CHARLESTON, S.C. - Kayla Klinger had a season-high 10 kills and Erin LaVenice recorded a season-high nine blocks as Charleston Southern swept Savannah State in the Buccaneers' 2013 home opener on Tuesday evening, 25-12, 25-13, 25-11.
Charleston Southern hit a season-high .493 from the floor with three players on the roster recording at least eight kills with zero attack errors, led by Klinger as the CSU senior outside hitter connected at a .714 clip from the floor with 10 kills in 14 attacks on the evening. LaVenice added a team high nine blocks as the teams had 10 total blocks on the evening in picking up their second win of the season.
"Erin had great form tonight. Her numbers stood out, but her form set the tone. She is a very capable player and it is great to see her play at that high of a level." commented head coach Christy Mooberry on the performances by LaVenice and Klinger. "And when Kayla plays with confidence, like she did tonight, she shows how talented she really is."
Meredith Parrott and Siraya Windsor had eight kills apiece in the win, while Windsor had a team-high 10 digs overall in the win. Katrina Houston had seven kills and nine digs, while Cassidy Greer set up the CSU attack on the evening with 29 assists overall.
"Tonight's match was different than our other matches," said head coach Christy Mooberry following the Buccaneers' win. "We seemed to go in with a lot of confidence tonight. It's something that we have been working on as a team and I think it really showed in their performance tonight. It is something we will continue to work on, especially since the results showed what playing with that mindset can do."
Charleston Southern improves to 2-6 overall on the year with the win, while Savannah State falls to 0-8 overall in the 2013 season.
Bryana Gadis led the Lady Tigers on the evening inside the Buc Dome with six kills and added five digs overall to pace Savannah State's offense. Caitlynn Masoe led the Tigers with 14 set assists, while Asiha Williams had eight digs to pace the SSU defensive efforts.
In front of a packed student section, Charleston Southern raced out to the 7-0 lead in the first set and score 11 of the first 13 points paced by three kills by Klinger, while Windsor had a pair of service aces as CSU built the 11-2 lead.
"I'm not sure if the fans know what a huge role they play in our performance," commented Mooberry on the environment inside the Buc Dome on Tuesday evening. "The girls feed off the energy that they bring. We love to see CSU students and fans at our events and I know the girls love to go out and support our other teams because of the energy they bring during our games."
Savannah State rallied back with three consecutive kills to cut the lead back to 15-7 as Gadis and Christian Lyle had kills, but Charleston Southern continued to push their advantage back to double-digits as an SSU attack error gave the Bucs the 18-7 lead. CSU kept the lead at least 11 the rest of the way with Houston and Klinger putting in the final points in the 25-12 set win.
The second set mirrored the first as the Buccaneers again jumped out to an early lead, going up 9-2 as Parrott had two kills early in the frame. The Bucs advantage reached double-digits at 19-9 following back-to-back Windsor service aces and CSU cruised to the 25-13 set win following the final kill by LaVenice.
Windsor, Parrott and Houston served the Buccaneers to a 9-2 lead in the third set and the Buccaneers hit .579 from the floor in the final set in closing out the 25-11 win.
Charleston Southern returns to the road this weekend for The Citadel Tournament as the Buccaneers travel down the road to local rival The Citadel for three matches this weekend inside McAlister Field House. CSU takes on DePaul in the opener on Friday afternoon at noon, while taking on The Citadel at 6 p.m. Saturday's tournament finale sees the Bucs taking on South Carolina State with match starting at 3 p.m.