Buccaneers fall to Niagara and Southern Utah to close out the GCU Tournament

Buccaneers fall to Niagara and Southern Utah to close out the GCU Tournament

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Charleston Southern fell in both matches on Saturday in closing out the GCU Tournament hosted by Grand Canyon University.

The Bucs were led by career-high performances by Addison Kaderli, Hannah Western and Kylie Klein in the opener against Niagara, while falling in straight sets to Southern Utah in the tournament finale on Saturday night.

The Buccaneers return to Charleston, but remain on the road as they travel to The Citadel on Tuesday night. First serve inside McAlister Field House is set for 7 p.m.

Niagara 3, Charleston Southern 2 (24-26, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 10-15)
Addison Kaderli, Hannah Western and Kylie Klein all achieved career-highs in Charleston Southern's first match of the day as the Buccaneers rallied from a 2-0 deficit before falling to Niagara on Saturday morning at Antelope Gymnasium, 3-2.

The Buccaneers fell in the first two sets, 26-24 and 25-21, before rallying back behind Kaderli's season-high 18 kills with a 25-18 and 25-15 win sending the match to the fifth set. In the deciding frame, the Bucs were unable to keep up their momentum in falling to the Purple Eagles, 15-10.

Kaderli connected at a .298 hitting percentage in pacing the Bucs' offense. Meredith Parrott added 14 kills and nine blocks, while Klein had 11 kills and a .391 hitting percentage (both career-highs) in the match. Cassidy Greer set up the CSU offense with 50 assists, while Western led five CSU players in double-digits in digs with 23. Ashley Higginbothem also finished with 20 digs in the match for CSU.

Melissa McGwin led three Niagara players in double-digits with 15 kills, while Nicole Matheis (11) and Rayenne Hale were also in double-digits. Alexis Gray set up the offense with 39 assists, while Rylee Hunt led the team with 23 digs.

The first set went back-and-forth between the two teams with CSU leading 13-9 following a Kaderli kill. The Purple Eagles rallied back with a 9-1 run to take the 18-14 lead on a solo block from Taylor Edmonds. CSU held the first set point at 24-23 following a Niagara service error, but the Purple Eagles scored the final three points in closing out the first set.

Charleston Southern rallied in the second set to cut the deficit down to two points at 21-19 following a Parrott kill. A 3-0 run by Niagara put the Purple Eagles at set point and two points later Gray recorded the final kill to give Niagara the 2-0 lead at the break.

CSU took control of the third set early and built a 10-point advantage late in the frame at 20-10 following a Niagara attack error. Niagara went on a 6-1 run to cut back into the set, before CSU put the set away on a Greer kill.

The Bucs took eight of the first 10 points in the fourth set to jump ahead early and the lead reached double-digits at 21-10 following a Parrott service ace. Klein put the frame away with a kill and evened the match at 2-2 following the Bucs 25-15 set win.

The deciding fifth set had Niagara leading 8-5 at the crossover, but CSU rallied back to tie the frame at 9-9 following the kill from Krista Kuglin. However, the Purple Eagles recorded six of the final seven points with Gray recording the final two points with aces to close out the win.

Southern Utah 3, Charleston Southern 0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-13)
Charleston Southern fell in straight sets to close out the GCU Tournament on Saturday evening to Southern Utah at the Antelope Gymnasium.

Addison Kaderli continued her strong tournament play with a team-high nine kills, while Meredith Parrott had eight kills, hitting a team-high .200 from the floor. Cassidy Greer set up the offense with 27 assists, while Ashley Higginbothem had a match-high 25 digs from the floor. Madison Martin was also in double-digits with 12 digs.

Madi Forsythe led SUU with 11 kills, while Ann Clappier (10) was also in double-digits for the Thunderbirds. Faith Ma'afala led the team with 26 assists, while Sariah Pelaez was the team leader on the backline with 18 digs.

The Thunderbirds went up five midway through the first set on a solo block by Clappier in taking the 17-12 lead. SUU kept a four point lead throughout the remainder of the set in going up 1-0.

The Buccaneers broke a 20-20 tie in the second set in the midst of a 5-0 run in taking set point at 24-21 following a pair of kills from Parrott and Kylie Klein. The Thunderbirds rallied back with three straight points to even the frame at 24-24 and following a kill from Kaderli, SUU took the final two points to go up 2-0.

SUU jumped out early in closing out the third set of the win.

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