CHARLESTON, S.C. - Fresh off wins against Gardner-Webb and South Carolina State, the CSU volleyball team begins their second trip through the Big South Conference as the Lady Bucs travel to Presbyterian and Winthrop this weekend in the hunt for a playoff berth in the 2012 Big South Volleyball Championships.
Charleston Southern (11-16, 4-5 BSC) travels to Clinton, S.C. on Friday evening in the weekend opener to take on the Blue Hose (9-15, 6-3 BSC) at the Templeton Center at 7 p.m. in Presbyterian's annual Dig Pink event. The Lady Bucs will continue their road trip on Saturday afternoon in Rock Hill, S.C. as CSU takes on the Eagles (11-13, 5-4 BSC) at the Winthrop Coliseum with first serve set for 2 p.m. Both matches will be streamed live via the Big South Network and Live Stats will also be available.
The Lady Bucs are coming off weekend in which Charleston Southern went 2-1, falling to UNC Asheville on Friday, while CSU defeated Gardner-Webb and S.C. State as the Lady Bucs reached double-digits in the win column this season.
Charleston Southern opened conference play earlier this season at home against Presbyterian, but the visiting Blue Hose were led by 10 kills apiece by Presley Mabrey, Allison Brown and Kelly Berryman as PC topped CSU in straight sets. Wynter Davis led the Lady Bucs in the match with eight kills, hitting .727 from the floor and added three blocks in the conference opening loss.
The following evening CSU hosted Winthrop inside the Buccaneer Field House and led by Sydney Tracy's standout performance, the Lady Bucs topped the Eagles in a five-set thriller for CSU's first Big South Conference win in the Al Givens coaching era. Tracy led all players with 17 kills, hitting .444 from the floor and added five service aces and seven digs, while freshman middle blocker Meredith Parrott sealed the Charleston Southern victory with a service ace in the fifth set to close out the match.
Currently in the Big South standings, Presbyterian is tied for second overall with a 6-3 record in conference play, while Winthrop is fifth overall with a 5-4 record. Charleston Southern is currently seventh in the standings with a 4-5 record in the Big South after their first trip through the conference.
Junior outside hitter Kayla Klinger is currently on a streak of three consecutive double-doubles and leads the CSU offense with 2.82 kills per set on the season, while middle blockers Davis and Parrott are each hitting .252 from the floor. Kirsten Struksnes sets up the CSU attack and leads the Big South Conference with four 50-plus assist matches in averaging 7.74 assists per set, while Tracy leads the team with 41 service aces, averaging 0.44 aces per set.
Defensively, Ashley Higginbothem leads the Lady Bucs backline, averaging 3.64 digs per set, while Davis is among the conference leaders at the net with 0.96 blocks per set on the season.
Mabrey leads the Blue Hose offensive efforts on the season, averaging 3.05 kills per set for PC, while Rachel Hall is the team leader from the floor, hitting .253 on the season. Ashtin Frank sets up the Blue Hose attack with 10.35 assists per set, while Mary Trimpe leads the team with 36 service aces, averaging 0.43 aces per set.
Defensively, Trimpe also leads the team on the backline with 4.72 digs per set, while Kelly Berryman is among the conference leaders at the net with 0.94 blocks on the season.
Jennica Mullins leads the Winthrop Eagles offensive attack on the season, averaging 2.44 kills per set and is also the team leader in attack percentage, hitting .283 from the floor on the season. Stephanie Palmer and Jessica Codato set up the WU attack with Palmer leading the way with 6.69 assists per set. Palmer also leads from the serve, averaging 0.33 aces per set.
Defensively, Catherine Brusie leads the way on the Winthrop backline with 4.20 digs per set, while Mullins leads the Big South Conference at the net with 1.40 blocks per set on the season.