CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern begin their path to a Big South Championship Friday when they take on third-seeded Winthrop Friday in the quarterfinals from the Justice Center in Asheville, N.C. The match will be the third against the Eagles after Winthrop took the first two meetings in the regular season.
Seniors Leaving Their Mark
The senior class of Addison Kaderli, Madison Martin and Hannah Western have cemented their legacies on the CSU volleyball program during their four seasons donning the Buccaneer uniform. Libero and co-captain Madison Martin is the all-time leader in digs and has a chance to become just the sixth player in Big South history with 2,000 in her career.
Outside hitter Addison Kaderli is within striking distance of sixth all-time in kills and has placed herself second in career attacks. Fellow outside hitter Hannah Western is just one of eight CSU players in program history with 2,000 attacks and 800 digs contributing in every facet of the game with kills, digs and blocks.
Both Martin and Western were named All-Big South athletes this past week with Martin making the second team for her efforts as the libero and Western being named to the All-Academic Team thanks to strong play on the court and a strong career in the classroom.
Third Time's The Charm
The trio of seniors, as well as the rest of the Bucs, look for a semifinals trip in their third Big South appearance over the past four seasons. In their last two stays, the Bucs fell short to Campbell and Coastal Carolina. CSU's last semifinals appearance came in 2010 when the tournament was held at Winthrop – CSU defeated UNC Asheville 3-0 before falling in the semis to High Point.
Friday also marks the third matchup between the Bucs and Eagles this season, this time with a trip to the Big South semifinals and date with Radford on the line.
CSU Versus Winthrop
In their two matchups this season, Winthrop came out victorious with a 3-0 win in Rock Hill and 3-1 decision inside the Buc Dome. In the home loss, CSU came out swinging early and had a chance for the 1-0 lead, but an Eagle run pushed Winthrop to a 2-0 lead before closing it out in four sets.
CSU has fared well against Winthrop in their previous Big South tournament matches leading the series 2-1 with wins in 2009 and 1992. The Bucs have been the lower seed in each matchup and took down the third-seeded Eagles 3-2 in 2009 just two seasons after Winthrop took the middle matchup in a 2/7 bout. Just like Friday's match, the 2009 victory for CSU came in a 3/6 matchup.
2009: (6) CSU 3, (3) Winthrop 2
2007: (2) Winthrop 3, (7) CSU 0
1992: (9) CSU 3, (8) Winthrop 0
Defense Getting It Done
CSU's defense ranks among the best in the Big South this season led by individual performances and strong team defense. As a whole, the Bucs lead the conference in digs per set (17.52), sit second in opponent hitting percentage (.158) and fourth in opponent kills per set (12.06).
In their current three-match win streak, the Bucs have held Gardner-Webb, Hampton and Campbell below the .100 mark from the floor including a .018, 22-block effort in the regular season finale that clinched CSU's spot in the tournament.