The College of Charleston Volleyball team played host to the CofC Invitational Friday Sept. 11 and Saturday Sept. 12. Charleston entered the weekend with a 4-4 record.
The Cougars first match was against Jacksonville, (2-4) who were no match for the Cougars.
The Cougars played well early and often in this match by starting off the first set with a 9-3 early lead. Jacksonville head coach Julie Darty then called a timeout hoping that would slow down the Cougars. Unfortunately for coach Darty, the Cougars went on a huge run scoring the next six points to go 15-3 and then eventually winning the set 25-13.
To no surprise the dominant first set came from the likes of star players Melissa Morello and Devon Rachel, who each had four digs and four kills.
Set two was a different story. Jacksonville played played the Cougars very tight for much of the set and a had a lead early in the set. The Cougars, however, were able to hold on to a narrow set win (25-20). At the half the Cougars led Jacksonville (2-0).
In the third set the Cougars were looking to end the match and not let Jacksonville have any more life. Once again, Charleston got a big lead and never looked back. The Cougars rolled in the final set winning (25-9) scoring the last eight points of the match. Charleston won the match (3-0).
Along with Morello and Rachel, freshmen Allison Beckman had a great contribution with seven digs and three kills.
The second match for the Cougars came against Wofford. Unfortunately for Wofford the Cougars continued they strong play.
The first set was a back and forth battle between the two teams. Each team lead at some point in the match, but it was the Cougars who took it (25-19).
In the second set, it was more of the same for the Cougars as they were able to pull away from Wofford behind Morello’s and Rachel’s play. They took the set (25-18) with Morello’s nine digs and eleven kills and Rachel eight digs and nine kills at the half.
The third and final set was much closer for Wofford but still not enough as the Cougars won again by a score of (25-17). Morello led the way for the Cougars with 12 digs and 17 kills, helping the Cougars lay claim to their second win in the tournament.
The final match of the weekend was by far the most difficult for the Cougars as they faced an undefeated Tennessee team. It was a battle from the beginning and neither team could establish itself. Throughout the first set both Charleston and Tennessee would change leads going back and forth.
The size of Tennessee seemed to be a problem for the Cougars as the Vols had four more blocks than the Cougars. Nonetheless the first set went to end very were Tennessee was able to do enough to win (27-25).
Tennessee was able to win the second set as well pulling away from the Cougars (25-18) and taking a commanding lead in the match.
The Cougars, however, were not backing down. They fought hard and got great play out of freshmen player Beckman and senior Tronick to force the fourth set. The third set was all Cougars as they won (25-13).
Unfortunately luck ran out for the Cougars in a tough battled fourth set as Tennessee won (25-20). Tennessee won the final match of the day (3-1)
Despite the loss the Cougars should feel great about their play of the last few days. At this point is looks like the Cougars are finding their roles and playing really well together.The freshmen on the team have really been playing well along with seniors Morello and Tronick.
Charleston’s next game is against Sam Houston State Friday Sept. 18. The Cougars will be playing host to the Courtyard by Marriott North Charleston Classic.