College Sports

Eagles run Big South win streak to 60 matches

CONWAY -- The Winthrop volleyball team collected its 60th straight win in Big South matches as it defeated Coastal Carolina 30-11, 27-30, 30-17, 30-20 Saturday.

The Eagles, who have won nine matches in a row, are now 11-9 on the season and 6-0 in conference action, while Coastal drops 11-11 on the year and 3-3 in Big South play.

Winthrop dominated the offensive action, placing three players in double-digits in kills, while Coastal only had one. As a team, Winthrop hit .294 as opposed as the .083 mark posted by the Chanticleers. The Eagles fired 10 aces, while Coastal only had four.

Middle hitter Shannon Sitzmann led the Winthrop offense with 19 kills and a .500 hitting percentage, while outside hitter Kellie Sellers, who picked up her 12th double-double of the year, had 10 kills and led the defense with 18 digs.

"We served very aggressively and finished off the match in control. We did a great job on transition and blocking and are really starting to find our systems," Winthrop coach Sally Polhamus said. "We started to do the little things that make the big things happen. We had some great offensive power. We did a nice job on serve-receive. We began to take control of the game from our passing."

The Eagles now return to the Winthrop Coliseum, where it will take on UNC Asheville at 7 p.m. Friday.

• WOMEN'S SOCCER: In Lynchburg, Va., the Winthrop women's soccer team collected a hard-fought, 3-2 win at Liberty.

The Lady Eagles, who haven't lost in four matches, are now 3-4-4 on the season and hold a perfect 3-0 Big South record, while Liberty, who was picked first in the Big South Preseason Poll, drops to 2-8 on the year and 1-2 in conference action.

Forward Chelsea White scored a goal, her fifth of the year, and provided an assist to lead the Winthrop offense. Midfielders Michelle Butler and Ashley Bader scored the other two goals for Winthrop.

Liberty had 18 shots, but not many on target as keeper Dimitra Poulos had only four saves.

"I'm very proud of my players. It was a very physical game and our players stepped up," Winthrop coach Melissa Heinz said. "We stuck with our system, played to win and really created many chances, and that really feels good. Ashley Bader was our player of the game today."

The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead as White scored with an assist from midfielder Katie Schraudenbach in the 11th minute and Butler scored unassisted.

Winthrop increased its lead to 3-0 as Bader found the back of the net on a service from White in the 70th minute.

Liberty managed to cut the margin to 3-2 as it scored in the 71st and 79th minutes, but the Lady Eagles hung on for the win.

Winthrop returns to action on Wednesday as it visits UNC Asheville at 4 p.m.

• MEN'S TENNIS: In Columbia, the Winthrop men's tennis team had a strong showing on day one of the 2007 USC Fall Invitational as several Eagles won matches Friday.

Vinicius Bortolatto, competing in the A-1 singles bracket, defeated Eliott Polvin of Georgia Tech 7-6, 6-1. In the A-2 singles bracket, Rodrigo Santos defeated Michael Nicol of Presbyterian 6-0, 6-0. Alejandro Portugal defeated Omar El Bouzkouri of Coastal Carolina 6-4, 7-5 in the B-1 singles bracket. Arthur Takahashi defeated Jamie Lawlor of Gardner Webb 7-5, 6-4 in the B-2 singles bracket.

Bortolatto and Santos competed in the A-1 doubles bracket and defeated Andres Amores and Scott Robertson of Jacksonville State 8-4, but were later defeated by Predrag Burmazovic and Oscar Posada of East Tennessee State 8-5. Portugal and Takahashi competed in the B-2 doubles bracket, but were defeated by Carlos Benatzky and T.C. Valle of Lander 9-7.