Junior Katherine Jensen (Vancouver, B.C./Sentinel Secondary) had her 25th double-double of the season with 20 kills and added 20 digs and sophomore Ashley Scheible (Westerville, Ohio./Westerville North) had 14 kills but the Coastal Carolina University volleyball team (21-10, 9-5 Big South) were defeated by Winthrop University (31-2, 14-0 Big South) 3-2, at the Justice Center in Asheville, N.C. in the Big South's Volleyball Championship Game on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 21. Game scores were 30-28, 30-24, 23-30, 32-30, 9-15.
Coastal played well from the beginning winning the first game 30-28 as they outhit the Eagles .293 to .267.
Game two followed a similar story with CCU jumping out to an early lead of 10-9 on a kill by Jensen and never relinquishing the lead, despite not getting more than five points ahead for most of the game, until two consecutive attack errors by Winthtrop gave them a six point victory of 30-24
The third game was one in which the Lady Chanticleer fell behind early 11-9 on a kill by freshman Shannon Sitzmann and were never able to catch up. A kill by the tournament MVP Tori Grafeman would finish them off, 30-23, and cut the deficit to two games to one.
The fourth game was a very competitive game with Coastal grabbing the early lead of 10-7 on a service ace by Jensen. CCU would open a seven point lead on a kill by Scheible at 16-9. The Eagles would rally though, to tie the game at 26 all on an attack error by CCU. From this point on it was a dog fight, with the Eagles grabbing a 28-26 lead, only to see the Lady Chanticleers rally to take the lead back at 29-28. But again the Eagles would rally, a kill by junior Jayna Baker would finish off the Chants and tie the games up at two apiece, setting up a pivotal fifth game.
With both teams physically and mentally drained, the Eagles jumped all over the Chants early in the fifth game as and took a 10-4 lead. CCU would rally to get to within three at 11-8, but that was as close as they could get. A kill by sophomore Taryn Surbaugh would finish the game, giving the Eagles their third consecutive Big South Championship, the first time in league history a volleyball team has won three championships in a row.
The 2004 Championship went five games for the second straight year, the Eagles have now won a Big South-record nine consecutive Conference Tournament matches. Winthrop is the first Big South club to go undefeated in the regular season and win the Conference Tournament in the same season since Asheville in 1992.
Besides Jensen and Scheible, sophomore Laura Obert (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) contributed 12 kills and 11 blocks. Setter Jennifer Hampton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) also had a terrific performance with a team-high 52 assists and 10 blocks.
After the tournament was over Jensen and Obert were both selected to the Big South Volleyball All-Tournament team.