ELMHURST, Ill.—Coast Guard, which received votes in the AVCA Division III Preseason Coaches Poll, faced a pair of tough opponents on opening night and dropped a pair of matches to nationally ranked teams at the season-opening Elmhurst Volleyball Invitational.
Host Elmhurst, ranked 11th nationally, beat the Bears 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-21). Karen Matic had six kills and hit .451 while adding 13 assists. Catherine Walker had five kills while hitting .428 and Kelsey DePorto had seven blocks.
"Elmhurst was a very talented, athletic and experienced team who played well in their home opener," said Coast Guard head coach Eric Snyder. "We showed flashes of greatness but unfortunately we made some untimely unforced errors and were never able to control the ball enough to get in any type of offensive rhythm and keep the momentum of the match on our side of the net. There were very obvious first match nerves, however, I give a great deal of credit to Elmhurst's team and coaching staff. They are certainly deserving of their national ranking."
In the second match of the night for Coast Guard, the University of Chicago, ranked 15th nationally, won 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22).
Keriann Mason had 12 kills and 14 digs, Kelsey DePorto added nine kills, Samantha Marmolejo had 19 digs and Matic had 20 digs, 15 assists and eight kills in the loss.
"I was happy to see us come out strong against a very long, well-trained team with a great deal of depth and ability," said Snyder. "I think we competed well and played some inspired volleyball against one of the top teams in the country. Unfortunately, Chicago took advantage of some of our small mistakes throughout the course of the match and we were not able to do the same. We improved our ball control and first ball contract from the first match against Elmhurst but it wasn't enough to upset a very good Chicago team."
The Bears play a pair of matches tomorrow before flying home on Sunday.
DePorto has been blogging this week about the season-opening tournament. To read her blog CLICK HERE