tournament,"
Liberty ends its season with an 11-18 overall record. Coastal picked up its 10th win on the season putting them at 10-22 overall. The Lady Chanticleers now head to High Point University to the Big South Semifinals where they face UNC Asheville who defeated Radford 3-0. The Lady Chanticleers split with the Lady Bulldogs in the regular season defeating them 3-1 in their last match at Kimbel Arena. That match is set for Friday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.