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Elizabeth City State sweeps Chowan

MURFREESBORO – Next year, it may be a battle for first place.

For 2008, however, it was just a disappointing loss for the Chowan University volleyball team as Elizabeth City State took a three-set win over the Hawks Thursday night at the Helms Center, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17.

Earlier this month the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Board of Directors approved Chowan’s admission to the league in all sports in 2009.

Elizabeth City State currently leads the league standings at 11-0 and also have a pair of non-conference wins over Chowan.

The Hawks, meanwhile, are 10-3 against the CIAA this season with losses only to CIAA East Division-leader ECSU (twice) and Fayetteville State, who leads the Western Division. Chowan has one final match with FSU in Fayetteville on Thursday.

But that still doesn’t blunt the disappointment of the sweep by the Lady Vikings.

“Their size was definitely a factor in the game,” said Chowan coach Peter Green, afterward, “but the girls played with some heart and fought.”

The highlight of the match was that the taller Lady Vikings never allowed Chowan to establish a run and ECSU built leads in all three sets the Hawks could not overcome.

Sophomore Antoinette McCollough led Chowan with 12 kills while freshman Desaray Turner had seven kills and a team-high 23 total-attempts.

Freshman Melissa Hallam had 24 assists and three service aces in the match. Sophomore Libero Nichole Shoup was active on defense leading Chowan with nine digs.

“With a high-ball team you have time to make adjustments because the ball’s up in the air,” said Green. “With speed you have to know what’s going on and when it’s going on, and that’s something we have to work on.”

“We had a lot more blocks against them this time than in the first game,” said senior Adrian Cook, “but height is a major advantage in volleyball. We had the effort just not the consistency.”

“We played with ’em for a while,” said sophomore Denara Green.”We could only get one (point) every now and then there were those errors on our part, but we hung in.”

“We’re a young team and we’ll have those minor mistakes,” added coach Green, “and in order to go up against those big teams you have to be consistent.

The loss ended a five-match home win streak for Chowan, who falls to 17-10. Meanwhile, Elizabeth City State raised it’ record to 24-9.

Chowan will next participate in a tri-meet in Greenville, South Carolina today (Saturday) against North Greenville University and later Montreat College. They close out their home-season with ‘Senior Day’ a week from today against Roanoke Bible College with a 2 p.m. start.