HARRISONBURG, Va. - Charleston Southern fell to Villanova to open up the 2014 regular season on the first day of the JMU Classic, dropping a three-set decision to the Wildcats 25-15, 25-22, 25-23.
Siraya Windsor led the Bucs with 14 kills on the afternoon, while Meredith Parrott had 12 kills and five blocks as CSU steadily chipped away at the Wildcats all afternoon, but were unable to complete the comeback in the final two sets in the loss.
Cassidy Greer added her first double-double of the season with 33 assists and 10 digs, while Taylor Allman had a team-high 14 digs in the loss. Ashley Higginbothem, in her first action since the 2012 season, finished the match with nine digs for the Bucs.
CSU remains at the JMU Classic tomorrow afternoon for their final two matches of the weekend as the Bucs take on tournament host James Madison at noon, while completing the tournament against Norfolk State with first serve scheduled for 5 p.m.
Lauren Carpenter led Villanova on the afternoon with 18 kills and nine digs, while Michaela Berendt added 10 kills as the Wildcats hit .267 from the floor as a team. Emma Pettit had a team-high 41 assists and added 11 digs, while Michelle Adams contributed 10 digs to the Wildcats' totals.
After falling behind 4-0 in the first set, the Bucs rallied back to take a 6-5 lead on a 4-0 run capped by a kill from freshman middle blocker Kylie Klein. The Bucs and Wildcats tied four more times throughout the set with the final coming on a Parrott solo block to knot the frame up at 12-12. A kill by Colleen Hickey broke the tie and sparked a 13-3 run the rest of the way for Villanova as the Wildcats took the 25-15 set win.
The second set saw the Bucs take control at the net as Parrott had three blocks in the frame, teaming up with Liza Walker on two of them as CSU built a 12-9 lead on Allman's serve. The Wildcats rallied back in the tightly contested set which saw the teams share 10 ties and five lead changes. With Villanova up 21-17, Parrott connected on back-to-back kills and Windsor followed with a kill off the Higginbothem assist to bring CSU back within one at 21-20. However, a Berednt had two of the final five points for Villanova as the Wildcats took the 25-22 set win.
Out of the break, CSU took control of the third set early in building a 17-13 lead following back-to-back Parrott kills. The Wildcats rallied back to tie the set up at 18-18 on a pair of Carpenter kills, and the teams traded four ties and two lead changes before Villanova held off a late CSU rally in the 25-23 win.