The College of Charleston volleyball team continued their first home tournament of the season on Saturday afternoon, following a tough loss to Winthrop Friday night. The Cougars were unshaken but were back on the court to face their next opponent, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
The match started off sour for CofC as they lost their first two games to the Gamecocks. However, the Cougars were not going down without a fight. The girls pulled out a 25-20 win in the third game and a 25-19 for the fourth, forcing a tie break fifth game for the match.
The atmosphere of the arena was tense for the final game as both teams went back and forth making kills left and right. Unfortunately the Cougars fell to USC with a close final score of 15-12 in the last set and an over all match loss of 3-2.
For the USC match, senior Sarah Havel, sophomore Madelyn McGinnis and freshman Sloane White tied for the most kills with a total of 14 each. Junior and defensive specialist Emily Shelton led the team with 21 digs.
Later that night, the Cougars returned to the TD arena to face Clemson University.
The two teams took turns claiming the sets as CofC won the first and third games and Clemson taking the second and fourth.
Once again the Cougars found themselves in a final tiebreaking game for the match but ended up falling to the Tigers with another close game in the final set. The final for the last set was 15-13.
Junior Kelly Kolich led the team with 15 total kills during the match against the Tigers. Shelton, again led the team with a new total of 18 digs. Defensively the Cougars made 6 blocks for each of the day’s matches.
The Cougars fought hard the entire weekend despite the tournament loss, letting the claws come out and pushing each team into a 5 set match.
“It was an emotional rollercoaster,” head coach Jason Kepner said. “You are up and down for the entire weekend, and the team battled as hard as they possibly could to put themselves in a position to be successful. We just have to learn how to finish. We have to take these three losses and look at them as an opportunity to have been 3-0 if we would have changed a few small details. That’s the difference.”
CofC’s next match will be away on Tuesday Sept. 13th against Presbyterian College. The Cougars will be back at home to participate in the Hampton Inn Invitational. They will face Texas A&M 2PM and UNCW at 7PM on Friday Sept. 16th as well as UNF at 12PM and Wyoming at 7PM on Saturday Sept. 17th.