CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to take advantage of a raucous home crowd inside the Buc Dome on Tuesday evening as the Buccaneers fell in three sets to visiting East Carolina in non-conference play, 27-25, 25-22, 25-19.
Katrina Houston led the Buccaneers with 11 kills, while Kayla Klinger picked up her first double-double of the season as Charleston Southern played in front of a packed house on Tuesday with members of nearly every single CSU athletic team on campus cheering them on, but it was not enough to push the Buccaneers over the edge in the three set loss to the Pirates.
Charleston Southern falls to 5-14 overall on the season with the loss, while East Carolina improves to 9-11 overall.
Houston led the way with 11 kills to pace a CSU offensive effort that saw the Bucs hit .174 from the floor as a team in the match. Klinger was also in double-digits with 10 kills on the evening and added a match-high 15 digs to complete her first double-double of the 2013 season. Siraya Windsor narrowly missed out on a double-double of her own with nine kills and 10 digs in the los.
Cassidy Greer set up the CSU attack with 38 set assists, while Maggie Murphy was in double-digits in the digs category with 10. Erin LaVenice led the way at the net with four total blocks on the evening.
Torre Blake led East Carolina on the evening with 12 kills, while Nicole Willis added 10 of her own as the Pirates hit .231 from the floor as a team. Willis completed the double-double with a team-high 14 digs, while Zarah Cecich had 34 set assists to pace the Pirates' offense. Shelby Beasley added 12 digs, while Black was the team leader at the net with three blocks.
In a battle between two evenly matched teams, the match saw 31 tie scores and 11 lead changes spanning the three sets as the teams battled for every point on the floor.
East Carolina broke open the first set in building a four point advantage at 18-14 using a pair of kills by Kierra Lee-Dunson during the run. The Pirates eventually went up by as many as six in the first set as a block by Willis and Lee-Dunson gave ECU the 22-16 lead.
Charleston Southern rallied back to take seven of the next eight points to knot the match up at 23-23 as Klinger and LaVenice each had two kills during the stretch and the senior duo combined for a block to bring CSU back into the frame. The Bucs were unable to take the lead though as ECU serve for game point three times before Ashley McRae closed out the set with back-to-back kills for the Pirates to give ECU the 27-25 set win.
The Buccaneers built the largest lead by either team in the second set, going up 10-7 as Windsor connected early with five kills over the first 17 points of the frame. Charleston Southern retained the lead at 11-8 following Klinger kill, but East Carolina rallied with a 4-0 run capped by back-to-back aces by Andrea Queck to give the Pirates the 12-11 lead.
Charleston Southern and East Carolina tied 12 times during the pivotal second set with the Buccaneers tying it up for the final time at 22-22 on a kill by LaVenice. East Carolina pulled ahead on a kill by Willis and closed out the set on a kill by Lee-Dunson to take the 2-0 lead heading into the break following the 25-22 set win.
The Pirates jumped out of the break in scoring eight of the first 11 points of the third set to take the 8-3 lead early in the frame. Charleston Southern rallied back and knotted the frame up at 10-10 with a pair of Houston kills setting the tone during the run.
CSU would battle East Carolina the remainder of the set, but a late 6-1 run would give the Pirates a 24-18 lead and Blake closed out the set with the final kill to end the match in favor of the visitors.
Charleston Southern returns to the road and Big South Conference play this weekend, traveling to Conway, S.C., on Friday evening to take on Coastal Carolina. First serve between the Bucs and the Chanticleers is set for 7 p.m.