Volleyball Falls to Liberty 3-1 in the Big South Championship Match
More Information: ASHEVILLE, N.C. – It was a bittersweet ending for the Coastal Carolina University volleyball team as they bowed out of the 2008 season falling 3-1 (21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 20-25) to Liberty in the Big South Conference Championship match Sunday, Nov. 23 at the Justice Center in Asheville, N.C. The Chanticleers finished the season with a 27-9 record, matching the most wins in a single season in program history. With the win, Liberty records back-to-back championships and will represent the Big South in the NCAA tournament.
A trio of Coastal Carolina sophomores led the Chants, with Megan Bickford (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) pacing the team for the second day with a game-high 17 kills while Chelsy Kimes (Munster, Ind./Munster) was close behind with 14 kills and Amanda Russell (Liberty, Ind./Union County) added 11 of her own. Liberty had four of its seven players that stepped on the court hit in double-digits, with Karyl Bacon leading the charge with 15 kills.
With the opening set playing evenly, Liberty held a one point advantage at 17-16, which would be the closest the Chants would get. The Flames registered the next three points to pull ahead 20-16 and went on to the 25-21 win.
Coastal Carolina looked to be rebounding well in the second frame taking a 7-1 lead, but the Flames overcame the six-point deficit to even the score at 13-13. Liberty earned a two-point lead at 18-16, but three straight attacking errors by the Flames and a kill by Russell gave the Chanticleers a 20-18 lead. Coastal Carolina seemed poised to even the match at one set apiece at 22-19, looking for the three points to close out the set. Liberty was not about to back down and recorded the next four points to take a 23-22 advantage. A kill by Kimes tied the score at 23-23, but two kills by the Liberty attack saw the Flames go up two sets to none.
Looking to keep the season alive, Coastal Carolina came out firing in the third set and took a 19-15 lead, but Liberty's Jessica Nelson hit three straight kills followed by an attacking error by the Chants to level the set at 19-19. Coastal Carolina held a 24-23 edge when Bickford dropped a kill on the Liberty defense for the win in the third set and a 2-1 deficit.
Liberty took control in the fourth set grabbing a 13-4 advantage. Coastal Carolina battled back to pull within two points at 20-18, but were unable to erase the deficit and surrendered a 25-20 set to the Flames and the match.
Junior Jill Nyhof (Alpharetta, Ga./Northview) had eight blocks for the Chanticleers while senior Brett Starbuck (Glen Allen, Va./J.R. Tucker) closed out her career with 21 digs and two kills in the match. Bickford and Starbuck were named to the All-Tournament team.
Liberty Head Coach Shane Pinder
“Once again we were able to get some key points and key times. Our kids showed a tremendous amount of resolve to get the job done. Kallie Corbin had a tremendous match, just like she has all weekend and this year. We got big plays from Karyl Bacon, especially in the second set with her blocking. “We played well but we had to because Coastal Carolina gave us everything we wanted. They disrupted on and made us earn everything we got.”
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Kristen Bauer
“We gave a great effort but had a lot to overcome today. Liberty just made big plays when it had to make them. I thought Liberty was outstanding on defense today.”
Lindsay Raus – High Point
Kelsey Benorden – UNC Asheville
Brett Starbuck – Coastal Carolina
Megan Bickford – Coastal Carolina
Karyl Bacon – Liberty
Kallie Corbin – Liberty
Nicki Scripko – Liberty
MVP – Kallie Corbin (Liberty)