NEWARK, Del. – College of Charleston finished the 2013 regular season with a strong performance, sweeping Delaware, 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 28-26), on the Blue Hens’ Senior Night.
Charleston (23-5, 13-1) won the final two matches of the regular season to improve its overall record to 23-5, the second-highest regular season winning percentage (.821) in head coach Jason Kepner’s seven-year tenure.
The CAA’s top team in its first season in the league, Charleston will host the CAA Volleyball Tournament on Nov. 22-24 at the North Charleston Convention Center. The Cougars will be the one seed with a first-round bye before the facing the winner of the No. 4-No. 5 match on Saturday afternoon.
Against Delaware on Saturday, the Cougars hit a blistering .349 on the offensive end with 54 kills. Charleston’s defense performed admirably, out-digging UD 47-31 and posting the season’s highest sideout tally of 73 percent. Charleston posted its 12th sweep of the season, the most by any CAA squad.
“It was a great finish to the regular season,” said head coach Jason Kepner. “We are playing some of our best volleyball heading into the postseason, and we are looking forward to hosting an outstanding conference tournament next weekend.”
Darcy Dorton made a strong final case for CAA Player of the Year honors with an outstanding weekend of matches. She hit .419 and made 17 kills on Saturday with 10 digs and two blocks. She finished the two matches with a .410 hitting percentage and 5.38 kills per set. She raised her season average to 3.9 points per set.
Grace Rebarchak made six kills and set a new career high with a .625 hitting percentage. She also made four blocks and punched out the set-winners in the first and second games. Kallie McKown led CofC with 25 assists, while Taeler Davis made 17 assists.
Delaware’s Katie Hillman led the Blue Hens with 10 kills, while Katie Hank had eight kills.
CofC jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first set, dominating the Blue Hens pin to pin and through the middle. Charleston was a perfect 1.000 through the first nine swings, making a kill on each one. The Cougars finished the set hitting .500, led by Dorton’s five kills. Neideffer and White each had four and McKown was the setter of choice with 10 assists as CofC won 25-14.
Delaware pushed the Cougars a little more in the second set, tying the score at 11 early on. CofC used a 4-0 run to open a 15-11 lead and the Blue Hens could not fly their way back from their several errors. Rebarchak tallied yet another set-winning kill and the Cougars won handily, 25-18.
The Cougars could not put away the Blue Hens easily in the third set as neither team built a lead greater than two points for most of the set. Charleston trailed 23-21 late, but a pair of kills from Neideffer and a Dorton kill put CofC ahead 24-23. With their season nearly ending, Delaware fought hard to push the set to extra points, but Dorton tied things at 26 and a block from White and kill from Dorton gave Charleston the 28-26 win.
The CAA Conference awards will be announced later this week along with a CAA Volleyball Tournament bracket.