Campbell volleyball won its first ever Big South Championship in thrilling fashion, winning a five-set match over top seeded High Point Sunday night at Gore Arena.
BUIES CREEK — Campbell won its first ever Big South Championship in thrilling fashion, winning a five-set match over top seeded High Point Sunday night at Gore Arena. The win secures Campbell’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, with the first rounds scheduled for Dec. 2.
The Lady Camels, who featured no all-conference selections, topped a Panthers squad for the second time this season that featured four first-team players along with the player of the year, freshman of the year, libero of the year, co-setters of the year and coach of the year. Campbell is the first team to beat High Point twice in a single season since 2018.
Due to the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, Campbell was not given a chance to compete for the tournament crown. This year, the team made the most of that opportunity.
“This means everything to them, especially our seniors,” head coach Greg Goral said. “They have worked extremely hard. They weren’t going to be denied. All year long, through COVID, through the spring season, they just willed themselves to this victory.”
Sarah Colla, the Big South Tournament MVP, paced CU with 13 kills. Chloe Cook and Lailah Green joined her in double-digits with 12 and 11, respectively. Green posted a double-double adding 12 digs to her line. Emily Mitter also notched a double-double with a team-high 23 assists and 13 digs.
Claranne Fechter led the Lady Camel backline with 18 digs.
Madee Miner and Lailah Green also joined Colla on the all-tournament team.
Campbell won the opening frame 25-19, and had a chance to go up 2-0 with a 22-20 lead in the second. But the Lady Camels couldn’t close it out, and allowed High Point to win the set 25-22.
High Point jumped to a 2-1 advantage with another 25-22 set win in the third. But Campbell rebounded and forced a deciding set with a 25-22 win of its own in the fourth.
CU jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the fifth before High Point evened it up at 5-5. The Lady Camels again took a solid lead at 11-7, but the Panthers were able to quickly even the score at 11. Just moments later, the Camels reeled off a 3-0 run with kills from Cook and Colla and capped by a Panther error to send the Lady Camels to the NCAA tournament.
High Point’s Sydney Palazzolo posted a match-high 19 kills. Mackenzi Thornburg dished out 27 assists and Jenny Wessling tallied 19 digs.
Campbell now awaits its NCAA tournament destination, announced Sunday, Nov. 28 at 8:30 p.m.