The College of Charleston entered the Colonial Athletic Association volleyball tournament as the fifth seed in the same week in which four Cougars were named to All-CAA teams.
Melissa Morello was named All-CAA for the first team in her career. Freshmen Allison Beckman was named to both All-CAA Third Team and to the All-Rookie Team. Fellow freshmen Kennedy Madison joined Beckman in being named to both the All-CAA Third Team and the All-Rookie Team. Lastly, Grace Rebarchak was named to the CAA All-Academic team.
All in all the Cougars had a great season with many accomplishments and their journey in the tournament shows the heart that this teams has.
Of course the College of Charleston has a long of history of success in conference play where they won 14 consecutive conference titles.
This year’s tournament was hosted by number one seed James Madison University who boasted a record of 22-7 in the regular season.
The fifth seed Cougars played the fourth seed Hofstra on Friday night and the match was similar to previous match-ups this season. Hofstra did top Charleston in both matches but they were close.
Charleston burst out to a two set lead, but Hofstra was not done yet. The regained momentum, and came back to win the next two sets to tie up the match.
The match went down to the wire and to the fifth set. Charleston went on to win the fifth set in dramatic fashion 15-13 to advance to the semi-finals and play James Madison. The Cougars were led by the steady presence of Melissa Morello, who finished the match with 21 kills and 10 digs, as well as freshmen Devon Rachel, who added 8 kills and 15 digs.
In the match-up on the other side of the bracket, the third seed UNCW, beat the sixth seed William and Mary to play Towson, who like James Madison earned a bye. UNCW would go on to beat Towson in five sets to play the winner of Charleston and James Madison.
The match between Charleston and James Madison was another five set battle that went to the very end. James Madison got out to a 2-1 set lead and looked like they were going to win the match in four sets.
The Cougars won the next set to tie the match 2-2 and forced the fifth set.
It was back and forth much like most of the match. The Cougars were able to find enough momentum to beat out James Madison 15-13. Charleston was awarded a trip to the finals to face UNCW on Sunday afternoon.
The match unfortunately did not go as planed as they lost in straight sets, and for the second year in a row, the team’s season ends in the CAA tournament finals. The loss in the finals does not take away from the great season that the Cougars had this season, after there was uncertainty about their ability to replace last year’s graduating class.
The Cougars finished the season with a 20-13 record marking the sixth consecutive season where they won at least 20 games.