ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville volleyball team heads to the coast of South Carolina this weekend for two key Big South Conference matches. The Bulldogs play at Charleston Southern Friday night at 7 p.m. and Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Asheville (13-9, 3-3 BSC) hopes to move up in the league standings after a frustrating 3-2 loss at Gardner-Webb last Friday night. The Bulldogs won the first two sets before the Runnin’ Bulldogs won three close sets to claim the victory.
“Last Friday was a tough loss for us, maybe the toughest of the season,” stated Asheville coach Frederico Santos. “However, we played pretty good volleyball for most of the match, but we didn’t finish like we needed to do. We’ll learn from this match and get ready for two big ones on the road this weekend.”
Asheville (13-9, 3-3 BSC) stands in seventh place in the league standings but is a game out of third place.
“The league continues to show tremendous parity and anyone can beat anyone on any given night,” admitted Santos. “We just need to take care of our business, and we’ll be fine. This is a big weekend.”
The Bulldogs take on a Charleston Southern team (5-17, 0-7 BSC) that has struggled in the Big South this season on Friday. Friday’s match will be able to be seen for free at the Big South Digital Network under the multimedia tag at uncabulldogs.com.
“Charleston Southern posted some good non-conference results and has been a little unlucky in league play,” stated Santos. “They are always very tough to beat in their gym, and I expect the same Friday night.”
Asheville has a quick turnaround as the Bulldogs move up the coast to face Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon. CCU has an 11-9 overall record and 4-3 worksheet in BSC matches.
The teams played two memorable matches last season with the Bulldogs edging the Chanticleers in five sets at Justice Center during the regular season. CCU slipped past Asheville in the semifinals of the Big South Tournament later in the year.
“Coastal Carolina has a good team like it did last season,” declared Santos. “We’ll need to play at our best on Saturday to have a chance at winning.”
Saturday’s match will be a homecoming for sophomore setter Katie Davis. Davis is a Myrtle Beach native and played her high school volleyball just a couple of miles down the road from Coastal Carolina at Carolina Forest. Davis is third in the Big South in assists this year with a 10.3 average.