Buccaneers host Presbyterian and Winthrop in Big South volleyball action

Buccaneers host Presbyterian and Winthrop in Big South volleyball action

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern volleyball is back in the Buc Dome this weekend as CSU hosts Presbyterian and Winthrop in a pair of Big South Conference matches. The Bucs faceoff against the Blue Hose on Friday evening, with first serve set for 7 p.m., while CSU takes on the Eagles to close out the weekend with play set to begin at 2 p.m.

Friday's match against Presbyterian will be streamed live courtesy of the Big South Network, while live stats for both matches will be provided on CSUSports.com.

The Buccaneers ended their recent skid this past Tuesday on the road against South Carolina State, as Charleston Southern topped the Bulldogs in a five-set battle in Orangeburg, S.C. The win stopped a 12-match losing streak running back to September 20th when CSU topped Jackson State in the opening match of the Georgia Southern tournament, sweeping JSU in three sets.

CSU has shown signs of breaking the skid over the past week, battling through a pair of tough conference matches this past weekend in the Buc Dome, falling to Gardner-Webb, 3-1, while being overcome in five sets to UNC Asheville on Friday evening in the Bucs' annual Dig Pink event.

Tuesday evening's victory against S.C. State saw Erin LaVenice post her first double-double of the season with 14 kills and 10 blocks, while Siraya Windsor recorded a double-double of her own as Charleston Southern held off South Carolina State 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.

The victory came on the heels of the Bucs loss to Asheville in a match that went back and forth, with both teams seeing both highs and lows on the court, Charleston Southern was outlasted by the Bulldogs, 25-22, 14-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-9.

The Buccaneers had four players in double-digits in the kill category against Asheville, led by a 15 kill performance by senior outside hitter Kayla Klinger. Katrina Houston added a double-double with 13 kills and a team-high 21 digs, while Cassidy Greer also recorded a double-double with 45 set assists and 10 digs in the match. Meredith Parrott racked up 11 kills and five blocks in the match. Windsor rounded out the group with 10 kills and eight digs on the evening.

Thursday's match against Gardner-Webb began the resurgence as Charleston Southern was unable to build off of their momentum after taking the first set in falling to the Runnin' Bulldogs inside the Buc Dome, 17-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-22.

LaVenice led four CSU players in double-digits in kills, while Windsor and Houston both recorded double-doubles for the Buccaneers in the loss. Charleston Southern hit .297 from the floor in the match paced by LaVenice's .464 hitting percentage, but the Buccaneers were unable to overcome a 23-kill performance by Gardner-Webb's Erin Anderson in falling in conference action.

LaVenice has continued to build a strong case for postseason recognition in her senior season as the senior middle blocker leads the Buccaneers with a .306 hitting percentage on the season, averaging 1.06 blocks per set, while improving her standing to 2.14 kills per set on the year.

The Charleston Southern offense has been led on the season by sophomore Houston who paces the Bucs with 2.78 kills per set, while Windsor (2.32) and Parrott (2.04) are also over two kills per set. Cassidy Greer sets up the CSU offense with 8.25 assists per set and Windsor leads the Bucs at the service line with 23 aces on the season.

Defensively, Maggie Murphy is the team leader with 3.04 digs per set, but freshman Taylor Allman has been among the team leaders over the past two matches, averaging 3.40 digs per set in lining up as the primary libero for head coach Christy Mooberry. At the net, LaVenice leads all players with 1.06 blocks per set, with Parrott averaging 0.74 per set in a supporting role.

Presbyterian and Winthrop hold the all-time series edge over Charleston Southern, with the Blue Hose holding the 10-7 advantage, while the Eagles have the 62-17 lead in the series over the Bucs.

Presbyterian Preview

The Blue Hose enter the weekend sporting a 7-18 overall record, 5-4 in Big South play on the season. Presbyterian has dropped their past three matches, falling last weekend to Liberty and Radford, while dropping a tough 3-2 decision to USC Upstate on Tuesday. Presbyterian closes out the weekend on Saturday taking on Coastal Carolina.

For the season, Rachel Hall leads the Blue Hose with 2.82 kills per set, while Andrea Barman is close behind at 2.59 kills per frame. Barman also leads the team with a .243 hitting percentage as PC connects on .142 of their attacks from the floor. Ashtin Frank sets up the Blue Hose attack with .921 assists per set and Mary Trimpe is the team leader with 45 service aces.

Defensively Trimpe leads the team with 5.68 digs per set, while Kelly Berryman is the team leader with 0.94 blocks per set at the net.

In their previous match this season, Charleston Southern fell against a balanced offensive attack by Presbyterian inside the Templeton Center in both teams' Big South Conference opener as the Buccaneers dropped in three sets to the Blue Hose, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22.

Winthrop Preview

Winthrop enters the weekend with a 12-11 record on the season, 3-6 in conference action on the year. The Eagles have proven a tough opponent to beat inside the WU Coliseum this year posting an 8-3 record at home, but WU has not been as successful on the road, with a 1-7 away record on the season. Winthrop opens the weekend with the match against the Bucs on Saturday, before traveling to Coastal Carolina to close out the trip on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles offense features four players averaging over two kills per set led by Irene Ojukwu's 3.32 kills per set, while Alina Sopizhuk is also over three kills per set at 3.15. Winthrop is hitting .200 as a team on the season, led by Rachel Lenz's .302 hitting percentage. Jessie Vicic sets up the WU attack with 11.51 assists per set and Maria Volstad is the service leader with 27 aces on the year.

Defensively, Volstad leads four Eagles averaging over two digs per set with 3.01 per frame. Lenz is the team leader with 1.00 blocks per set.

In their previous match this season, Charleston Southern's attack struggled on the floor against Winthrop 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.

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