CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell on the road to Winthrop on Saturday afternoon, wrapping up the Big South road trip inside the Winthrop Coliseum in straight sets, 25-17, 25-14, 25-14.
Meredith Parrott and Connor Malone both hit .500 from the floor in the match to pace the Bucs, but Winthrop took control early in all three sets behind a team-leading 12 kill performance by Alina Sopizhuk to defeat the Bucs for the second time in the 2014 season.
Charleston Southern falls to 11-19 overall with the loss, 1-10 in Big South play, while Winthrop improves to 17-10, 7-4 in conference action with the win.
Katrina Houston had a team-leading seven kills in the match to pace the Bucs offense, while Parrott had five kills for the Bucs in the loss. Kirsten Struksnes set up the CSU attack with 10 assists, while Ashley Higginbothem (11) and Taylor Allman (10) both had double-digit digs in the match. Parrott led CSU's defensive efforts at the net with two blocks.
Sopizhuk led the WU offense in the match, while Nikki Drost added seven kills as the Eagles hit .257 as a team from the floor in the win. Jessie Vicic led Winthrop with 21 set assists, while Kelly Scott added 12 assists for the Eagles. Defensively, Maria Volstad (15) and Drost (11) were both in double-digits in digs, while Brianna Gray had a team-leading four blocks.
Winthrop scored eight of the first 11 points of the opening set behind early kills by Gray and Drost, but the Bucs rallied back to narrow Eagles' lead down to 9-7 following a kill by Amanda Metz. WU continued to press their advantage going up 18-11 on a Keaupono Fey kill, and though CSU rallied back to cut it within four points at 20-16, the Eagles scored five of the last six points with Rachel Lenz's ace giving Winthrop the 1-0 lead.
Winthrop build a 22-9 lead in the second set through their first rotation, before the Bucs mounted a late comeback attempt. CSU scored five of the last eight points with Houston putting in two kills, before Drost put away the kill to give Winthrop the 2-0 lead at the break.
The Eagles jumped ahead to an 11-4 lead in the third set and built a late double-digit advantage in topping the Bucs in the third set, 25-14.
CSU remains on the road next weekend for their final trip of the 2014 season as the Bucs head to The HTC Center and Conway, S.C., to take on Coastal Carolina. First serve between the Bucs and the Chanticleers is set for 7 p.m.