The College of Charleston volleyball team faced two of the top teams in the CAA over the weekend. They played host to James Madison on Friday night and Towson on Sunday afternoon.
Going into the game James Madison had an overall record of 16-3 and a conference record of 6-0, while the Cougars entered the game 11-8 and 3-2. The Cougars battled throughout the match and showed that they belonged, however they came up short in a hard fought 5 set match.
In the first set of the match with James Madison, neither team was able to pull away. The two schools traded points in a very close first set, until the Cougars were able to pull away to take the set 29-27.
The second set was more of the same as the Cougars held onto a slim lead until the end, when a James Madison comeback bid led them to a 25-24 lead before the Cougars were able to rally at win the set 27-25.
James Madison was able to take the third and fourth sets (25-22, 25-22). Despite a fallen sets, freshmen Devon Rachel led for the Cougars with 10 digs and 11 kills. The effort from Charleston was quite impressive as they four players had double-digit kills.
The final set was unfortunately more of the same. As James Madison was able to capitalize on the Cougars’ mistakes and win the set 15-13.
Despite the Cougars blowing a two set led there are some positives. Freshmen Kennedy Madison had an excellent performance with 23 kills, Melissa Morello finished with 11 digs and 19 kills. While Rachel finished with 13 digs and 12 kills and Allison Beckman had 17 digs and 1 kill.
The Cougars looked to bounce back in their second match of the weekend against Towson on Sunday afternoon.
In the first set the Cougars established an early five point lead. However, a Towson timeout spurred a run that allowed them back in to the match (17-17). The Cougars took a 24-23 lead but were unable to close as Towson came out with the win 28-26.
The Cougars were able to take the second set 25-20 in close fashion behind Morello’s 5 digs and 9 kills along with Rachel’s 12 digs.
Late in set three Towson led the Cougars 15-10. The Cougars came back and tied the set 21-21 but Towson prevailed 25-22.
With the Cougars needing a win in the fourth set they came out with a lot of grit and aggression. They trailed Towson late (24-19), when the Cougars made their run to take the match. However, the Cougars were unable to rally and lost the set in close fashion 25-22.
With this loss the Cougars fell to 11-10 on the season and 3-4 in conference play. The future looks bright for the Cougars but they need to find a better way to close matches that they can win.
The Cougars next test will come on Tuesday Oct. 20, when they host Northeastern at the TD Arena.