CLINTON, S.C. – Season-high performances from setters Rachel Smith and Ashleigh Holweger, as well as a 17-kill day from Madison Malloch sparked Charleston Southern volleyball 3-2 (27-25, 25-27, 14-25, 25-23, 15-11) past Presbyterian Saturday. The win marked a regular season sweep of the Blue Hose for CSU.
Charleston Southern (10-9, 5-6 Big South) used a strong first set in which they hit .318, as well as hard-fought fourth and fifth sets for a crucial conference victory. With the win, CSU improves to 2-0 in Big South play when taking the first set – the other coming in a five-set home win over conference power Radford.
Presbyterian (7-15, 4-7 Big South) had 16 kills from Erin Cooke and three other athletes with 10-plus kills, but it was CSU that prevailed in the end.
Junior setter/defensive specialist Rachel Smith paced the CSU defense with 23 digs and team and season-high 26 assists. Smith split setting duties with freshman Ashleigh Holweger, who turned in a career-best 24 assists Saturday in the win.
As a team, CSU had five players collect 11-plus digs paced by Smith, Madison Martin – who now sits two from the program's all-time record, Hannah Western, Skylar Blackmon and Holweger. Western also added 11 kills – second-most on the team – for yet another double-double.
How it Happened
- CSU won the first set 27-25 – the first of back-to-back 27-25 scores – to improve to 2-0 when taking the first frame inside Big South play. CSU also hit .318 in the first, the second-best mark of the night behind the decisive fifth-set .368.
- Presbyterian put the pressure on with second and third-set wins (27-25, 25-14) behind .244 and .310 marks from the floor while holding CSU to just .140 and -.030.
- Redshirt-freshman Madison Malloch turned in 17 kills, the most inside conference play and second-most on the season.
News and Notes
- Senior defensive specialist Madison Martin enters her final three home matches just two digs from first on the program's all-time record of 1,833.
- Freshman setter Ashleigh Holweger has seen her time increase as of late turning in a career-best 24 assists Saturday. She, along with Rachel Smith, combined for 50 of CSU's 57 assists as Martin added the other seven.
- A trio of Bucs had 10-plus kills lead by Madison Malloch's 17, Hannah Western's 11 and Brooke Monssen's 10. Western turned in her fourth double-double of the season and first since a home match against Campbell September 21.
- CSU improved to 2-0 in Big South play when they take the first set with wins over Radford and Saturday's thriller at Presbyterian.
CSU concludes their home slate with three inside the Buc Dome over the next seven days. The week starts Tuesday when UNC Asheville comes to town followed by a matchup with Winthrop Friday night and Gardner-Webb Saturday for Senior Day.