The Winthrop volleyball team sailed past Coastal Carolina with the scores of 30-19, 30-28, 30-27 led by junior middle hitter Shannon Sitzmann's 19 kills and .500 hitting percentage Friday evening in the Winthrop Coliseum.
With the win, the Eagles catch Liberty in the hunt for the Big South regular season crown as both teams are now 9-1 in league play. Overall, the Eagles improved to 16-10, while the Chanticleers fell to 13-15 on the year and 5-5 in conference action.
Besides Sitzmann, Winthrop had a solid offensive outing from sophomore right-side hitter Kellsey Taylor, who notched 16 kills hitting .375. Freshman setter Kelsey Hall fed the Eagle hitters with 46 assists.
On the back row, Winthrop had their best answers to the Coastal offense with junior libero Pohai Nu'uhiwa leading the way with 22 digs, senior defensive specialist Kelli Kirkwood, with 12, and senior outside hitter Tara Toepke, with 11.
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As a team, the Eagles came out strong in game one hitting .371. They hit .220 in game two and .224 in game three to close out the match hitting .259 overall. Coastal recorded an overall hitting percentage of .159 and had on Chelsy Kimes its most dangerous player as she gathered 15 kills.
Winthrop will return to the volleyball court on Saturday at 3 p.m. on Senior Day against Charleston Southern. Toepke and Kirkwood will be honored prior to the match.
• PRO BASEBALL -- Bobby Abreu's $16 million option for next season was exercised by the New York Yankees.
The 33-year-old right fielder overcame a slow start to hit .283 with 16 homers and 101 RBIs this year, when he finished second in the AL behind teammate Alex Rodriguez with 123 runs. Abreau has reached 100 RBIs in five consecutive seasons.
New York obtained Abreu from Philadelphia in July 2006.
• Sammy Sosa wants to play in the majors next year, provided a team offers him a contract for at least $7 million.
Sosa hit 21 home runs with 92 RBIs this season with Texas. He sat out in 2006, and the Rangers gave him a $500,000 minor league contract.
The 38-year-old outfielder said he expects several offers next week when teams begin negotiations with free agents. Sosa had recently said he wanted to be back with Texas next year.
• SOCCER -- David Beckham and Los Angeles Galaxy teammates Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones are taking on some Hollywood stars to benefit victims of Southern California's recent wildfires.
The Galaxy will play a team dubbed Hollywood United FC that includes Anthony LaPaglia of "Without a Trace," Brandon Routh of "Superman Returns," Costas Mandaylor of "Saw IV," Jimmy Jean-Louis of "Heroes" and Def Leppard guitarist Viv Campbell.
Also suiting up will be former U.S. national team stars Alexi Lalas, Joe-Max Moore and Eric Wynalda, along with Mexican star Jorge Campos.
• PRO FOOTBALL -- New England Patriots rushing leader Sammy Morris was placed on injured reserve, ending his first season with the team.
The Patriots listed linebacker Mike Vrabel, tight end Benjamin Watson and free safety Eugene Wilson as questionable for Sunday's game at Indianapolis between the NFL's only unbeaten teams.