Coastal Carolina

Coastal Carolina learns its opponent, site for NCAA men’s soccer tourney first round

CCU celebrates a Sun Belt Conference title

Coastal Carolina seniors Martin Melchor and Frantzdy Pierrot, and men’s soccer coach Shaun Docking, talk about the team’s season and Sun Belt championship.
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Coastal Carolina seniors Martin Melchor and Frantzdy Pierrot, and men’s soccer coach Shaun Docking, talk about the team’s season and Sun Belt championship.

Coastal Carolina will host two-time defending Southern Conference tournament champion Mercer on Thursday in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament.

Coastal has requested a game time of 7 p.m. but a start time hadn’t been determined early Monday afternoon, shortly after the NCAA tournament bracket was announced.

Mercer (7-8-6) upset the top two seeds in the Southern Conference tournament – East Tennessee State and UNC Greensboro – in penalty kicks in the final two games of the conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

The Chanticleers (12-6-1) have won the Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles in both of its years in the conference, and have won five straight games and are unbeaten in their past nine at 8-0-1. Coastal beat Georgia State 2-0 in Sunday’s tournament championship game,

Coastal (12-6-1) hosts Mercer and would face Clemson in the second round. The Tigers (12-5-1) are the No. 8 national seed and are led by Diego Campos, who led the Tigers in goals and assists and is second in the ACC in scoring. in the second in the ACC. Shut out only once all season.

The Chants are 7-0 all-time vs. Mercer, though the last meeting came in 2005, and are 2-9-2 all-time against Clemson, with the past two meetings in 2015 and 2016 ending in ties. Coastal’s two victories in the series came in 2003 and 2007.

Wake Forest, the 2016 NCAA runner-up that defeated Coastal Carolina 2-0 in the second round last year, is the No. 1 national seed at 17-1-2, with its only loss to Georgia State, which Coastal has defeated twice in the past two weeks in Sun Belt action.

Earning a top seed

The CCU women’s indoor volleyball team will be attempting to earn a spot in the NCAA volleyball tournament later this week after clinching the top seed in the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Championship on Saturday with a 3-1 (25-27, 25-12, 25-21, 25-9) victory at Troy.

Coastal (18-7) went 15-1 in conference matches and won the Sun Belt East Division for the second straight year, though it earned its first No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

As the top seed, the Chants automatically advance to the tournament semifinals and will play their first match at 6 p.m. (ET) at tournament host Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark. All matches will be streamed on ESPN3.

The Chants have four seniors who will be trying to end their careers in the NCAA tournament, including star hitter Leah Hardeman.

Hoops tips off

The Coastal Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams opened their seasons with victories on Friday against non-Division I opponents, the men defeating Piedmont International 102-50 and women downing Lees-McRae 73-47 at the HTC Center.

The CCU men shot 70 percent from the field in the first half and 55 percent for the game, and five players reached double-digits in scoring including junior forward Zac Cuthbertson with 22 points, and both junior center Josh Coleman and senior guard Jaylen Shaw with 14 apiece.

The CCU men are on the road for their next four games, facing Lamar on Tuesday followed by three games in the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase before returning home for a Nov. 21 game against St. Andrews.

The CCU women received double-doubles from sophomore guard D.J. Williams, who had game-highs with 22 points, 15 rebounds and five assists, and sophomore center Naheria Hamilton. The women are at home for their next three games against UNC Greensboro on Tuesday, UNC Wilmington on Saturday and Allen next Monday.

Alan Blondin: 843-626-0284, @alanblondin