BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - UNC Asheville's magical run at the Big South Conference Volleyball championships came to an end Friday as the Bulldogs fell in the semifinals to second-seeded Coastal Carolina, 3-1. Asheville won the first set 25-22 but lost the next three, 13-25, 24-26, 21-25.
Asheville ends its season at 12-20 but not before making a great run at this year's tournament. The sixth-seeded Bulldogs stunned third-seeded High Point on Thursday in four sets. The Blue & White had lost to the Panthers in three sets three weeks ago.
Anna Moore spearheaded UNC Asheville's offense in the losing effort. She had 11 kills and five blocks. Meredith Foster and Christine Lakatos added eight kills, while Holly Shelton added six kills, three blocks and five digs. Rachel Wells anchored the Bulldogs' defense, posting 15 digs in the match. Freshman setter Katie Davis finished with 27 assists and eight digs.
Asheville battled back in the third and fourth sets after falling behind but just couldn't quite come all the way. The key set was the third set that saw the Bulldogs fall behind by six points but steadily rallied and tied the set at 24-24. However, the Chants picked up two kills to win the set and go up 2-1.
In the fourth set, the Chanticleers (14-13) took charge early. CCU led 7-1 and built the lead to 11-3. But the Bulldogs would not quit and again rallied. Lakatos had four kills and allowed Asheville to creep within 22-21. But the Chanticleers were able to get the final three points and pick up the win.
Coastal Carolina will face top-seeded Liberty on Sunday in the championship match at Gardner-Webb.
"I thought our team fought very hard. I think our girls can be proud of how they left the tournament," stated Asheville coach Frederico Santos. "They played their hearts out, and unfortunately in the decisive points the other team got the better of us."