VB Weekend Preview: Bucs welcome Radford Friday night

VB Weekend Preview: Bucs welcome Radford Friday night

Friday, October 12
CSU vs. Radford
Buccaneer Field House – Charleston, S.C.
6 p.m. | Live Stats

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern closes a three-match homestand Friday night with Radford before a four-match road swing kicks off the second half of Big South play.

The defense still sits among the best in the league as Skylar Blackmon has come on strong lately teaming up with Madison Martin to anchor the Buccaneer back line. CSU leads the Big South in digs (17.02) and sits second in opponents' hitting percentage (.158).

Friday's match should be a battle of defense as the top two square off inside CSU Field House. Radford and CSU sit one and two in opponents' hitting percentage and both are among the top-three in digs per set.

CSU looks for a strong finish in their homestand after a win over Presbyterian and loss to High Point – just the second loss at home this season for the Bucs.

Opponent Preview
Radford enters the weekend with a 13-2 record and sits just a half game behind first-place High Point at 5-1 in the Big South. The defending champions' only conference blemish came at the hands of High Point and they invade the Buc Dome with a perfect 6-0 record on the road.

The Highlanders are led by Molly McKnight's .363 hitting percentage and Haley Kleespies' 9.94 assists and 0.57 service aces per set. That duo headlines a Radford squad that leads the conference in hitting percentage (.227), opponents' hitting percentage (.152), opponent kills (10.91) and opponent blocks (1.71).

Player Watch
Naiomi Rivera, Jr., Setter, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
Junior setter Naiomi Rivera has collected 20-plus assists in 14 of the Bucs' 15 matches this season including four with 30-plus inside Big South play. In CSU's five-set win over previously unbeaten Presbyterian, Rivera had 45 helpers and added 12 digs and a block.

Mallory McKnight – Junior, Middle Blocker

Radford is led at the net by junior middle blocker Molly McKnight. Entering the weekend, McKnight boasts a .363 hitting percentage while leading the team with 2.94 kills per set and 0.85 blocks per set. McKnight has been even stronger inside Big South play as she leads the Highlanders with 3.29 kills per set and .413 mark from the floor.

Milestone Watch
Senior defensive specialist Madison Martin sits 32 digs from moving into a tie for second on the program's all-time list, currently sitting on 1,729 donning a Buccaneer uniform. Martin set the single-season digs record her sophomore season thanks to 665 – 62 digs more than the previous record of 603. Martin spearheads a Buc defense with her 5.02 digs per set as the team leads the Big South with their 17.02 per set.

Up Next
CSU hits the road for the next four matches beginning at UNC Asheville October 19 and ending October 27 at Presbyterian. First serve at UNC Asheville is slated for 6 p.m. and can be seen on the Big South Network on ESPN+.

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