ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Holly Shelton had 18 kills as UNC Asheville outlasted Big South-leading Coastal Carolina in five sets Saturday evening at Justice Center. The Bulldogs won the match 25-14, 20-25, 25-23, 15-25, 15-9.
Asheville (8-16, 4-4 BSC) won its fourth straight five-set match of the season, three at Justice Center. Aiding the Bulldog cause was junior blocker Meredith Foster with 11 kills and five blocks. Anna Moore delivered 14 kills and hit .444 for the match. Christine Lakatos chipped in 10 kills. Freshman setter Katie Davis had 14 digs and 48 assists. Rachel Wells had a game-high 23 digs.
The Chanticleers (8-12, 6-3 BSC) entered the match tied with Liberty for first place in the league standings but fell into second place after the Lady Flames beat Winthrop in three sets earlier Saturday. They were led by Garbriella Horvath with 14 kills and 11 digs. Eszter Nagy added 11 kills and three blocks. Megan Laffin contributed 10 kills. Kindra Bailey and Monica Hall posted nine kills each. Sam Skyrd led the CCU defense with 22 digs. Setter Lauren Alejo had 47 assists and 11 digs.
"What a great win for our team against a very good Coastal Carolina team," stated Bulldog coach Frederico Santos. "We really did a good job in all phases of the match tonight. Coastal came after us pretty good throughout the match but we always responded, especially in the fifth set. "
The Bulldogs were boosted by a boisterous crowd at Justice Center.
"Our crowd was tremendous tonight," commented Santos. "They wouldn't let us get down and supported us from the first serve to the last point. We really got a boost from them the whole evening."
Asheville won a close third set by out-scoring CCU 8-3 to win 25-23 to take a 2-1 lead. The Chanticleers were in total command of the fourth set and led from start to finish. The visitors tied the match at 2-2 with a 25-15 win.
In the fifth set, the Bulldogs quickly took charge. Led by the serving of Moore, Asheville scored four quick points to lead 5-1. CCU closed to 8-7 on a kill from Horvath.
The home team blunted the momentum with kills from Moore and Shelton to push the lead to 10-7. Leading 10-8, Asheville got a kill from Foster to push the lead to 11-8. The Bulldogs wouldn't be stopped from there and picked up four of the next five points to win the set and match 15-9. Shelton finished the match off with a kill.
Asheville stunned CCU in the first set. The Bulldogs rolled to a 25-14 first set victory as Asheville forced six Chanticleer hitting errors, while hitting .325 (17-4-40). Shelton led the early charge with five kills.
The home team kept the momentum in the second set and raced to a 12-5 lead but Coastal Carolina rallied behind the serving of Jamie DiMaggio. She served for nine straight CCU points to allow the Chanticleers to take a 14-12 lead. The visitors would never trail again and hold off several Asheville rallies to tie the match at 1-1 with a 25-20 win.
The key set was the third one. CCU led most of the set though there were 12 lead changes and seven ties. Kills from Magy and Horvath pushed the Chanticleer lead to 20-17.
But Asheville rallied and surge to a 23-22 lead. The team swapped points as the home team led 24-23, After a Bulldog timeout, Shelton finished the set off with a kill and the 25th point.
UNC Asheville is back in action this Friday night at High Point starting at 7 p.m. Coastal Carolina travels to Winthrop Friday, also at 7 p.m.