Grand Island, Neb. – The College of Coastal Georgia women's volleyball team closed out play here Saturday in the Bill Marshall Volleyball Classic with a 3-0 loss to top-ranked and defending NAIA national champion Hastings College.
The match at the Heartlands Events Center was the third for the Mariners (0-3) in the prestigious event which is held in conjunction with the Nebraska State Fair.
Coastal Georgia lost its season- and tournament-opener Friday to No. 8 Columbia (Mo.) by a 3-0 score. The Mariners fell earlier on Saturday, also by a 3-0 count, to Oklahoma City which is receiving votes for the national poll to start the season.
Coastal Georgia, also receiving votes for the Top 25 in the preseason rankings, was picked to win The Sun Conference in its first season in the league by the conference coaches in the annual TSC preseason poll.
The Mariners previously competed in the Southern States Athletic Conference where the team won a third consecutive tournament championship last season before going on to the final site of the NAIA national championship for a third straight season.
Hastings, which went 33-3 a year ago on the way to the red banner, is off to a 7-0 start this season after winning all three matches in the Marshall tournament as the event host. The Broncos lost just one set in their three weekend matches.
The Broncos defeated the Mariners 25-18 in the opening set before overcoming an early deficit in the second set and holding off the Mariners by scoring five of the final six points for a 25-19 win. They took charge in the third set and ran away for a 25-15 victory to close out the contest.
Coastal Georgia, which struggled offensively in all three matches here, finished with 21 kills and also 21 attack errors.
Freshman setter Greta Gavin recorded 15 assists.
Hastings mounted an efficient offensive attack, hitting .338 as a team with 38 kills and 12 errors over the three sets. Katie Placke led all attackers with 12 kills while also recording 10 assists.
Clare Hamburger finished with 19 assists for the Broncos. Jill Bax paced the team's defense with 15 digs.
Hastings used 16 players in the match.
A bright spot for Coastal Georgia was its 11 service aces.
The Mariners will return home before going to Columbia, Ky., next weekend to compete in the Southeastern Challenge hosted by No. 5 Lindsey Wilson.
There, the Mariners will face Milligan College and Lindsey Wilson on Friday before meeting (RV) Campbellsville University and No. 19 Georgetown College on Saturday.