College of Charleston’s volleyball team started this weekend’s home tournament with a bang Friday afternoon, taking out Texas A&M Corpus Christi in four sets.
After suffering tough losses last weekend, the squad came out strong, determined to bounce back.
The match opened with an impressive offensive display by the Cougars, taking the first set 25-12 and shocking the Islanders, who were noticeably not prepared for the Cougars intensity.
The next two sets were considerably closer with Charleston winning the second set 25-23 and Texas taking the third 28-26.
As set four began, the Cougars looked focused and ready to finish the match. The Cougars, led by sophomore Maddie McGinnis, were able to do just that, securing the set 25-11 and the match, 3-1.
It was clear that the Cougars were hungry this weekend, turning up their presence at the net with eight blocks and dominating the Islanders with a total of 62 kills.
Later that evening, in their match against UNC-Wilmington, the Cougars looked eager to continue their winning streak as the game opened with a 25-19 victory for Charleston.
Despite the Seahawks efforts to rally in the second set, the Cougar’s offensive effort proved too much for UNCW to handle as they took the set, 25-17.
After the break, however, UNCW looked like a different team, turning up the heat at the net and making the Cougars work for every point. Both teams fought hard but the Seahawks prevailed in sets three and four, winning 25-21, and 25-20, respectively.
Taking the match to the fifth set was like déjà vu, putting Charleston in the same position as last weekend, but this time the outcome favored Charleston.
Strong defense kept the set going as the front lines never left their positions at the net, but after an intense battle the Cougars emerged victorious, winning the set 15-12 and taking the match, 3-2.
McGinnis lead all scorers with 48 kills and 29 digs on the day. Kills were assisted on the offensive by teammates Sarah Havel and Elyse Chubb. Digs were assisted by libero Emily Shelton on defense.
The Cougars started off Saturday’s play with a game against University of North Florida; looking to maintain a perfect record for the weekend.
Both teams came out slow, but once the Cougars got into the game the pace quickened and they took the first set, 25-20.
In the second set, the Cougars tried to pull away in a series of mini runs but the Ospreys rallied back handing Charleston a tough loss, 26-24.
Following the break, Charleston looked rejuvenated and ready to avenge the loss, helped by digs from Shelton and active offense from McGinnis and Chubb.
With Charleston leading 20-15, senior Elyse Chubb tallied her one thousandth kill, a phenomenal personal achievement.
Fueled by Chubbs’ effort, the Cougars battled their way to a set win, 25-15, only to be equalized by the Osprey’s in the following set, falling 25-14.
As the game went to the fifth set once again, emotions were running high between the squads; after a few questionable calls by the referee, North Florida grabbed an early advantage.
Unfortunately, in the end it was the Ospreys who ultimately prevailed, taking the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.
The final match of the weekend saw the Cougars took on Wyoming’s Cowgirls who entered the match undefeated on the weekend.
With the championship on the line, both teams came out hungry and fiercely competitive. The first set was a clash at the net, ending with the Cougars set victory, 29-27.
The second set looked much the same, with well-spread offense by CofC, four players tallying seven kills each to help the Cougars win the set, 25-20.
Wyoming looked to extend the match after the break, coming out strong and maintaining a small lead through the set, winning 25-20.
The fourth set was the most riveting on the night with lead changes coming on almost every play. The set took a heated turn after a red card was issued to Wyoming, resulting in the Cougars extending their lead and ultimately winning the set, 25-23, and the match 3-1.
Freshmen Sloane White and Lizzie Theesfeld lead the Cougars in the championship match putting up impressive numbers both offensively and defensively.
As the Cougars reigned in the Cowgirls they also brought home the title of champions of the Hampton Inn Invitational. Elyse Chubb was named tournament MVP after her achievement of 1,000 kills, accompanied by White and Shelton who were announced members of the All-Tournament Team.
The Cougars play again on Tuesday, Sept. 20th at 7p.m. in the TD Arena.