CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern takes to the road for the first time in Big South Conference play in the 2012 season after opening at home last weekend against Presbyterian and Winthrop as the Lady Bucs travel to Campbell and High Point this weekend.
The Lady Bucs (6-11, 1-1 BSC) travel to Buies Creek, N.C. to take on Campbell (7-11, 0-1 BSC) on Friday evening at 7 p.m., and finish up their road trip against High Point (12-5, 1-0 BSC) on Saturday afternoon in High Point, N.C. at 4 p.m. Both games will be streamed live via the Big South Network and Live Stats will also be provided for both matches.
Head Coach Al Givens squad opened conference play this past weekend, falling to the Blue Hose in the conference opener in three sets, while topping the Eagles in a five-set thriller played at Buccaneer Field House in front of the home fans.
Senior middle blocker Wynter Davis had the hot hand over the weekend for Charleston Southern, hitting .727 from the floor against Presbyterian and added 13 kills and four blocks against Winthrop to keep the Eagles at bay in CSU's five-set victory. Davis leads the team with a .248 hitting percentage on the season and is fourth in the Big South rankings with 1.02 blocks per set to help pace the Buccaneers efforts on the season.
Outside hitters Sydney Tracy, Kayla Klinger and Siraya Windsor are also providing balance on the wings for the Buccaneers as the trio combined for 38 kills and 35 digs against Winthrop, with Tracy picking up 17 kills, while Klinger led the way with 17 digs as the CSU hitters are starting to heat up as conference play comes around. Tracy is also a threat at the service line, leading the Big South and sitting among the national leaders in service aces per set, averaging 0.47 aces per set, 0.86 per set in conference play.
Kirsten Struksnes and Ashley Higginbothem have also paced the Buccaneers efforts on the season. Struksnes took over as the primary setter for the Lady Bucs early in the season and has steadily progressed as the junior setter from Calgary, Alberta, Canada recorded a career-high 53 set assists against Winthrop and is averaging 9.12 set assists per set in conference play. Higginbothem, lining up at libero for CSU for the 2012 season, leads the Charleston Southern defensive efforts on the year with 200 digs, averaging 3.33 per set and the sophomore has reached double-digit digs 11 times on the season, including a season-high 20 on September 8th against Rider in the Greyhound Marriott Classic.
Coming up against the Lady Bucs this weekend are the Fighting Camels of Campbell and the Panthers of High Point. Campbell and High Point met in their only Big South Conference match of the season to date, with the Panthers coming out on top on September 21st, 3-1.
Campbell, who was picked seventh in the Big South Preseason poll, is led offensively on the season by sophomore Jessica Groen on the outside with 2.38 kills per set, while junior middle blocker Lindsey Coats is averaging 1.98 kills per set for head coach Leigh Mullins. Junior setter Heather Wilson also is among the team leaders in several categories on the ear and became the first CU player to recorded a triple-double in the modern side-out era with 13 kills, 24 assists and 13 digs in the Camels five-set loss to Western Carolina on September 8th.
Defensively, sophomore libero Mallorie Cubillos is leading the way with 4.23 digs per set on the season and was recognized as the Big South Defensive Player of the Week this past week after averaging 5.25 digs per set in matches against High Point, N.C. Central and N.C. A&T. Campbell also has another BSC Defensive Player of the Week on their roster as Coats took the honor on the first week of the season at the net and has 56 blocks on the season for the Fighting Camels.
High Point, who was picked fifth in the Big South Preseason poll, wrapped up a six-game road swing last weekend with a non-conference win at North Carolina A&T on Sunday. Sophomore Chelsea Davis earned Big South Player of the Week honors for her performance over the weekend while Annemarie Chin was named the Big South Freshman of the Week. For the week, Davis had 25 kills, a .322 attack percentage and 14 digs and is currently third in the conference with 3.00 kills per set. Chin had 37 digs for the week, averaging 4.62 per set and is in top 10 in the conference in digs (211) and digs per set (3.25).
The Panthers have claimed three straight Big South Player of the Week honors with Courtney Johnk taking home the award last week and Davis winning it on Sept. 10, Chin also earned Defensive Player of the Week honors once this season under head coach Jason Oliver. High Point has won 11 consecutive matches against Charleston Southern.