College of Charleston’s Cougars hit the road for a weekend of conference play, splitting their matches with a loss to Samford and victory over University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
Charleston kicked off their weekend with a game Friday night against the Samford’s Bulldogs who boasted a 7-game home winning streak and a second place spot in the Northern division of the conference.
The first set started with both teams showing great intensity as the squads matched each other, point for point.
A mini run by Samford gave them a lead at 10-6 which they held onto, despite the Cougars best efforts to fight back, eventually giving the Bulldogs the set win 25-18.
In the second, Charleston tightened up its defense and hung with Samford the whole way through the set. It was the Cougars who were first to hit 20 this time, as the two teams traded leads on almost every play.
When Charleston grabbed a small lead at 22-19 the Bulldogs called for time and fought back with tenacity as they captured the set 25-23.
After the break, the Cougars were eager and focused, looking to avenge losing the set that belonged to them.
As the two teams traded points, it seemed as though luck was on the side of the Bulldogs with every close play and call going their way.
Despite another close set, it was the Bulldogs who came out victorious, taking the set 25-21 and the match 3-0.
Breakout star of the match was Lizzie Theesfeld, leading the team both offensively and defensively with 12 kills and 12 digs.
Sloane White and Sarah Havel were strong at the net, helping the team tally eight blocks and putting up a combined 12 kills.
Saturday’s match against Chattanooga was a stark contrast to Fridays, with the Cougars controlling the tempo and grabbing the win.
The match opened with a kill for the Cougars and they never looked back, keeping the lead for the whole set and coming out on top, 25-15.
In the second set, the Mocs were hungry to avenge their set loss and jumped out to a small lead early.
Charleston was ready to fight back and the Cougars matched their concentration as the squads fought hard for the lead.
Chattanooga was first to twenty, with a small lead at 20-17 and despite Charleston’s efforts to rally the Mocs took the set 25-18.
The Mocs looked to keep their momentum going after the break, taking a 9-3 lead over the Cougars but an impressive rally from Charleston put them back within striking distance, down just two at 10-8.
Emotions were running high as the lead flipped back and forth before the Cougars found their stride and edged out the Mocs, 28-26.
The Cougars looked to close out the match in the fourth set holding on a small lead throughout and taking the set 25-23 and the match, 3-1.
In an impressive offensive match, four Cougars tallied double figures in kills including a breakout performance from red shirted sophomore Kerstin Koehler.
Sophomore Taeler Davis topped her season-best record, contributing a striking 52 assists. Emily Shelton controlled the team’s defense with 31 digs, one shy of her season high.
Charleston’s Cougars return home this weekend with matches against Appalachian State and Western Carolina.