CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to build off the momentum in the third set in falling in Big South Conference play on Saturday afternoon to visiting High Point, 26-24, 25-15, 18-25, 25-22.
The Buccaneers (11-13, 6-2) fell for just the second time in conference play on the season and struggled to get the offense going in both the second and fourth sets in falling to the Panthers. CSU hit .159 as a team overall and was led by double-digit kill performances by both Addison Kaderli and Kylie Klein.
Kaderli paced the Bucs with 14 kills on the afternoon and added six digs to her efforts. Klein finished with 13 kills, a season-high eight digs, and four blocks (three solo). Rachel Smith set up the offense with 36 assists. Smith and Madison Martin tied with a match-high 16 digs apiece.
Megan Kennedy paced an HPU (16-7, 7-3) offense that hit .250 from the floor with a match-high 21 kills and 13 digs. Haley Barnes added 20 kills and 12 digs, while Carly Jimenez (26 assists, 12 digs) and Jenna Smith (21 assists, 10 digs) also completed double-doubles for the Panthers.
CSU held the lead a majority of the opening set with the Bucs opening the frame with an 11-6 lead following a Klein kill. CSU's lead was 18-14 late following back-to-back kills from Kaderli and Connor Malone before the Panthers mounted a comeback. High Point utilized a four-point swing to take the 22-20 lead on Barnes' serve with Jordan Hefner and Kennedy combining for a block to give the Panthers the two-point edge. HPU held set point three times before Kennedy and Barnes connected on back-to-back kills to give the Panthers the 26-24 set win.
High Point turned a four-point advantage into a double-digit lead in the second set on its way to cruising to the 25-15 win and the 2-0 lead at the break. Barnes (six kills) and Kennedy (five) led the way for HPU, while the Bucs hit .023 as a team from the floor in the frame.
Klein, Kaderli, and Malone combined to lead the Bucs back in the third set as CSU took the frame 25-18. The Bucs flipped the script on the Panthers and went up 18-11 following a Klein kill. The lead reached 20-12 on a Klein solo block before HPU fought its way back into the set. Kennedy put in a trio of kills during a late stretch, before Malone connected on her third kill of the set to seal the 25-18 set win.
CSU rallied back from a 19-13 deficit to bring the fourth set back to one point late in the frame. The Bucs mounted a 9-3 run to narrow the margin down to 22-21. Klein, Kaderli, and Brooke Monssen all had kills during the run, but it was not enough to keep the match alive as the Panthers took the 25-22 set win.
The Buccaneers return to the road next week as CSU begins a three-match road trip starting at Winthrop on Tuesday night. First serve in the WU Coliseum on the Big South Network is set for 7 p.m.