On the final day of the regular season, the Sun Belt East Division came down to a Sunday matchup between Coastal Carolina and South Alabama in the HTC Center.
Just like their previous meeting back on Nov. 1, it was the Chanticleers coming out on top with a win in four sets (25-19, 25-22, 17-25, 25-19). The victory gave the Chanticleers their third division crown in four years.
"It's a great feeling,” junior Kyla Manning said. "It's a sense of deja vu since I was a part of a team that won the East back in 2017. It’s great to have that feeling back."
In the first set, the Chants were led by Manning's seven kills. It was a back-and-forth battle early, but Coastal was able to pull away and finish the first set 25-19.
The Chants and Jaguars had a tighter 25-22 second set. The Chants were paced by Anett Nemeth, who had eight kills, an ace and a block.
"We are extremely good at having at least two people on point every game," Manning said. "This game it was Anett and I, but other games it could be Maria and Ani or Brigetta and Christina. It’s not just one player, it’s a team effort."
The Chants did drop the third set 17-25 but were able to bounce back and pull out the victory in the following set, sealing the win and the division.
"The confidence in this team is remarkable," assistant coach CJ Allard said. "That confidence helps us tremendously when we fall behind in a set or drop a set. You saw that today when we dropped set three and just turned it up in set four."
The East Division title also gives the Chanticleers a double-bye going into the Sun Belt tournament this week.
"That’s why this win was so important," Allard said. "We are off Monday so the team can focus on school since finals are coming up. Tuesday and Wednesday, we will grind it out and go hard in practice before heading to Texas for the tournament on Thursday."
With the No. 2 seed, the Chanticleers have the possibility of a rematch with Texas State, the 2019 Sun Belt regular season champions and the team that ended the Chants' eight-game winning streak.
"We’re really excited for the opportunity to possibly play Texas State again, this time on their home floor," Manning said.
Coastal improved to 23-5 on the year overall and 13-3 in Sun Belt play.
The Chanticleers now will wait to play on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Chants will play the winner of South Alabama vs. Appalachian State/Texas-Arlington.