CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern begins its longest road trip of the 2017 season this weekend as the Buccaneers travel to Liberty, Longwood, and Radford in Big South Conference play. The Bucs will take on Liberty on Saturday afternoon, Longwood on Sunday and Radford on Monday as CSU begins one of its toughest stretches of the 2017 season.
The Bucs (6-1, 2-0) put their six-match winning streak to the test this weekend with the first match against the host Flames on Saturday afternoon with first serve set for 1 p.m. Liberty was selected second in the Big South preseason poll and received a first place vote after finishing last season as the tournament runner-up. The Flames (5-6, 3-0) enter the weekend contest having dropped their past two matches against UCF and George Washington, but are perfect in conference play on the season. Liberty topped Radford, UNC Asheville, and Longwood to remain undefeated in Big South competition.
Rebekah Anderson tops the LU lineup playing 10 matches on court no. 1, while Anna Dollar is expected to lineup on court no. 2 for the Flames. Mariely Hassey leads Liberty with 13 singles wins on the season while Evangeline Crist has posted 10 victories on the year. The doubles duo of Anderson and Aleksandra Panchenko have posted 10 wins on the season playing primarily on court no. 1, while Crist/Dollar have posted a 12-8 record in doubles play primarily on court no. 2.
Cold conditions are expected in Farmville, Va. on Sunday afternoon as the Buccaneers take on Longwood with first serve set for 1 p.m. The Lancers were selected ninth overall in the Big South preseason poll receiving 11 points overall from the conference coaches. The Lancers (1-8, 0-4) have struggled on the season with losses in their past three matches, but Longwood picked up its first win of the season on February 28 against Coppin State.
The Lancers have been paced by Jamie Breunig on top of the Longwood lineup on the season, while Paloma Alatorre and Mason Thomas are tied for the singles wins lead with four apiece. The doubles duo of Anna Pelak and Thomas has posted a 7-3 record on the season playing primarily on court no. 3 and are 3-1 in conference play on the year.
The Buccaneers conclude their road trip on Monday afternoon at the RU Tennis Courts as CSU takes on the Highlanders with first serve set for 2 p.m. Radford was picked fifth in the conference preseason poll with 37 points. The Highlanders have posted a 3-8 record on the season, but are 0-4 in conference play on the year with losses against Liberty, UNC Asheville, Winthrop, and Campbell.
Drousile Dzeubou leads the Highlanders' singles efforts with a 9-10 record playing primarily on court no. 1. Natalie Sayer has posted eight wins for Radford lining up on courts 2 and 3 in the 2017 season. Sayer and Meili Martin have combined to be the Highlanders' top doubles duo with a 3-3 record on court no. 1 on the season.
Last Time Out for CSU
The Buccaneers extended their season-best six-match winning streak last weekend with a dominant 6-1 win over Gardner-Webb on March 4. CSU swept all three doubles matches and took singles wins on courts 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, to top the Runnin' Bulldogs and improve the Bucs' record in Big South play to 2-0 in the 2017 season.
Kimberley Koerner (7-0) and Yana Morar (6-0) continue to remain undefeated in the 2017 season with the Bucs' duo combining for a perfect 13-0 record in singles play on the season. Koerner has played primarily on court no. 4 for the Buccaneers, while Morar has seen time at both courts 5 and 6 for CSU in posting a perfect record in her first season at CSU.
Big South Dominance
Junior Sophie Cloessner has put together one of the most impressive streaks in Big South Conference history as the Wetzlar, Germany native has gone a perfect 19-0 in conference play since her first match with the Bucs in the 2015 season. Cloessner went a perfect 9-0 last season in earning Big South First Team All-Conference honors in singles play.
Charleston Southern has posted a 15-5 record in doubles play in the 2017 season led by the duos of Cloessner and Nicolin Luecke (6-1) on court no. 1 and Koerner and Femcke van Rensburg (5-1) on court no. 3. The Bucs are 6-0 on the season when winning the doubles point in 2017.