CHARLESTON, S.C. - Katrina Houston connected on a team-high 10 kills and Maggie Murphy had a season-high 16 digs in the Buccaneers' opener at the Sticky Fingers Citadel Invitational, but DePaul rode the hot hand of Vesela Zapryanova as the Blue Demons topped the Bucs on Friday afternoon, 25-18, 25-16, 25-21.
Charleston Southern hit .172 from the floor as a team in the match, led by Houston's fourth double-digit kill effort on the season, while Meredith Parrott added eight kills and Siraya Windsor had seven to pace the Bucs attack on the afternoon. Cassidy Greer set up CSU with 26 set assists and added six digs overall in the match.
Murphy's 16 digs paced the Buccaneers defensive efforts from the backline, while Kayla Klinger added nine digs over her own. Erin LaVenice led the Bucs' efforts at the net with four total blocks in the loss.
Charleston Southern fell to 2-7 with the loss in the opening match, while DePaul improved to 7-0 in the 2013 season.
Zapryanova led the Blue Demons with 12 kills and completed the double-double with 10 digs as DePaul hit .263 from the floor in the match. Abbie Fleener added eight kills, while Colleen Smith had 27 set assists overall in the win.
Defensively, Allyson Rooks led Depaul with 13 digs, while Natalie Rizzo had four blocks for the Blue Demons on the afternoon.
The first set saw the Buccaneers' paced by five kills by Houston as CSU held the 7-5 lead early in the set following a service ace by Murphy. DePaul followed with a 5-0 run, taking advantage of a CSU ball-handling error to take the 10-7 lead.
Charleston Southern battled back the majority of the set, as CSU continual kept the Blue Demons within reach, cutting the match down to 15-14 following a block by LaVenice and Klinger. However, DePaul used a late 8-1 run to build a 23-15 lead and held off the Bucs' challenge in taking the 25-18 set win.
DePaul led the second set from start to finish, taking the first point following a kill by Zapryanova in holding a narrow lead throughout a majority of the frame. Charleston Southern battled back to keep the match within three at 13-10 following a kill by Windsor, but the Blue Demons built a 22-13 lead on the back of a 9-3 run in closing out the 25-16 set win.
The final set of the match was the most competitive of the frame as Charleston Southern and DePaul battled down to the wire in the frame.
The Blue Demons held a one-point advantage at 12-11 following a kill by CSU's Windsor, but DePaul rallied to build their largest lead at 20-15 following a kill by Laura Witt. Charleston Southern continued to put on the pressure on the Blue Demons, rallying all the way back to cut the score to 20-18, and then 24-21 with a block by Greer and LaVenice highlighting the run, as well as a kill by Windsor, but the comeback fell short as DePaul closed out the 25-21 win.
Charleston Southern continues as the Sticky Fingers Citadel Invitational this evening as the Buccaneers take on the host Bulldogs inside the McAlister Field House at 6 p.m.