ATLANTA, GA. - Wynter Davis and Meredith Parrott led the attack as the Charleston Southern volleyball team began the 2012 season at the Georgia Tech Courtyard Invitational on Friday afternoon in O'Keefe Gymnasium. However, led by the Cailin Bula's 12 kill performance, Southern Methodist topped the Buccaneers in straight sets, 25-17, 25-15, 25-15.
Freshmen Siraya Windsor and Katrina Houston made their debut in the CSU (0-1) lineup in the Buccaneers' first action on the season, recording four kills apiece under Head Coach Al Givens, while Sydney Tracy also added four kills as the Buccaneers fell to the Mustangs (1-0) to open the season.
"We played well up until the game got tight, about three-quarters of the way through the first set," commented Givens on the game. "We lost our discipline a little bit as the match went on and our defense and passing slipped a little bit as we competed."
Tracy opened up the 2012 season for the Buccaneers with the first kill of the match as the two teams battled evenly throughout the first set. SMU snapped a 6-6 tie on back-to-back kills by Courtney Manning and Caroline Young added a point to give the Mustangs their first lead of the match.
The lead grew to four points at 15-11 on a block by Bula and Maddie Lozano, but the Buccaneers rallied back, bringing the set back to within one point at 17-16 as Erin LaVenice and Tracy combined for a block, and LaVenice put one home off the assist from Laura Grace Swindler. However, SMU rallied to score seven consecutive points to close out the 25-17 set victory.
In the second set, SMU scored the first eight points of the frame and 16 of the first 19 to take a commanding lead early. Windsor and Parrott had three kills apiece in the set for the Buccaneers as Charleston Southern attempted to rally back, but a kill by Lozano closed the frame in the Mustangs' favor, 25-15.
The final frame was a close affair through the first 20 points as CSU was led by back-to-back service aces by Tracy, as well as a pair of Davis' kills, but SMU used a 5-0 run backed by three aces by Carla Armstrong to build a 15-10 lead as the Mustangs' closed out the three set win, 25-15.
Davis and Parrott led CSU with five kills apiece in the match as the Buccaneers hit .133 as a team in the contest. Swinder and Kirsten Struksness combined for 19 assists, while Ashley Higgenbothem led the way defensively with five digs in the match. Davis led the team at the net defensively, contributing one solo block and three block assists as the Buccaneers recorded seven team blocks in the match.
"Wynter (Davis) played very well today, she competed hard and was very productive in today's match," said Givens. "Katrina (Houston) also came on hard in sets two and three and we look forward to continuing to work hard and learn more about ourselves this weekend as we compete."
The Buccaneers continue at the Georgia Tech Courtyard Invitational tomorrow morning when CSU takes on host Georgia Tech at O'Keefe Gymnasium at 10 a.m. Charleston Southern will close out the two-day event on Saturday afternoon against Cal State Fullerton, with match time set for 4:30 p.m.