LYNCHBURG, VA -- Fourth-seeded Coastal Carolina University's volleyball team (15-16) advanced to the Big South Conference Tournament semifinals by defeating fifth-seeded Radford (8-24) 3-0 in the first round Thursday night, Nov. 15, at Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va. Game scores were 31-29, 30-22, 30-21.
Coastal pulled out of game one with the win after having survived several late scares from Radford, as the Highlanders tied the game five times in the closing stages. After Radford evened the game at 29-29, the Lady Chanticleers got the final two points they needed, as an attack error by Radford's Lindsey Poole made it a 30-29 game. Senior Nakia Thompson (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) tallied the game-winning kill to give CCU a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Chants dominated game two, outhitting the Highlanders .343 to .100 and recording 15 digs compared to Radford's nine. Coastal pulled away from Radford early in the match when sophomore Jill Nyhof's (Alpharetta, Ga./Northview) kill not only tied the game 7-7, but started a 10-point Coastal run to ultimately lead to a 16-7 Coastal advantage. Radford would try to cut into the deficit, pulling to within four points later in the game. However, Coastal's lead was too great as the Lady Chants closed out game two with a kill from freshman Chelsy Kimes (Munster, Ind./Munster).
Game three started out close until Kimes started a timely six-point Coastal run that allowed the Lady Chants to take an 18-13 lead. Coastal continued to roll for the remainder of the game and sealed the match with a kill from Nyhof, who had Coastal's final three kills of the match.
As a team, Coastal had 65 kills, hit .313 and had 65 digs. The Lady Chants also put up six total team blocks. Radford totaled 38 kills, 58 digs and five team blocks.
Nyhof paced the Lady Chanticleer offense with a career-best .593 hitting percentage, connecting on 17 kills off 27 total attacks with only one error. Kimes recorded her team-leading 11th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs, while sophomore Megan Pollard (Naperville, Ill./Naperville) had a match-best 16 digs. Sophomore Meagan Tracey (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) added 47 assists, bringing her season total to 1,289, which is 18 shy from tying Jennifer Hampton's season mark of 1,307 that ranks fifth all-time among Coastal's single-season leaders.
Poole led the Highlander offense with 11 kills. Lauren Clary tallied a team-best 15 digs.
Coastal will now face top-seeded and host Liberty in the semifinals Friday night, Nov. 16. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Vines Center. The winner of the Coastal/Liberty match will play the winner of the Winthrop/UNC Asheville match for the Big South Championship on Saturday at 4 p.m.