CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern evened the match against High Point in taking the second set heading into the break, but the Panthers outlasted the Buccaneers on Saturday evening inside the Buc Dome as CSU fell 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21.
Erin LaVenice had 12 kills and five blocks on the evening to pace the Buccaneers, while Siraya Windsor narrowly missed out on the double-double with 11 kills and nine digs in the contest as Charleston Southern fell for just the second time at home in the 2013 season.
CSU falls to 5-13 overall, 0-4 in Big South Conference play, while High Point improves to 8-10, 2-1 in conference action on the year.
Katrina Houston was also in double-digits in the kill category for the Bucs as Charleston Southern hit .149 from the floor as a team in the contest. Kayla Klinger added eight kills of her own, while Cassidy Greer led the way in setting up the Bucs with 27 assists in the match. Maggie Murphy led the CSU backline with 15 digs, while Klinger (11) and Taylor Allman (10) were also in double-digits in the match.
Kristin Heldt led the way for High Point on the evening with a team-high 22 kills on the night, while Chelsea Davis had 17 and Katie Vincent had 13 as the Panthers hit .242 from the floor. Maddie Simpson set up the HPU attack with 49 assists, while Annemarie Chin had a match-high 25 digs on the evening. Heldt (14 digs) and Davis (13 digs) both completed double-doubles in the match, while Vincent had a team-high five blocks at the net for High Point.
The Bucs and Panthers battled throughout the entire first set with neither side giving way as the largest lead by either team was two points until late in the frame. Overall, 12 ties and six lead changes happened in the first frame, with the final one coming at 20-20 following Windsor's fourth kill of the set to knot the match up.
High Point followed with Davis, Simpson and Heldt recording kills to press the Panthers' edge to three points at 23-20, but Windsor again provided the answer with a kill to cut the CSU deficit to two. Davis and Heldt however, closed out the frame with the final two points to end the first set in favor of the guests, 25-21.
The second set saw High Point use a 5-0 run early in the frame to build an 11-5 lead following a combined block by Simpson and Vincet as Davis provided a trio of early kills for the Panthers. The Buccaneers rallied back with a 7-1 run of their own on Allman and Klinger's serves with LaVenice driving home a pair of kills to even the set up at 12-12.
Charleston Southern and High Point remained close, sitting tied at 18-18 following a kill by Chelsea Blanford to even the set for the final time. A kill by Windsor swung the advantage back in favor of the Buccaneers as CSU rattled off four consecutive points to build a 22-18 lead and the team's traded points the rest of the set before LaVenice closed out the frame with the final kill to give CSU the 25-22 set win and knot the match up at 1-1 heading into the break.
High Point came out on fire out of the break, recording 10 of the first 14 points with Vincent placing in three kills during the stretch to stake the Panthers to the early lead. The lead reached double-digits at 22-12 as HPU closed out the set with a matching 10-4 run in the 25-14 win to take the 2-1 lead.
The fourth frame was another back-and-forth affair between the Bucs and the Panthers with the teams swapping the lead six times with nine ties in the frame as two conference foes battled it out on the court.
With the score tied for the final time at 15-15 following a kill by Simpson, High Point went on an 8-1 run in building a 23-16 lead as Savannah Angel placed in the kill. The Buccaneers refused to quit as a kill by Houston put the serve back on the Bucs' side as CSU went on a 6-0 run capped by a pair of Houston aces and a Klinger kill to cut the deficit down to two at 23-21.
A CSU service error led to the final point of the match as Angel placed in the match-winner to close out the evening in favor of the visitors, 25-21.
Charleston Southern is back in action on Tuesday evening as the Bucs host East Carolina in a nonconference showdown. First serve between the Buccaneers and the Pirates is set for 7 p.m.