Bucs sweep N.C. Central, 3-0: Higginbothem joins CSU 1,000 dig club

Bucs sweep N.C. Central, 3-0: Higginbothem joins CSU 1,000 dig club

DURHAM, N.C. - Katrina Houston led Charleston Southern with 13 kills and Siraya Windsor recorded her ninth double-double as the Buccaneers defeated host N.C. Central on Wednesday evening inside McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18.

Redshirt junior libero Ashley Higginbothem became the eighth player in CSU history to join the Bucs 1,000 dig club, finishing the match with 14 digs to move into seventh all-time in the CSU record books. Higginbothem passed Kathy Dantzler (1991-94) and finished the match with 1,007 career digs in the CSU Blue and Gold as the Bucs defeated the Eagles.

Connor Malone led CSU with a .750 hitting percentage on the evening as the Bucs hit .267 as a team in the match for the second win over N.C. Central on the season. Windsor finished with 12 kills and 16 digs for her ninth double-double, while Kylie Klein added six kills for the Bucs. Cassidy Greer set up the CSU offense with 32 assists, while Taylor Allman had 15 digs.

Kelsey Murphy led N.C. Central with 11 kills on the evening, while Ashley McCarthy had nine kills as the Eagles hit .096 from the floor. Paige Phillips and Alice Genna combined for 24 assists, while Murphy was the defensive leader with seven digs.

CSU improves to 9-14 overall with the win, while N.C. Central fell to 1-22 with the loss.

N.C. Central took five of the first six points as Rabell Pineiro opened the match with back-to-back service aces. However, the Bucs responded with a 6-0 run as Klein drilled back-to-back kills to give CSU their first lead of the match at 7-5. The teams tied up the frame seven times with the final coming at 22-22 on a kill by NCCU's Denni Johnson. However, the Bucs took the final three points as Houston drilled a kill down the right line, Windsor followed with a kill and Higginbothem placed in the ace to give the Bucs the 25-22 win.

The Bucs tied the second set up at 1-1 before taking control of the frame in building a 2-0 advantage. With the score at 18-16, the Bucs went on a 7-2 run sparked by Liza Walker's kill and supplemented by a trio of Houston kills before Malone put the exclamation point on the set in closing out the 25-18 win.

CSU went up by as many as nine in the third set, going up 23-14 as Malone placed in the kill as the Bucs cruised to the 25-18 win in completing the sweep.

Charleston Southern returns home to the Buc Dome this weekend as CSU hosts Liberty on Friday night. First serve between the Bucs and the Flames is set for 7 p.m.

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