CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern split with Savannah State and The Citadel on Tuesday afternoon at McAlister Fieldhouse, with the Lady Bucs topping the SSU Tigers in the first match of the day, before falling to the Bulldogs in the nightcap.
CSU improves to 2-0 on the season against Savannah State, while The Citadel snapped the Lady Bucs’ four-game winning streak in five set matches as the Bulldogs defeated CSU for the second time in the 2012 season.
Game One: Charleston Southern 3, Savannah State 0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-9)
Kayla Klinger led the way with 11 kills, hitting .476 from the floor as the Lady Bucs recorded their second victory over the Tigers on the season as CSU defeated Savannah State in three sets in a neutral court match held at McAlister Fieldhouse on the campus of The Citadel.
CSU (9-12) defeated Savannah State (0-23) earlier this season down in Savannah, Ga. by a matching 3-0 score as the Lady Bucs jumped ahead early in front of the Tigers to ensure their second consecutive victory as Charleston Southern hit .364 from the floor as a team with eight players recording kills in the match.
The teams battled evenly through the early portion of the first set as Wynter Davis tied the match up at 6-apiece with a kill, but CSU broke the set open several points later as Siraya Windsor sparked a 6-0 run with a kill and Erin LaVenice added a solo block to stake Charleston Southern to a 16-9 lead. Savannah State battled back behind kills by Bryana Gadis and Jasmine Waite, but a 7-1 run put the Lady Bucs within set point distance as Klinger recorded three consecutive kills, and the junior outside hitter put the set away with a service ace to cap off the 25-17 victory.
Charleston Southern used a pair of 5-0 runs and hit a season high .611 in the second set to go up 2-0 over the Tigers.
With the score at 6-5 in favor of the Lady Bucs, Ashley Johnston sparked the first 5-0 stretch with a kill and Klinger capped off the run with a service ace to give CSU the 11-5 lead. The Tigers continued to claw their way back into the match as Gadis fired back-to-back service aces and added a kill as Savannah State brought the set back to within three at 19-16. However, a Davis kill swung the momentum back to CSU and Ashley Higginbothem added a service ace as the Lady Bucs closed out the set with a 6-1 stretch to take the frame.
Savannah State took a 4-2 lead in the final frame, but a kill by Klinger and an SSU attack error tied up the set as CSU went on a 6-0 run to take the 8-4 lead. The teams remained close at 11-9 following a kill by Savannah State’s Keandra Lewis, but following a Tigers’ service error, Higginbothem held serve the remainder of the way for Charleston Southern as CSU closed out the third set by reeling off 13 consecutive points to complete the sweep.
Kirsten Struksnes and Cassidy Greer set up the Lady Bucs attack in the match as the duo combined for 30 assists, while Higginbothem led the CSU defensive efforts with eight digs and added three service aces in the win. Meredith Parrott, LaVenice and Klinger all had three blocks in the match for head coach Al Givens in the win.
Game Two: The Citadel 3, Charleston Southern 2 (16-25, 25-20, 26-16, 25-19, 12-15)
Kayla Klinger led all players with 14 kills in the nightcap of the tri-match between CSU, The Citadel and Savannah State, however Rachael Farrell led four Bulldogs’ with double-digit kills as The Citadel improved to 2-0 on the season over the Lady Bucs with the five set victory.
Klinger completed the double-double with 13 digs, while Sydney Tracy, Davis and Parrott all had 12 kills apiece as the Lady Bucs (9-13) hit .222 from the floor in CSU’s second match on the day.
CSU built off of their momentum in closing out Savannah State in their earlier match as the Lady Bucs jumped out to an 11-4 lead led by two kills apiece by Davis and Parrott early in the set. The lead grew to eight at 15-7 following a Klinger and the Lady Bucs kept at least a six-point lead the remainder of the set before Klinger closed out the frame with a kill to give the Lady Bucs the 25-16 victory.
The Citadel (4-18) battled back with victories in both the second and third sets, using a four point swing to erase a deficit in the second frame with Lauren Hurt closing out the 25-20 set victory with a solo block, while a kill by Jessica Maxwell sparked a 6-0 run snapping a 12-all tie in the third set, leading to The Citadel’s 25-16 set win.
Charleston Southern battled back in the fourth set scoring four of the first five points in the frame behind a pair of kills by Klinger to jump to the early lead. Ise d’Angelo sparked a 5-0 run by the Bulldogs to go ahead 11-9, recording back-to-back kills during the stretch, but CSU used a 7-1 run later in the frame to build a 19-14 lead following a pair of Tracy kills. The Citadel fought back cutting the lead down to two at 21-19 but Parrott, the reigning Big South Freshman of the Week, sparked the final 4-0 run with a kill and added a block as CSU evened the game with the 25-19 set win.
The Lady Bucs entered the day with a perfect 4-0 record in five set matches on the season, but were unable to keep the streak alive against the Bulldogs as The Citadel used a 4-0 run on Mikaela Tracy’s serve to snap a 9-all tie and Amanda Rudnik closed out the match with a pair of kills as the Bulldogs topped CSU 15-12.
Struksnes set up the Lady Bucs attack with 55 set assists in the match, while Higginbothem led the defense with 21 of the team’s 67 digs. Siraya Windsor added 10 digs, as well as six kills in the match as the Lady Bucs dropped their second match of the season to The Citadel.
Charleston Southern returns home to the Buccaneer Field House as the Lady Bucs welcome conference opponent Liberty University on Friday, October 12th. First serve between the Lady Bucs and the Flames is set for 7 p.m.