CONWAY, S.C. - Charleston Southern struggled on the road on Friday night at The HTC Center as the Buccaneers fell in straight sets to host Coastal Carolina, 3-0.
CSU fell to 11-20 overall on the 2014 season with the loss, 1-11 in Big South play. Coastal Carolina improved to 20-6 with the win, 9-3 in conference action on the year.
Connor Malone paced the CSU attack with four kills and a .273 hitting percentage as the Bucs struggled to connect from the floor against the Chants defense. Siraya Windsor added four kills of her own, while Cassidy Greer set up the Bucs offense with a team-high 11 assists. At the net, Kylie Klein was the defensive leader with three blocks.
Leah Hardeman led CCU with 10 kills in the match, while Annayka Legros and Katie Martin had eight kills apiece. Sam Skryd and Djuric Aleksandra combined for 37 set assists, while Jenna Orner paced the team's defensive efforts with 16 digs. Hardeman completed the double-double with 14 digs, while Lian Bernett had 10 digs in the match.
With the score tied 2-2 in the opening set, Coastal Carolina went on an 11-2 run in building a 13-4 lead on Bernett and Alexis Flynn's serve. The Chants were paced by five kills in the frame by Hardeman as CSU dropped the opening frame 25-9.
The Chants continued their hot streak early in the second set as CCU recorded the first seven points of the frame. CSU battled back to cut the frame back to within three points at 14-11 as the Bucs defense at the net took control behind solo blocks by Malone and Klein. Coastal Carolina ended the run on a Martin kill and Hardeman placed in a service ace to clinch the frame as the Chants went into the break leading 2-0.
Kills by Amanda Metz and Malone early in the third frame put CSU on top 4-0 out of the break. However, Coastal Carolina went on a 9-2 run to take control as the Chants rallied to take the third set, 25-15.
Charleston Southern returns to the Buc Dome next weekend as CSU hosts their final home stand of the 2014 season on Friday and Saturday, taking on High Point and Campbell. The Bucs host High Point on Friday night and will recognize 2014 senior Kirsten Struksnes for Senior Day prior to the match with first serve coming at 7 p.m. Saturday's match highlights Family Weekend for the Bucs with first serve against Campbell coming at 2 p.m.