HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The Coker University volleyball team began South Atlantic Conference play with a 3-1 win over visiting Newberry on Friday night (Sept. 13).
Coker jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set, before the teams would wind up knotted at six. The teams remained separated by three or fewer until a kill from Taylor du Bray put the Cobras ahead 16-12. Newberry would garner some momentum as the first set went on into its later stages, with the teams ending up tied at 23 thanks to a kill by Katie Ullsperger. The teams would then play to ties at 24-24 and 25-25, before Newberry would win two straight to take the opening set 27-25.
Newberry garnered momentum early on in the second set, before the Cobras would turn up the intensity and win the set with authority 25-12. Coker hit .462 with just two errors in the second set. Newberry's last lead in the set would come at 7-6, before Coker would go on a run and force a Wolves timeout with the score 11-7. The Cobras would win three out of the next four points to force Newberry's final timeout of the set, and the Cobras ran away with the set from there. Coker would win the remaining points 11-4 to take the second set convincingly.
The two teams played to a 4-4 tie early on in the third set, before the teams would later end up tied at eight. The Wolves would go on a run to stretch their lead to 15-11 and then 16-12, before the Cobras would storm back for five consecutive points to take a 17-16 lead and force a Newberry timeout. The teams would battle back and forth, ending up tied at 18-18, 22-22 and 23-23. Emily Everton would earn a kill off a Rami Mullen assist, before Ashley Carson would put the stamp on the third set with a service ace as the Cobras took the set 25-23.
Again the two teams played to an early 4-4 tie in the fourth set, before battling to a 10-10 tie. Coker would go on a six-point run, leaving the Cobras sensing victory up 16-10. Another kill from du Bray, as well as a service ace from Maddie Gardner coupled with a Newberry attack error left the Cobras up 20-11. Olivia Cerick would seal the victory, delivering a kill assisted by Rami Mullen to close out the fourth set 25-15.
Coker hit .215 as a team, registering 54 total kills as a team. Cerick led the team with 17 kills, while du Bray also had 14 and Everton totaled 12 on the night. Miullen, Chelsey Blume, Carson Fuller, Carson and Payton Jackson also recorded kills for the Cobras. Du Bray's 14 kills bring her career total to 814, leaving her just one shy of sixth-place on the all-time career kills list held by Selena Davis (815, 2001-04). Carson dished out a team-high 25 assists, while Mullen also recorded 14. Camryn Tate (four), Cerick (three), Everton (two), du Bray (one) and Fuller (one) also registered assists in the contest. Tate's 18 digs were a team-high, while Everton had 12 and Cerick had 11. Carson also had 10 digs on the night, while Mullen (eight), du Bray (five) Fuller (one) and Jackson (one) also posted digs in the match. Cerick led the way with two block assists, while Blume, Everton, du Bray and Fuller each had one. Du Bray and Fuller each also recorded solo blocks in the win.
The Cobras (3-1, 1-0 SAC) are back in action tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, Sept. 14) when they battle the Anderson University (S.C.) Trojans. First serve is set for 2:00 p.m. from the DeLoach Center.