CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern volleyball returns to the road this weekend for a single match as the Buccaneers make the trip up the coast to Conway, S.C., to take on fellow Big South travel partner Coastal Carolina on Friday evening inside The HTC Center.
The Bucs and Chanticleers will take the court with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. in the best-of-five match as Charleston Southern looks to shake off their recent home stand and get back to their winning ways after falling at home in conference play against Campbell and High Point, as well as a non-conference matchup against East Carolina this past Tuesday.
Charleston Southern enters the weekend with a 5-14 record, falling to 0-4 in Big South action on the season, while Coastal Carolina enters with a 9-8 record, 2-2 in conference play on the year.
The Buccaneers have been led on the season by sophomore outside hitter Katrina Houston who paces the CSU offense with 2.94 kills per set, while hitting .164 from the floor. Fellow sophomores Siraya Windsor and Meredith Parrott are both averaging over two kills per set with Windsor averaging 2.34, while Parrott is averaging 2.31. Senior middle blocker Erin LaVenice is also averaging over two kills per set at 2.13, while leading the team with a .305 hitting percentage.
Sophomore setter Cassidy Greer leads the team with 8.27 assists per set, while Kirsten Struknes is averaging 3.75 assists to pace the Bucs offense on the year. Houston is also the team leader with 17 service aces on the season.
Defensively, senior libero Maggie Murphy is the team leader with 3.30 digs per set, while Windsor (2.54) and Klinger (2.26) are both averaging over two digs per set. The Bucs are led at the net by LaVenice with 1.08 blocks per set.
Charleston Southern struggled over their past three matches inside the Buc Dome, falling in three sets to Campbell and East Carolina, while battling High Point in a four-match defeat.
Last Friday against Campbell, Charleston Southern fell in a tightly contested, back-and-forth, Big South Conference match as the visiting Camels defeated the Buccaneers in three sets inside the Buc Dome, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18. In a match that featured eight ties and five lead changes, including a 10 kill performance in the second set by CSU's Katrina Houston, Campbell's early leads in each frame proved to be too much for the Buccaneers to overcome in the loss.
Saturday against High Point saw Charleston Southern even the match against High Point in taking the second set heading into the break, but the Panthers outlasted the Buccaneers inside the Buc Dome as CSU fell 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21. LaVenice had 12 kills and five blocks on the evening to pace the Buccaneers, while 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.
Tuesday's match saw the biggest crowd in the Buc Dome for a volleyball match as the Bucs took on East Carolina, but the Buccaneers were unable to take advantage of the raucous crowd in falling in three sets to the Pirates in non-conference play, 27-25, 25-22, 25-19. 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.
Coastal Carolina enters the match having split their past four contests, defeating Winthrop to open up Big South play this year, before losses to Presbyterian and High Point led to a win over Campbell this past Saturday put the Chants back over .500 on the season.
The Chants have been led on the season by Gabriella Horvath with 2.63 kills per set, while Lian Bernett (2.43) and Kindra Bailey (2.38) are also averaging over two kills per frame. Lauren Alejo sets up the Coastal attack with 8.63 assists per set, while a trio of Chants are tied atop the team lead with 19 service aces on the year.
Defensively, Lindsay Gill leads the team with 4.30 digs per set, while Eszter Nay is the team leader at the net with 0.90 blocks per set. Katie Martin (0.88) and Bailey (0.84) are both near the top of the Chanticleers in the block rankings.
Last season, Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina went 1-1 against each other, with both teams proving victories in their home arena. CSU picked up the 3-2 win inside the Buc Dome, while Coastal returned the favor last November at The HTC Center with the 3-0 sweep over the Bucs.
The all-time series has Coastal Carolina with the 44-34 lead over the Buccaneers.