Charleston Southern falls in three sets to Eagles

Charleston Southern falls in three sets to Eagles

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Charleston Southern's attack struggled on the floor against Winthrop on Saturday afternoon inside the Winthrop Coliseum as the Buccaneers fell in straight sets to the Eagles in Big South Conference action, 25-17, 25-20, 25-18.

Kayla Klinger led the way for the Bucs in the contest with seven kills, while Erin LaVenice had six kills and five blocks in the match as Charleston Southern falls to 0-2 in conference play in the 2013 season.

Charleston Southern drops to 5-11 with the loss to the Eagles, while Winthrop improves to 10-5 overall, 1-1 in conference action following the win.

Meredith Parrott and Siraya Windsor had four kills apiece for CSU in the match as the Buccaneers hit -.022 from the floor overall as a team. Cassidy Greer set up the CSU attack with 21 set assists, while Windsor led the CSU defensive efforts with 11 digs overall in the match.

Alina Sopizhuk and Irene Ojukwe led the Eagles on the afternoon with both players in double-digits in kills in the contest as Sopizhuk had 13 kills, while Ojukwe had 12 kills as Winthrop hit .237 overall as a team in the contest.

Jessie Vicic set up the Winthrop offense with 37 set assists, while Kasse-Ann Dela Cruz led the way with 11 digs on the match. Rachel Lenz nearly had a double-double for the Eagles with eight kills and nine total blocks in the match.

Charleston Southern took the narrow lead in the first set, breaking an 8-8 tie on a kill by Greer in building a three-point advantage at 12-9. Windsor had a kill during the stretch as the Bucs' lead remained three points at 14-11 following a Winthrop attack error.

The Eagles rallied back though on Dela Cruz's serve, going on a 7-0 run in building an 18-14 lead with Lenz providing three blocks during the stretch, and Winthrop took seven of the final 10 points in continuing their run with Sopizhuk placing in the final kill in the 25-17 set win.

With the score tied 9-9 in the second set of the match, Winthrop took a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way following a kill by Sopizhuk. The Eagles lead reached six points at 22-16 following a block by Brianna Gray and Ojukwu, but the Buccaneers rallied back to halve the deficit following three straight blocks by LaVenice.

With the score at 22-19 following the third block by the CSU senior, the Eagles closed out the frame with three of the final four points with Ojukwu placing in the final kill of the 25-20 set win.

For the second day in a row, Charleston Southern got off to a hot start in the third set, going on a 5-0 run to take a 6-2 lead in the frame on Greer's serve with LaVenice and Windsor connecting on kills during the run.

The Eagles rallied with a 5-0 run of their own to take the 7-6 lead following a block by Lenz and Ojukwu and rallied to build a seven point advantage at 20-13 on a CSU attack error. The Buccaneers cut into the WU lead with a 3-0 run late with Klinger and LaVenice combining on a block to narrow the set to 21-17, but it was not enough as the Eagles held on for the 25-18 set win.

Charleston Southern is back in action next weekend as the Buccaneers open up the home portion of the 2013 Big South Conference slate as CSU welcomes Campbell to the Buc Dome on Friday, October 4. First serve between the Bucs and the Camels is set for 7 p.m.

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