CHARLESTON, S.C. - Erin LaVenice led the way with 14 kills and 10 blocks, while Siraya Windsor recorded a double-double of her own as Charleston Southern held off South Carolina State on Tuesday evening in non-conference play, topping the host Bulldogs in five sets 19-25, 25-13, 25-15, 19-25, 15-5.
The Buccaneers bounced back from hitting .032 from the floor as a team in the first set to hit .297 in the match, paced by LaVenice's .478 hitting percentage as Charleston Southern topped S.C. State for the second time in the 2013 season.
CSU improves to 6-19 overall on the year with the win, while S.C. State falls to 4-20 with the loss.
LaVenice led the Bucs with her first double-double of the season, pacing Charleston Southern with 14 kills and her first double-digit block performance of the year. The senior middle blocker did not break her single-game mark set last season with 13 total blocks against USC Upstate, but her two solo blocks and eight block assists helped Charleston Southern control the net against the Bulldogs.
Windsor continued to display her all-around game in the CSU victory, finishing the night with 13 kills and 13 digs, while also leading the Bucs from the service line with five aces on the night. Katrina Houston was also in double-digits with 11 kills, while Cassidy Greer set up the Charleston Southern attack with 40 assists. Greer added a career-high six blocks on the evening as well, while Taylor Allman contributed 13 digs from the backline.
Desire Waller led all players with 29 kills to lead the S.C. State attack and completed the double-double with 13 digs as the Bulldogs hit .153 as a team from the floor. Marissa Lawrence added seven kills and 10 digs, while Victoria Ferguson led all players with 15 digs on the night. Melanie Williams set up the S.C. State attack with 44 assists, while Taylor Bailey led the Bulldogs at the net with four total blocks.
A highly contested first set saw the teams swap the lead six times, while recording 13 ties in the frame as Charleston Southern took the two point advantage three times in the set at 9-7, 14-12 and 16-14. The final lead, came on back-to-back kills by Klinger and Greer, but the Bulldogs responded by rattling off a 9-1 run in taking the 23-17 lead. Waller closed out the set with a pair of kills to put S.C. State ahead 1-0 with the 25-19 win.
Charleston Southern took control of the second set early, using a 6-1 run early with kills by Meredith Parrott and Greer to take the 8-4 lead. The Buccaneers offense steadily built on that advantage, going up double-digits at 19-9 following a kill by Klinger as CSU was never threatened in evening the match with the 25-13 set win.
The momentum from the second set carried over into the third frame as Charleston Southern raced out of the gates in building a 10-4 lead. LaVenice had four early kills in the set to lead the Bucs as CSU went up by as many as eight points at 17-9 following back-to-back LaVenice put-aways, before the Bucs used a 7-2 run to close out the 25-15 set win.
CSU's momentum was arrested in the fourth set as South Carolina State rallied back to force a deciding fifth frame.
The Bulldogs took four of the first five points in the set, featuring a steady dose of Waller as the senior outside hitter connected on two early kills to give SCSU the early 4-1 lead. Charleston Southern rallied back, building a three-point lead at 14-11 on a SCSU ball-handling error, but reminiscent of the first set, the Bulldogs used a long rally in fighting their way back into the set in building an 18-16 lead following a CSU service error. The Bucs knotted the set up at 18-18 following back-to-back SCSU attack errors, but the Bulldogs closed out the set with a 7-1 run behind three kills by Waller and a Ferguson service ace in taking the 25-19 set victory.
The final fifth set saw Windsor show off her service prowess, firing three aces to stake Charleston Southern to the 4-1 lead early. A block by LaVenice and Greer put the Bucs ahead 8-4 as the teams traded sides of the court and LaVenice followed with back-to-back kills to stake CSU to the 10-4 lead. CSU's 7-0 run ended on a kill by Erica Pritchett, leaving the Bucs with the 13-5 lead, but Klinger ended the night with back-to-back kills to close out the five set victory.
CSU returns home to the Buc Dome this weekend for a pair of Big South matchups as the Bucs host Presbyterian on Friday evening with first serve at 7 p.m. CSU closes out the weekend on Saturday afternoon, hosting Winthrop with first serve scheduled for 2 p.m.