Buccaneers drop five set thriller to The Citadel

Buccaneers drop five set thriller to The Citadel

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell in five sets on the road at crosstown rival The Citadel on Tuesday night, dropping 21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 17-15, inside the McAlister Field House.

The Buccaneers rallied from an 8-5 deficit in the fifth set to take a 13-11 lead, utilizing a trio of blocks from Connor Malone during the stretch. The Citadel responded with three straight points to get to match point. Despite a pair of Addison Kaderli kills, the Bulldogs rallied to take the final frame and the win.

CSU falls to 3-9 overall with the loss, while The Citadel improves to 5-7 overall with the victory.

Kaderli led the Bucs with a team-high 15 kills in the match as the Buccaneers connected at a .178 clip from the floor. Meredith Parrott and Krista Kuglin had 13 kills apiece, while Cassidy Greer had 37 assists in setting up the CSU offense. Ashley Higginbothem led the Bucs defensive efforts with 26 digs, while Malone led the Bucs at the net with six blocks.

Bailey Kernodle led all players with 19 kills, while Moriah Smith had 17 for the Bulldogs as the Citadel recorded their second win over a Big South opponent on the season. Megan Sowell had 13 kills, while Rachel Keefer set up the offense with 41 assists. Defensively, Samantha Espy had a team-high 28 digs, while Zuri Fenderson and Dominique Williams had four blocks apiece.

Krista Kuglin paced the Bucs with seven kills in the first set as CSU built a five-point advantage lead in the set at 21-16. CSU held the Bulldogs off in the frame with Kuglin and Kaderli putting in the final points in the 25-21 set win.

The Citadel built a 19-12 lead in the second frame before the Bucs rallied back, tying the match at 21-21 following a 9-2 run. Kaderli had a pair of kills during the stretch as CSU battled back, but The Bulldogs took the final three points with Fenderson providing the final point on a block in evening the match at 1-1.

Charleston Southern raced out to an 8-3 lead in the first set, but the Bucs were unable to keep the momentum in the frame as the Bulldogs rallied to tie the set late. With the score tied 16-16 following a Parrott kill, The Citadel rallied with nine of the next 13 points to take the frame and the 2-1 lead.

CSU again jumped ahead in the fourth frame, taking the 10-4 set lead following a pair of Brooke Green service aces. The Bucs advantage continued throughout the set with CSU taking the final five points of the frame capped by a solo block from Malone to send the match into the fifth set.

Charleston Southern remains on the road this weekend as they travel to the Carolina Classic on September 18-19. The Bucs take on Wofford to open the tournament on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CSU closes out the weekend on Saturday against host South Carolina (1 p.m.) and East Carolina (4 p.m.).

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