CofC volleyball dumps Bryant, falls to Minnesota in nightcap

The College of Charleston dominated Bryant but fell to Minnesota in the finale of The Courtyard by Marriott North Charleston Classic at TD Arena on Saturday.

“We played well against Bryant in the first match, but got off to a slow start against a very good Minnesota team and just weren’t able to recover,” head coach Jason Kepner said. “We’re seeing some good things from this team and it’s coming at a good time with conference play starting next week.”

The Cougars won 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19) in the opener and hit .362. They were led by senior Kayla Tronick, who recorded six blocks for the second consecutive match.

Mackenzie Cooler recorded 41 assists, the third-most by a Cougar in a three-set match since rally point scoring was introduced and sets were reduced to 25 points in 2008. Freshman Kennedy Madison led all players with 13 kills and swung .346. Melissa Morello chipped in with 10 kills and nine digs, hitting .389 along the way.

The College dropped the second contest to No. 23 Minnesota in straight sets (25-21, 25-17, 25-23).

Morello landed a game-high 19 kills. Freshman Allison Beckman tallied 32 assists while Madison added seven kills.

Charleston Southern fell in both matches on Saturday to close out the Carolina Classic in Columbia, falling to South Carolina in the early match, 3-1, while dropping a 3-2 decision at against East Carolina in the tournament finale.

CSU’s Katrina Houston was named to the Carolina Classic All-Tournament team after leading the Bucs with 3.86 kills per set, 1.93 digs per set and a .187 hitting percentage on the weekend.

Led by a two-under (70) by freshman Isidora Nilsson, the South Carolina women’s golf team climbed up the leaderboard into 13th place (+17) at the Mason Randolph Championship in Franklin, Tenn., on Saturday. The Gamecocks shot a 291 (+3) as a team at the Vanderbilt Legends Club on day two of the tournament.

Nilsson, who currently sits tied for 44th overall (+3), opened the day with a birdie on No. 10 before tallying two more birdies on her final nine holes. She dropped a shot on her final hole of the day and finished as one of 28 golfers under par on Saturday.

Junior Katelyn Dambaugh continued her steady play this week, as the Pinewood Prep product shot an even 72 to move up into a tie for 35th overall (+2). She began her day with a double bogey on No. 10, but finished strong with three birdies following the turn. The Golfweek Preseason Third-Team All-American leads all Gamecocks with eight birdies this week.

Georgia currently sits atop (-15) the leaderboard after tallying a 275 (-13) on Saturday.

Charleston Southern junior Caleb Breeden earned a 41st-place finish to lead the way at the Winthrop Adidas Invitational in Rock Hill. The event was the Bucs’ first 8K race of the campaign.

Caleb Edgehill and Kuaniyal Chol were the other top finishers for CSU, placing 71st and 84th in a strong field that included runners from Appalachian State, USC Upstate and host Winthrop.

CSU senior Jessie Dotson delivered another strong performance to headline women’s action at the Winthrop Adidas Invitational.

Dotson finished in 51st place with a time of 20:37, making her the Bucs’ top finisher for the second time in three events.

The College of Charleston women’s tennis squad wrapped up the second day of competition at the CofC Invitational Saturday, headlined by a strong outing by a combo of newcomers in the A1 Doubles Flight.

Incoming transfers Liza Fieldsend and Rachel McNeely played their way into Sunday’s A1 Doubles championship. The two opened the day with an opening-round showdown against Fleur Holtkamp and Victoria Pahlett of Charlotte won by the Cougars 8-6. Fieldsend and McNeely made short work of Kimmy Herrock and Rebecca Harris of James Madison, 8-1.

Saturday’s wins set up a Sunday championship showdown with Jessica Northcutt and Carita Moolman of Samford, who beat Martin/Vonderschmidt of Charlotte and Scott/Bondar of Coastal Carolina (8-7(5)) to earn their matchup with the Cougars.

Fieldsend defeated Natalie Wall of Coastal Carolina, 6-1, 6-0, in A1 single splay to propel her to a Sunday matchup with Eveline Lepinay of Stetson to decide fifth place. McNeely lost to Maja Salibasic of Stetson, 6-1, 1-6, 4-6, in B1 Singles play.

In the A2 Doubles, CofC senior Katherine Schofield teamed up with Annika Hepp of Samford. They lost their opening match against Timea Guibe and Bella Heidenreirch of James Madison, but recovered against Laura Mary and Cari Berry of Coastal Carolina, 8-4. That sets up a match Sunday against Alexandra Lee and Tyler Baker of Charlotte to determine fifth place.

Schofield fell to Macy Vonderschmidt of Charlotte 6-2, 6-2, in the semifinals, setting up her Sunday match with Alexandra Lee of Charlotte.

In the B1 Doubles Round Robin, the duo of Sarah Jane Jones and Sarah Zschunke pulled off back-to-back wins over Erwin/Hill of Stetson and Wall/Campbell of Coastal Carolina. In singles action, Zschunke fell to Laura Mary of Coastal Carolina in three sets, while Jones lost to Marie Babayan of Coastal Carolina, 7-5, 6-4.