CHARLESTON, S.C. - Fresh off their final tournament schedule, Charleston Southern volleyball returns to the road as the Buccaneers open 2013 Big South Conference action with matches against Presbyterian and Winthrop this weekend.
CSU opens Big South play on Friday evening in Clinton, S.C. against the Blue Hose of Presbyterian with first serve inside the Ross E. Templeton Center set for 7 p.m. Charleston Southern makes the short trip up the road to Rock Hill, S.C., the following day to the WU Coliseum to take on the Eagles on Saturday, with first serve set for 2 p.m.
The Buccaneers enter the week with a 5-9 overall record after taking one of their three matches this past weekend at the Bash in the Boro hosted by Georgia Southern.
Charleston Southern opened the tournament weekend with a 3-0 win over Jackson State, running their winning streak to three in a row under first year head coach Christy Mooberry, but tough losses to Central Michigan and Georgia Southern ended the run and the Buccaneers' weekend in Statesboro, Ga.
Recapping the tournament, Siraya Windsor paced the Charleston Southern offense with 15 kills as Buccaneers topped Jackson State in CSU's opening match of the Bash in the Boro, defeating the Tigers 25-23, 25-14, 25-14, in the three-set sweep. The Bucs hit .344 from the floor in the match in the win, with Meredith Parrott adding 10 kills and five digs.
Saturday's match against Central Michigan saw Kayla Klinger lead the Bucs offense on the afternoon with 11 kills as the senior outside hitter connected at a .429 clip from the floor in the 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 loss to the Chippewas. Katrina Houston added eight kills of her own, while Parrott continued her strong play on the season with seven kills in the match.
The evening match against Georgia Southern saw the Bucs struggle in the first set as the Buccaneers were swept to wrap up their final tournament weekend, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22. Parrott led the way for the Buccaneers offense with eight kills, while Erin LaVenice and Klinger had six kills apiece in the loss as CSU hit .172 from the floor as a team.
Houston, Windsor and Parrott lead the Buccaneers' offensive attack on the season as the trio of sophomores have stepped up their game in recent matches, with Houston leading all players in averaging 2.98 kills per set, while Windsor (2.68 k/s) and Parrott (2.52 k/s) are close behind. Parrott leads the Bucs in hitting percentage, connecting at a .298 clip from the floor, while LaVenice is close behind at .282.
Setting up the CSU attack, another sophomore, Cassidy Greer, leads the way in averaging 8.5 assists per set, while Parrott leads the team with 15 service aces on the year.
Defensively, senior libero Maggie Murphy has nine double-digit dig efforts on the season, including 19 against The Citadel and 15 this past weekend in the three-set match against Georgia Southern, and leads the Buccaneers backline with 3.23 digs per set. At the net, LaVenice has made a huge impact, recording 1.11 blocks per set, including 10 solo blocks on the season, while Parrott is close behind at 0.73 blocks per set.
All-time against Presbyterian, the Blue Hose hold the 9-7 advantage over CSU, while Winthrop holds a 61-17 record against the Buccaneers.
The Blue Hose enter the match with a 2-13 record overall under head coach Korrinn Burgess, picking up a win in the UAB/Samford Classic against Georgia State, as well as a victory in the Carolina Classic this past weekend against Robert Morris.
Presbyterian has been led on the season by Rachel Hall's 2.63 kills per set, while Andrea Barman is also averaging over two kills per frame with 2.19. Ashtin Frank leads the way with 8.89 set assists, while defensively Mary Trimpe paces the Blue Hose with 5.46 digs per set. At the net, Kelly Berryman is the team leader with 0.80 blocks per set.
Last season, Charleston Southern and Presbyterian split the season series, with CSU winning at home, 3-0, while Presbyterian defended their home court 3-1.
Winthrop enters this weekend sporting a 9-4 record overall with a 6-1 record inside the Coliseum this season, including sweeping all three of their opponents at the Winthrop Classic to open the year. The Eagles have taken two of their past three matches and open up Big South play on Friday evening against Coastal Carolina, before hosting CSU on Saturday.
Irene Ojukwu leads the Winthrop attack as the Eagles are hitting .219 as a team from the floor this season, averaging 3.24 kills per set, while Alina Sopizhuk is close behind at 2.80 kills per set. Jessie Vicic is averaging 11.57 set assists per frame, while Rachel Lenz leads the team with 15 service aces. Defensively, Maria VOlstad leads the Eagles with 3.02 digs per set, while Lenz is the team leader at the net with 0.96 blocks per set.
Last season, Charleston Southern topped Winthrop inside the Buccaneer Field House in a five-set thriller, 3-2, while the Eagles returned the favor in Rock Hill later in the season with a 3-0 victory.