Volleyball Preview: Buccaneers head to Big South Volleyball Championships this weekend in Lynchburg

Volleyball Preview: Buccaneers head to Big South Volleyball Championships this weekend in Lynchburg

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern heads to the 2016 Big South Volleyball Championships this weekend as the Buccaneers take on Campbell in Friday's quarterfinal round. All matches of the weekend will be held in the Vines Center on the campus of Liberty University. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be streamed live via the Big South Network. Sunday's championship match will be broadcast on ESPN3. Live Stats will be provided at CSUSports.com and updates on Twitter: @CSUGameDay

Charleston Southern - Big South Volleyball Championships Match Notes

Scouting Charleston Southern
Charleston Southern enters the tournament coming off of one of the most successful seasons in program history as the Buccaneers posted a 13-19 record, 8-8 in Big South Conference play. The Bucs struggled toward the end of the season with wins in two of its final nine matches, but CSU topped Presbyterian and Liberty to clinch the No. 5 overall seed in the 2016 Big South Championships. CSU boasted a five-match winning streak from September 20-October 14 with wins over PC, Gardner-Webb, Campbell, UNC Asheville, and Radford, during the stretch to briefly sit atop the Big South standings early in the season. 

Addison Kaderli (2.72) and Brooke Monssen (2.55) lead the Charleston Southern offense in kills per set, while Kylie Klein is the team's primary hitting leader with a 2.40 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Rachel Smith set up the CSU offense with 7.54 assists per set. Sophomore libero Madison Martin leads the Bucs in both aces per set (0.35) and digs per set (4.98). Klein led the Bucs at the net with 1.01 blocks per set, while Caitlyn Michalski (0.98) and Monssen (0.90) are among CSU's blocking leaders.

Best Season since 1986
Charleston Southern's eight Big South Conference wins are the most in program history since the Buccaneers went a perfect 15-0 in the 1986 season. During the 1986 season, the Bucs topped Armstrong State, Coastal Carolina, and Radford in the postseason on their way to the Big South Conference title. Since the 1986 season, the most wins by the Bucs came in the 1994 season when CSU went 7-1. The Bucs fell in the Big South quarterfinals that season against Radford. 

Most Big South Wins in Program History
15 - 1986
8 - 2016
7 - 1994
6 - 1993, 2001, 2009, 2010

Digging Master
Sophomore libero Madison Martin led the Big South Conference in overall total digs, overall digs per set, conference total digs, and conference digs per set on the season. Martin enters the weekend third overall in the NCAA in overall digs on the season and boasts four of the conference's 30+ dig matches on the year. Martin surpassed the CSU single season record of 603 digs set by Ashley Higginbothem last season. 

Madison Martin by the Numbers
638 - Total Digs - First in the Big South, Third in the NCAA
4.98 - Total Digs Per Set - First in the Big South, 36th in the NCAA
357 - Conference Digs - First in the Big South
5.33 - Conference Digs Per Set - First in the Big South 

Chance to Climb into the Big South Single Season Record Book (Since 2008)
Along with her leading the Big South in digs on the season, Madison Martin also has a chance to enter the top 10 all-time in conference history in digs for the season. Martin (638) currently trails Liberty's Kelly Haseman (653, 2010) by 15 digs heading into the conference tournament. 

Big South Top 10 Single Season Digs
6.  680 - Mary Crema, Campbell (2013)
7.   674 - Raquel Miotto, UNC Asheville (2008)
8.  662 - Annemarie Chin, High Point (2015)
9.  660 - Anna Pashkova, Gardner-Webb (2013)
10. 653 - Kelly Haseman, Liberty (2010)
    638 - Madison Martin, Charleston Southern (2016) 

Big South Players of the Week
Charleston Southern has been well-decorated by the Big South Conference in the 2016 season with three Buccaneers receiving weekly honors by the conference office. Madison Martin (Defensive) and Brooke Monssen (Freshman) both received honors after leading CSU at the Bash in the Boro hosted by Georgia Southern. Rachel Smith joined the duo, earning Big South Freshman of the Week honors on September 26 after leading the Bucs to back-to-back Big South wins over Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian. Martin again received honors on October 17 after averaging 5.85 digs per set and tying the CSU single match record with 36 digs in the 3-1 win over Radford.

CSU Big South Weekly Award Winners
Defensive Player of the Week
Sept. 6 - Madison Martin - Averaged 5.40 D/S, Four matches with 20+ digs
Oct. 17 - Madison Martin - Averaged 5.85 D/S, 36 digs in CSU's 3-1 win over Radford 

Freshman of the Week
Sept. 6 - Brooke Monssen - Averaged 2.55 K/S, 1.15 B/S, Double-digit kills in three matches
Sept. 26 - Rachel Smith - Averaged 8.38 A/S, 3.88 D/S, Double-Doubles in both CSU wins

Big South Single Season Record
Continuing the digs theme in the Charleston Southern tournament notes, the Buccaneers have already surpassed the Big South record for digs in a single season since rally scoring shifted to 25 point sets in 2008. The Bucs, with 2,222 digs, topped the 2,177 recorded by Campbell in the 2013 season.

Big South Team Single Season Digs (2008-Present)
2,222 - Charleston Southern, 2016
2,177 - Campbell, 2013
2,144 - High Point, 2010
2,144 - Campbell, 2014
2,140 - Charleston Southern, 2015

Chasing the NCAA Leaders - Team
As a team, CSU sits among the national leaders in four separate categories on the 2016 season. The Bucs lead the nation in team digs with 2,222, third overall in team total attacks with 4,718, 14th overall in digs per set with 17.36 and 12th overall in team service aces with 183. The Bucs are also 18th overall in team total blocks with 287.0. 

30 Dig Matches
Madison Martin and Taylor Allman both recorded 30 dig matches in the 2016 season. The duo currently is tied atop CSU's single match record book with 36 digs in a match. Allman set the record in 2014 in a four-set match against Presbyterian. Martin matched the record this season in the Bucs' four-set win over Radford on October 14. 

36 - Madison Martin vs. Radford, October 14
35 - Madison Martin vs. Gardner-Webb, November 4
34 - Madison Martin at Campbell, October 29
31 - Taylor Allman at Western Carolina, August 27
30 - Madison Martin vs. Savannah State, September 1 

Block Party
Kylie Klein and Brooke Monssen have led the Bucs in blocking on the season, but CSU's depth at the net has been showcased by Caitlyn Michalski and Connor Malone both achieving 10-block matches in 2016. The Bucs currently trail Liberty overall on the season in blocks per set 2.49-2.25. 

10 - Caitlyn Michalski vs. Jacksonville State, September 2
10 - Connor Malone vs. Gardner-Webb, November 4 

CSU begins Big South play with 5-0 record
You have to dig back into the record books to find the last time the Buccaneers opened Big South Conference play with five straight conference wins. CSU previously started conference play with a 5-0 record back in the 1988 season under Hall of Fame coach Amir Khaledi. CSU opened the season with a pair of home wins against Coastal Carolina and Radford on their way to posting a 5-1 record in conference play on the year. CSU went on to win the Big South regular season and tournament championships in the 1988 season.