CHARLESTON, S.C. - UNC Asheville advanced to the semifinals of the Big South Conference Volleyball Tournament with a dominating 3-0 victory over fifth-seeded Campbell Thursday afternoon at Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs won the match 25-14, 25-15, 25-18.
Asheville (15-13) will meet top-seeded Liberty on Friday afternoon at Charleston Southern starting at 4:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs were led by a sensational performance from sophomore middle blocker Meredith Foster. She finished with 15 kills and hit .650 for the match. Cindi Miller had a double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs. Anna Moore had 13 kills. Holly Shelton had eight kills in 15 attempts with no errors. Alex Stewart paced the defense with 15 digs.
Asheville entered the tournament on a four-game losing streak but first-year head coach Frederico Santos has insisted his team was playing pretty well.
"We have been playing some very good volleyball the past two weeks and a couple of mistakes at crucial times led us to losses," explained Santos. "However, I really believed we were really starting to our best volleyball of the year despite the losses. Today we put everything together and got a great victory over a fine Campbell team."
Santos thought his team served quite well on the day.
"The key to today's performance was our serving," declared Santos. "We served exceptionally well and that put Campbell on the defensive and allowed us to get to a lot of free balls.
"I was also pleased with our poise. We never got rattled. Campbell made a good run at us in the third set but our team kept an even keel," added Santos. "We enjoy this victory for a little but then we prepare for Liberty."
The Bulldogs and Flames just met Saturday night at Justice Center with Liberty edging Asheville in five sets, 15-13 in the final set.
"Liberty is a great team," said Santos. "We look forward to playing them and hope we can put a performance together like today against them. Our team has nothing to fear. We just need to go out and play as hard as we can and see what happens."
Asheville dominated from start to finish against the Camels and amazing only trailed once and that was 2-1 in the second set.
In the first set, the Bulldogs used a 7-0 run to lead 10-3 and were never threatened and won easily 25-14. Foster had six kills in the opening set.
The second set saw Asheville trail 2-1 early but again the Bulldogs quickly rattled off six straight points and built an 11-3 lead. The Blue & White rolled to a 2-0 lead at intermission behind five kills from Miller.
Asheville controlled the third set and led 17-9 only to see Campbell make a run and creep to 19-16. After a Bulldog time-out, a kill from Miller and then three straight points, two from Foster put the lead back to 22-16. The teams sided out from there as Asheville won 25-18.
The win broke a two-game losing streak for the Bulldogs in the tournament. Asheville advances to the semifinals for the sixth time in the last seven years.