Coastal Carolina rising senior Leah Hardeman, an outside hitter, is one of 31 players selected to train and compete as part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Minneapolis.
The CNT-Minneapolis squad, which is part of USA Volleyball’s High Performance pipeline and is considered a second tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team, will train from June 22-26 at the University of Minnesota.
Afterward, the athletes will be assigned to one of three 12-member teams and compete in a round-robin format at the Minneapolis Convention Center from June 27-30. The matches are being held in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships under the same roof.
Hardeman closed her junior season in 2016 as the Sun Belt Player of the Year, her third straight season winning a conference’s top individual award following consecutive Big South Player of the Year honors in 2014-15.
She was also named the Sun Belt Tournament Most Outstanding Player as she led Coastal to its third straight conference championship, and later was instrumental in helping Coastal reach the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament following the program’s first-ever NCAA postseason victory over James Madison in the first round.
Hardeman is the first student-athlete in Coastal volleyball history to be an American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region selection, earning the distinction in consecutive seasons from 2015-16. Entering her senior season at Coastal in 2017, Hardeman ranks fifth all-time in program history with 1,315 kills.
Lacrosse wins title
The Coastal Carolina women’s lacrosse team earned the program’s first conference title by claiming the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship with a 16-7 win over Mercer on Sunday.
Coastal improved to 12-5 overall to record its most wins in a season and 9-1 in ASUN play, and Mercer dropped to 12-5 and 7-3 in conference. The Chanticleers earned a first round bye in the upcoming ASUN tournament May 4-7.
Keeper Harley Barrett improved her record to 11-5 in the win. Coastal Carolina will next be in action in the ASUN Conference tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., at 1 p.m. Friday against the winner of four-seed Mercer and five-seed Old Dominion.