ORANGEBURG, S.C. - Charleston Southern battled through a number of vexing conditions on Thursday night before pulling away with the four-set win over host South Carolina State in midweek action. The Bucs took the win over the Bulldogs courtesy of their 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 25-16 set scores.
CSU (4-1) continued its early season success despite the match starting over an hour past the scheduled start time due to a few miscommunication snafus prior to the contest. However, when the match began, the Bucs took care of business for the fourth time in their first five contests in 2018. S.C. State fell to 0-4 with the loss in Orangeburg.
Macey LaPorte continued her hot start to the season with a career-high 14 kills in the match against the Bulldogs. Madison Malloch added 11 kills and a trio of blocks, while Hannah Western was included in five of CSU's 10.0 team blocks in the match. Madison Martin added 18 digs in the victory.
Addison Kaderli and Malloch combined for six of CSU's 12 kills in the opening set as the Bucs broke open a tied frame with a 10-5 run to take control of the set. Rivera's kill put the Bucs ahead 20-15 and CSU recorded a pair of blocks late in the set to secure the 25-17 win.
The teams battled through 14 ties and 10 lead changes in the second set before the Bulldogs evened the match. CSU cut the lead down to 24-22 on a Malloch kill before a Buccaneer service error ended the frame.
Taylor Smart served the Bulldogs out to a 6-0 lead in the third set before Kaderli's kill put the Bucs in the point column. CSU rallied back to take the lead for the first time at 14-13 following a Bulldog attack error in the midst of a six-point CSU run. The Bucs held off a late SCSU run with Rivera putting in the final point of the set to give CSU the 2-1 lead.
Caitlyn Michalski put in a trio of kills in the deciding fourth set with the final putting the Bucs ahead 20-14 in the frame. Skylar Blackmon served the Bucs to set point with Western and LaPorte chipping in kills during the stretch. A SCSU attack error ended the match in favor of the Bucs.
Inside the Numbers
- Thursday's match was the first time CSU was held under a .200 team hitting percentage on the season as the Buccaneers were limited to .193 against the Bulldogs.
- Naiomi Rivera continued to lead the way as the team's primary setter as the junior filled the statistics sheet with six kills, 30 assists, 13 digs, and three block assists.
- Addison Kaderli narrowly missed out on her second double-digit kill match of the season with nine kills.
- Madison Malloch stretched her double-digit kill streak to four consecutive matches.
News & Notes
- The Bucs' defense was on point again as CSU limited their third consecutive opponent underneath a .100 team hitting percentage (S.C. State - .015).
- CSU entered the match leading the Big South Conference in opponent hitting percentage (.124).
- The Bucs put across eight service aces in the match and have 21 over their last two wins.
- CSU reached double-digit blocks for the first time this season after entering the match last in the conference with 1.42 per set.
Wingate by Wyndham Player of the Game
Charleston Southern is off until next weekend when CSU stays locally for the Hampton Inn Charleston/West Ashley CofC Invitational hosted by College of Charleston. The Bucs open the weekend at 4:30 p.m. against The Citadel in T.D. Arena on Friday, September 7.