CHARLESTON, S.C. – Winthrop used double digit kills from four players Friday night to push past a gritty effort from Charleston Southern 3-1 (29-27, 25-16, 23-25, 25-13) inside Big South volleyball action from the Buc Dome.
Phoebe Wu led all players with 20 kills and Makayla Doyle had 14 to counter the 14 turned in by CSU (10-11, 5-8 Big South) junior outside hitter Brooke Monssen. Friday's performance made it three-straight in double figured for Monssen.
Junior setter/defensive specialist Rachel Smith had a team-best 23 assists Friday, her third-straight in double figures including 20 in two of her past three. Smith also had 13 digs for a double-double while Madison Martin had a match-high 20. Martin now has 1,866 digs to her credit after passing Carrie O'Connell earlier this week against UNC Asheville.
The Bucs came out strong in the first set and had a chance for a 1-0 lead, but Winthrop staved-off set points and took the opener 29-27. CSU hit .188 in the first frame and .205 in their third-set win, but it wasn't enough in the end to overcome Winthrop's (13-12, 9-4 Big South) .239 mark and 62 kills.
How It Happened
- CSU came out strong and took advantage of Winthrop errors to build a 19-13 lead, but the Eagles flipped the script and took 16 of the next 24 to take a 29-27 set. In the late run, Winthrop fought-off four CSU set points to take a 25-24 lead.
- The Bucs fought back with two-more of their own for a 26-25 lead, but couldn't close set and fell 29-27.
- Phoebe Wu had a match-high eight kills to open the match while Monssen countered with five and a block.
- Winthrop used the momentum from the first for an 8-3 lead, but saw that evaporate thanks to kills from Hannah Western, Rachel Smith and Brooke Monssen. The Eagles created some separation behind kills from Wu and Doyle before taking it 25-16.
- CSU rebounded for a 25-23 victory to begin the comeback effort as the duo of Monssen and Addison Kaderli had 10 kills combined, Madison Martin added 10 digs and Rachel Smith had 10 assists. CSU hit .205 in the third, their best mark of the night.
- Winthrop closed the match with a 25-16 fourth-set win with a .233 mark as Jace Kleffner led all players with five kills and Doyle and Sydney Gunter added three each. CSU saw a pair of kills from Madison Malloch and Caitlyn Michalski, but the comeback fell short.
News and Notes
- Brooke Monssen made it three-straight matches with 10-plus kills and six total since Big South play began. Her seven digs also tied a season-high for the junior outside hitter. Monssen is up to 2.63 kills per set, a current career-best as a Buccaneer.
- Rachel Smith sits just five assists from reaching 1,900 in her career thanks to 23 Friday night. Smith has 75 over her past four matches and 10-plus digs in four of her past six appearances. She also had a team-high two service aces in the loss moving her into a tie for most on the team with Skylar Blackmon.
- Madison Martin keeps creating separation between herself and O'Connell on the all-time digs list with 1,866 donning a CSU uniform. Martin has double-digit digs in 19 of her 21 appearances and 20-plus in eight matches.
The Bucs host Gardner-Webb Saturday on ESPN3 as seniors Martin, Kaderli and Western take to the Buc Dome court one final time at Charleston Southern. First serve between the Bucs and Runnin' Bulldogs is set for 4 p.m.