Buccaneers volleyball gears up for action this weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn Invitational

Buccaneers volleyball gears up for action this weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn Invitational

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern volleyball is back in action this weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn Invitational, hosted by Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla. The Buccaneers will take on Mississippi Valley State and host Jacksonville on Friday afternoon, while closing out the weekend on Saturday against Florida Atlantic.

The Mooberry era began this past week as new head coach Christy Mooberry took over the reins of the program in her first season on the sidelines of the Buccaneers volleyball team at the Wildcats Classic, as well as this past Tuesday against the College of Charleston.

In the Buccaneers season opener against Cal State-Bakersfield, Houston led the way for the Buccaneers on the afternoon with seven kills and added six digs, while Meredith Parrott and Erin LaVenice had six kills apiece as Charleston Southern fell inside Belk Arena to the Roadrunners.

Saturday morning's action against Charlotte saw the Bucs first double-digit kills effort of the season as Houston led all players with 12 kills in the Bucs morning action in pacing the Buccaneers offense against the 49ers. Kayla Klinger added six kills and eight digs, while LaVenice and Taylor Allman had five kills apiece in a losing effort.

Davidson and CSU battled in the finale of the weekend at the Wildcats Classic, with Houston continuing her strong play on the weekend with a team-high 10 kills, while Parrott added seven kills and four blocks in the loss to the Wildcats. For her efforts on the weekend, Parrott earned All-Tournament team honors.

The annual rivalry match between CSU and local rival College of Charleston took place this past Tuesday with the Cougars proving victorious in straight sets despite Parrott's strong performance at the net for the Bucs. The sophomore middle blocker led the way with seven kills and a .235 hitting percentage in the match.

A pair of sophomores lead the way for the Buccaneers offense on the season as Houston and Parrott pace the Buccaneers hitting attack with Houston leading all Bucs players with 2.92 kills per set, while Parrott is close behind at 2.00 kills per set while hitting .183 from the floor.

LaVenice and Klinger have also shown prowess on the offensive side for the Buccaneers with LaVenice hitting a team-best .246 hitting percentage on the year in averaging 1.92 kills per set, while Klinger continues the balanced all-around play that has marked her career in the CSU Blue and Gold with 1.25 kills and 1.92 digs per set.

Cassidy Greer has set up the Charleston Southern offensive attack on the year, averaging a team-high 6.08 assists per set, while Kirsten Struksnes has also seen action in setting up the Bucs hitters with a 3.14 assist per set average.

Defensively, senior Maggie Murphy has taken over the libero position and is averaging 3.25 digs per set on the season, while at the net, Parrott and LaVenice both have eight blocks on the season, averaging 0.67 blocks per set.

Mississippi Valley State Volleyball (1-3)

The Delta Devilettes picked up their first win of the season in their home opener against Philander Smith College, but enters this weekend on a three match skid, falling to Nicholls State, Tulane and Rider.

Leading the way for MVSU on the season is Chylla Nault in averaging 1.18 kills per set, while Athena Abary sets up the attack with 3.08 assists per set. Defensively, Steffi Rodriguez paces the Devilettes with 2.67 digs per set, while Taylor Delaire is the primary threat at the net with a team high 10 blocks on the season, averaging 0.83 per set.

Jacksonville Volleyball (3-0)

The Dolphins opened up the season on a three-match winning streak at the FAU Invitational, defeating Bethune-Cookman, Florida Atlantic and Southeastern Louisiana by matching 3-1 scores.

This season sees the Dolphins hitting .238 from the floor as a team, led by Sammie Strausbaugh pacing five JU athletes averaging over two kills per set with a 3.25 kills per set average. Kendall Courtney sets up the Dolphins proficient offense with 10.25 assists per set and averages 0.58 service aces per set.

Strausbaugh is the Dolphins leader on the backline with a 3.75 digs per set average, while Taylor Nyquist averages 3.33 digs per set. At the net, Kylie Jacob is average 1.17, while Emily Laskelle is averaging 1.11 blocks per set.

Florida Atlantic Volleyball (2-1)

The Owls opened the season hosting the FAU Invitational and picked up a pair of wins, topping Southeastern Louisiana and Bethune-Cookman by matching 3-0 scores, while falling to Jacksonville, 3-1.

Alessia Pizzoccheri leads four Owls' athletes who average over two kills per set as Pizzoccheri is averaging 2.90 kills per set, while Jelena Jovanovic sets up the FAU attack with 8.80 assists per set.

Defensively, Nathalie Rosado is averaging 3.90 digs per set, while Jennifer St. Sume leads the way at the net with 1.30 blocks per set.

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