Buccaneers rally past The Citadel on Friday night, 3-1

Buccaneers rally past The Citadel on Friday night, 3-1

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Siraya Windsor recorded her first double-double of the season, pacing four CSU players who reached double-digits in kills in the match as Charleston Southern topped The Citadel in the final match on the first day of the Sticky Fingers Citadel Invitational, 24-26, 25-18, 25-17, 25-20.

Windsor had 11 kills and 13 digs in the match to pace the Buccaneers efforts, while Katrina Houston had a match-high 17 kills as Charleston Southern hit .307 from the floor overall as a team, rebounding from a rough first set in the win. Meredith Parrott added 14 kills and Erin LaVenice hit .667 with 11 kills to round out the CSU attack.

"This was one of the first matches where all of our players were in positive numbers," said Mooberry on the team's overall performance. "I think it's a positive point for where we are at in the season. We've been working toward this from the beginning of the season and this just solidifies for our team that we are moving in the right direction."

Kayla Klinger narrowly missed out on a double-double herself, as the senior outside hitter finished with nine kills and 13 digs, while Cassidy Greer set a career-high with 52 set assists in the win.

"We talked about starting sooner and maintaining that level of intensity," commented head coach Christy Mooberry on the Bucs' offense coming alive in the match. "It was a great performance and I'm really excited for them to play that well and get to that point of what we've been pushing for."

Defensively, Maggie Murphy led the Bucs with 21 digs overall, while Parrott paced CSU at the net with four blocks.

Charleston Southern improves to 3-7 overall with the win, while The Citadel falls to 1-7 with the loss.

The Bulldogs were paced by Bailey Kernodle's 15 kill-14 dig performance, while Katie Briggs added nine of her own as The Citadel hit .232 from the floor in the match as a team. Rachel Keefer set up the attack with 38 set assists, while Erin Bucherl paced the backline with 21 digs. Lauren Hurt led the way at the net with three blocks.

CSU took the opening two points of the first set as Houston connected on the opening kill and Windsor added a service ace as the Bucs and Bulldogs battled through a tightly contested first frame. The Buccaneers continued to cling to the early lead at 9-7 following a kill by Parrot, but the Bulldogs rallied back to even the match at 10-10 following a CSU attack error.

The Citadel took the first lead of the set, going up 17-13 after a 7-3 run with a pair of blocks by Hurt, Amanda Rudnik, Mallory Moore and Briggs leading the way. Charleston Southern battled back, tying the set at 19-19 following a rare triple block by Windsor, Parrott and Greer.

With the Bulldogs ahead 24-20 and within set point, Charleston Southern rattled off four consecutive points on Windsor's serve with Parrott connecting on the kill and combining with Houston for the block to even the frame. However, Hurt placed in the go-ahead kill and Moore finished the frame as The Citadel took the 26-24 opening win.

The close play carried over into the second set as the teams were knotted up at 8-8 following a kill by The Citadel's Bailey Kernodle. CSU took the lead on a service error as the Bucs scored six of the next nine points capped by a LaVenice kill to take the 14-11 advantage in the frame.

The margin remained the same at 20-17 before the Bucs rattled off four straight points on back-to-back aces by Parrott, as well as kills by Klinger and LaVenice to put CSU within set point. A solo block by Hurt held the Bucs off for one point, before Houston placed in the final kill across the court to even the match at 1-1 following the CSU 25-18 set win.

Charleston Southern picked up the first three points of the third set and held the lead in going up 2-1 with the 25-17 set win.

Houston sandwiched a pair of kills around a Windsor kill and the Bucs picked up nine of the first 13 points in building the 9-4 lead early. With CSU holding a 14-7 lead, the Citadel rattled off five points in a row capped by a kill by Kernodle to cut the Bucs' lead down to two at 14-12, but a kill by Klinger ended the stretch to increase the CSU lead.

The Bucs lead reached seven points at 21-14 with LaVenice connecting on a pair of kills. The Citadel was unable to rally back and a Bulldogs' attack error gave CSU the 25-17 set win.

CSU took the lead early in the fourth set with seven of the first 10 points going in the Bucs favor with Houston connecting on four kills during the early run. The Bucs lead reached five points at 12-7 following a Parrott kill, but The Citadel rallied back to even the match at 15-15 following a pair of kills by Dominique Williams.

With the score tied, the Bucs rallied and pulled away, scoring five of the next six points with Windsor providing the final point with a service ace to close out the frame.

Charleston Southern recorded 70 team digs in the match with Parrott narrowly missing out on a double-double herself with eight digs in the match, while Greer also finished with eight. The Bucs also finished with 7.5 blocks in the set in the win.

The Buccaneers return to McAlister Field House tomorrow afternoon for their final match of the weekend as CSU takes on South Carolina State with first serve set for 3 p.m.

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