HIGH POINT, N.C.- The Coastal Carolina volleyball team finished its season with an 10-23 record after falling to UNC Asheville in a thrilling five game match-up in the tournament Semifinals. The game scores were 28-30, 28-30, 30-18, 30-28 and 14-16.
In game one, the two teams tied each other point-for-point before Coastal took a 17-11 lead off of kills from senior Kristin Rinne (Fountain Hills, Ariz./Fountain Hills), junior Nakia Thompson (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) and two from All-Freshman Team member Jill Nyhof (Alpharetta, Ga./Northview) forcing a Lady Bulldog timeout. UNCA then came out and got three quick points before Nyhof got another kill. Coastal then lost the ball on a service error giving the Lady Bulldogs the opportunity to get another three points to pull within two at 19-17. After a Coastal timeout, UNCA handed the Lady Chanticleers two points off of errors before Elif Unlu put down a perfect set from Kaitlyn McDaniel. Senior Laura Obert (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) responded with a kill of her own but UNCA followed with a big block from Emily Palma and Ashley Ficker and a kill from Alysha Greer to put the score at 22-21. After a Coastal timeout, the Lady Chanticleers took advantage of two Lady Bulldog errors and another kill from Obert before Greer had two back-to-back kills and a quick tip from McDaniel to tie the game at 25 apiece. UNCA took its first lead of the night off of a Coastal error and a block from Greer and Ashley Wrightenberry to put the score at 27-25 in the Lady Bulldogs favor. Coastal pulled within one off of another UNCA error but McDaniel got another kill and gave UNCA the 30-28 victory.
The second game was another close one with Coastal leading at 9-7. Both teams struggled again with errors before a Wrightenberry got a kill to remain within one. Coastal then looked to Nyhof and senior Ashley Scheible (Westerville, Ohio/North) who each got kills and then seniors Rinne and Scheible teamed up for a block to pull ahead 13-10. UNCA got two quick kills from Ficker and one from Palma before two Coastal errors tied the game at 15 apiece. The Lady Bulldogs then jumped ahead off of another Coastal error, a block from Ficker and Palma and Ficker adding a kill. A costly UNCA error and a kill from Nyhof tied the game again at 18 all. However, UNCA didn't back down and got another big block, this time from Wrightenberry and Greer and had Greer add a kill to go ahead 21-18. Thompson managed to put the ball down off an assist from Meagan Tracey (Scottsdale, Ariz../Horizon) before Coastal gave up another error forcing a timeout at 22-19. Scheible came out and got a kill and two quick Lady Bulldog errors helped Coastal remain within one before Thompson and Scheible each tallied kills to tie the game at 24. Each team made costly errors at key opportunities to take the lead until two Ficker kills forced a Coastal timeout at 28-27. UNCA tried to seal the deal getting a kill from Greer but Nyhof refused to fall behind responding with a kill of her own before the Lady Bulldogs got a kill from Palma to win again at 30-28.
The Lady Chanticleers came out in game three showing that they weren't quite ready to head back to Conway quite yet. Nyhof started off the game with three kills and Tracey served an ace before Unlu opened up the scoring for UNCA with a kill. After Brett Starbuck (Glen Allen, Va../JR Tucker) got her first kill of the night, Coastal again had a costly service error but Rinne helped by adding a kill to remain in the lead. UNCA then gave up two attack errors and the Lady Chanticleers found themselves with a 9-3 lead. Rinne then extended that lead to seven recording another kill and fellow senior Scheible had two consecutive kills before Unlu answered back. UNCA lost possession off of another service error and Tracey tallied her second kill of the night forcing a Lady Bulldog timeout at 14-6. UNCA managed to pull within five off of a Ficker kill and two consecutive blocks from Ficker and Greer and Ficker with Palma. Each team matched each other point-for-point until Nyhof and Scheible record kills, a big block from Tracey with Scheible and a UNCA error put Coastal ahead 22-13. Tracey then tipped the ball over for a kill and forced a UNCA timeout. Coastal then pulled ahead by 10 off of a block from Nyhof and Obert before Thompson recorded two kills at 28-16. Obert and Thompson each got kills to win the game, 30-18.
Game four was another close start, each team matching the other after each point was scored throughout the entire game. Unlu, who had been quiet for most of the match exploded in the game having seven kills to give UNCA the 24-23 lead. After a Coastal timeout, Ficker, Greer and Wrightenberry all tallied kills to put the Lady Bulldogs ahead 27-25 forcing yet another Lady Chanticleer timeout. Coastal then took advantage of a UNCA service error and got a big block from the senior team of Rinne and Obert to tie at 27 apiece. The Lady Chants then took the 29-28 lead off of another Nyhof kill before Thompson put two down to win the game 30-28.
Game five was a constant battle for the lead with each team answering the other back. Coastal took a 6-4 lead getting four kills from Nyhof but quickly fell behind 7-6 after a kills from Unlu and Palma plus a Coastal error. UNCA then tied the game for Coastal serving an error and giving Coastal the chance to take a timeout. Rinne then tallied a quick kill to pull within one but Greer responded to keep UNCA two ahead at 10-8. However, Scheible another Coastal senior not ready to go home tallied a kill and Nyhof added another to tie at 10. Nyhof and Scheible teamed up for a big block to take the 11-10 lead and force a UNCA timeout. Each team had errors before Nyhof got two kills to tie at 14. However, UNCA's senior Unlu ended the game getting two kills and the win, 16-14.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by Unlu who ended with 18 kills and 18 digs, Wrightenberry and Greer each recorded 15 kills while Palma added 12 and Ficker tallied 10. McDaniel had 29 assists with 12 digs and Raquel Miotto ended the night with 29 digs. As a team, UNCA had 74 kills on 26 errors with a .219 hitting percentage and nine total blocks. Coastal was lead by Nyhof who had a career-best 27 kills and a .400 hitting percentage. Thompson and Scheible each ended the match with 13 kills while Thompson scooped up 18 digs. Obert also had a strong final performance with 12 kills. Starbuck led the defense with 31 digs and Tracey had 57 assists with 19 digs. As a team, Coastal hit .221 on 77 kills and 33 errors.
UNCA will face defending champion Winthrop in tomorrow's championship game set for 4:00 p.m.
Coastal's Jill Nyhof was named to the All-Tournament team for her 48 kills in two games. She recorded 21 kills on a .215 hitting percentage with 10 digs in the upset against Liberty during the Big South First Round and then had 27 kills on a .400 hitting percentage and nine digs.
2006 Big South Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Morgan Anderson, Birmingham-Southern
Jill Nyhof, Coastal
Raquel Miotto, UNC
Emily Palma, UNC
Pohai Nuuhiwa, Winthrop
Shannon Sitzmann, Winthrop
Taryn Surbaugh, Winthrop (MVP)