Camels Sweep Bethune Cookman

Jessica Groen (courtesy of Will Bratton)
Jessica Groen (courtesy of Will Bratton)

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Campbell used a team effort on the volleyball court Saturday afternoon to secure a straight-set victory, 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 27-25), against Bethune Cookman at Minges Coliseum to conclude the East Carolina Classic.

The Camels finished the season-opening event at 2-1 overall. Sophmore outside Jessica Groen (Las Cruces, N.M.) with 31 kills and 21 digs and junior middle blocker Lindsey Coats (Dunn, N.C.) with 21 kills and 17 blocks were named the East Carolina Classic All-Tournament Team.

Five players posted at least five kills during the match, paced by Groen with seven. Sophomores right side Brooke Kelley (Stafford, Va.) and middle blocker Lorin Thomas (Raleigh, N.C.) and junior setter Heather Wilson (Concord, N.C.) each registered six kills.

In the middle, Coats posted five kills and seven block assists. The Camels would total 10 blocks in the contest with Kelley, Wilson and Thomas each contributing three.

Freshman libero Lauren Bewick (Winterville, N.C.) dug up a team-best nine attacks. Adding seven digs was junior outside Chelsey Pachoud (Riverview, Fla.), while freshman outside Katelyn Layden (Concord, N.C.) tallied five.

The tone for the match was set in the first frame as the Camels rallied to a 13-4 lead early on. The final five points of the run came from the service of Layden, which was aided by a Coats/Wilson block and kills by Wilson (2) and Coats.

Campbell continued to stay in system with a strong passing game from the back row as the offense posted 14 kills without a mistake for a .538 attacking pct. Another impressive feat for the Camels was that the team was a perfect 11-for-11 in sideouts, not allowing the opponent to have consecutive serves.

Leading the way offensively was Wilson with four kills and seven assists, while Coats posted four blocks in the frame.

To start the second set, Bethune Cookman took an early lead 5-2, but that was quickly erased with the service from senior middle blocker Kelsey Marek (Taylor, Texas) that produced three kills – Thomas, Kelley, Groan – and a service ace. Pachoud then served up five-straight points as the lead stretched to 15-7.

The blocking game became a fixture for the Camels as the set went on as the duos of  freshman setter Pia Holzgreve (Nottuln, Germany)/Marek and Marek/Kelley each swatted down an attack.

An early advantage was seized by Campbell at 12-6 in the third set following a Groen kill, but the Wildcats would not go down without a fight. Campbell was forced to call a timeout as Bethune Cookman rallied to a 23-22 lead.

After staving off set point at 24-23, the Camels were able to secure the frame with a 27-25 win after a series of mistakes from the Wildcats.

The Camels are back in action on Tuesday with a mid-week tilt at UNC Wilmington beginning at 7 p.m. On Friday, Campbell heads to Williamsburg, Va., to compete in the William & Mary Tournament.

The home season begins on Sept. 21 as the Camels host High Point in the Big South opener at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center.

The 2012 East Carolina Classic All-Tournament Team
Bian Rouse (MVP) - Charlotte
Amanda Videmsek - Charlotte
Jenna Litoborski - Charlotte
Jessica Groen - Campbell
Lindsey Coats - Campbell
Shelby Beasley - East Carolina
Monica Lowe - Bethune-Cookman