CHARLESTON, S.C. - Katrina Houston led the Buccaneers with eight kills as the Charleston Southern volleyball team opened up the East Bay Deli Invitational on Friday evening against Wofford, but the Terriers took the win in the Buccaneer Field House behind double-digit kill efforts by Amanda Liguori and Taylor Baird as CSU fell in four sets, 25-14, 22-25, 25-16, 25-16.
Charleston Southern (4-8) hit .062 from the floor as a team in the match, paced by Houston's eight kills, while Wynter Davis added seven kills as the Buccaneers struggled to find their mark against Wofford's (6-3) blockers as the Terriers recorded 15 total blocks in the match.
"We started a little slow today, and that team (Wofford), when they're head, they play really well and they're hard to keep up with," commented head coach Al Givens following the match. "I liked the way we fought in the second set to come back and even up the match, but we were beaten by a better team tonight and hats off to Wofford and how they played tonight."
A kill by Rachel Woodlee in the first set helped the Terriers become the first team to reach 10 as Wofford jumped ahead 10-6 early in the match. The Lady Bucs rallied to cut the lead down to two at 10-8 following a kill by Houston, but Wofford responded with a 9-2 run, capped by a kill by Wendy Burnett in building a 19-10 set lead as the Terriers went up 1-0 following their 25-14 set victory.
With the score tied at 9-apiece, the Buccaneers took control on Kirstin Struksnes' serve as Charleston Southern built a 14-11 lead following a Wofford service error. CSU built a five point lead at 21-16, but the Terriers battled back, cutting the match to two at 24-22 following a kill by Arden Anderson. However, Meredith Parrott closed out the set with a final kill to even the score following the 25-22 set win.
A seven-point swing put the third set directly in Wofford's favor as the Terriers came back from an 11-9 deficit with a 9-1 run, including seven consecutive points on Kelsey Bagwell's serve as Liquori put Wofford up 18-12 with a kill. CSU answered with three of the next four points as Laura Grace Swindler placed in a service ace to cut the lead to 19-15, but another 4-0 run capped by kills by Tara Gough and Liguori led to the final block by Elizabeth Buterbaugh and Anderson as the Terriers took the third set, 25-16.
In the final set of the evening, a 5-0 run put Wofford up 17-9 and the Terriers closed out the match with four consecutive points in recording the 25-16 victory and 3-1 match win over the host Buccaneers
Kirsten Struksnes set up the Buccaneers offense with 27 set assists from the floor, while Kayla Klinger led the team from the back row with seven digs. Ashley Higgenbothem and Maggie Murphy added five digs apiece, while Sydney Tracy and Davis led the Buccaneers with two blocks apiece in the loss.
"We've proven that we can't overlook anybody," said Givens about the CSU volleyball team. "We've got to take care of business and not put too much stock on what happened tonight. We're going to bounce back and respond to the challenge, and with the nature of tournament play, we'll not dwell on this evening, but prepare ourselves again for the opportunity to play again tomorrow."
Charleston Southern continues the East Bay Deli Invitational tomorrow afternoon as the Lady Bucs host Stetson at 3 p.m. in the Buccaneer Field House. CSU closes out the tournament tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. against local rival The Citadel.
For more information on the East Bay Deli Invitational, visit the East Bay Deli Invitational Tournament Page here.