Buccaneers continue 2017 tournament slate this weekend at UAB Blazer Invitational

Buccaneers continue 2017 tournament slate this weekend at UAB Blazer Invitational

Friday, September 1
**UAB BLAZER INVITATIONAL**
Charleston Southern at UAB
Bartow Arena – Birmingham, Ala.
1 p.m. * BlazerVision

**UAB BLAZER INVITATIONAL**
Charleston Southern vs. Georgia State
Bartow Arena – Birmingham, Ala.
5 p.m.

Saturday, September 2
**UAB BLAZER INVITATIONAL**
Charleston Southern vs. Western Illinois
Bartow Arena – Birmingham, Ala.
Noon

PREVIEW
Charleston Southern continues the 2017 season this weekend as the Buccaneers make the trip to Bartow Arena and UAB for the UAB Blazer Invitational. The Bucs continue their tournament circuit this weekend taking on host UAB, Georgia State, and Western Illinois on September 1-2.

The Bucs open the weekend against host UAB in a match that will be streamed live via BlazerVision produced by the UAB Sports Department. First serve between CSU-UAB is set for 1 p.m. The Bucs continue tournament play that afternoon against Georgia State. Saturday's finale is set for noon against Western Illinois.

CSU has struggled over the first week of the 2017 season with the Bucs sporting a 0-4 record following their first four contests. CSU dropped all three matches last weekend at the Catamount Volleyball Classic, and then fell in straight sets on the road this past Tuesday against College of Charleston. Junior libero Madison Martin continues to lead CSU's defensive efforts with 5.36 digs per set, while hitters Hannah Western and Logan Windsor sit among the Big South leaders in total attacks and attacks per set.

Tournament host UAB fell in all three matches to open the 2017 season. The Blazers host Georgia State tonight, before taking on the Bucs in the tournament opener on Friday. UAB fell in a trio of close matches last weekend at Boston College, dropping a pair of five-set decisions to Providence and Fairfield, before falling 3-1 to host BC in the tournament finale. Erika Zembyla leads the team with 3.38 kills per set, while Amber Treace sets up the offense with 9.78 assists per frame. Emily Martinez is the defensive leader with 4.19 digs per set.

Georgia State enters the weekend with a 1-2 record following their opening weekend at the East Carolina Invitational. The Panthers topped Rutgers in their season opener, before falling to ECU and William & Mary. Lauren Reichard leads the GSU hitting attack with a .393 hitting percentage and 4.00 kills per set, while April Luther leads the Sun Belt Conference with 11.67 assists per set. Joscelin Morrow is the team leader with 6.67 digs per set.

The lone team entering the weekend with a winning record, Western Illinois went 2-1 last weekend at their home Hampton Inn Leatherneck Invitational. WIU topped Manhattan and Chicago State in their first two matches of the weekend before falling in a five-set thriller to Evansville in the tournament finale. Emma Norris leads the Leathernecks with 3.69 kills per set, while Mackenzie Steckler is the hitting leader with a .306 hitting percentage. Jaime Johnson sets up the WIU offense with 9.15 assists per set, while Claire Grove is the defensive leader with 5.38 digs per set.

BUCCANEER NEWS AND NOTES
BACK AMONG THE NCAA LEADERS

Charleston Southern sits among the top 35 in the NCAA in four different categories following their first four matches of the season. The Bucs are 25th in team digs (253), 25th in team total attacks (557), 28th in team attacks per set (39.79), and 34th in digs per set (18.07).

DEFENDING THE BACK LINE
One year after finishing fifth in the NCAA in total digs, Madison Martin is again among the national leaders in both total digs and digs per set after the first four matches. Martin is currently 23rd in the NCAA in total digs with 75 following the first four matches. The Birmingham, Mich. native is 45th overall in digs per set with 5.36.

PACING THE BIG SOUTH
Two Buccaneers lead the Big South Conference in individual categories entering the second weekend of the season. Junior outside hitter Hannah Western leads the Big South in total attacks on the season with 134 overall, while junior libero Madison Martin paces the conference in total digs with 75. Sophomore outside hitter Logan Windsor is currently second in the conference trailing only Western in total attacks with 128 on the year.

WELCOME TO THE 1,000 DIG CLUB
Martin became the 10th member of CSU's 1,000-dig club this past Tuesday as the Birmingham, Mich. native surpassed the mark in the second set against College of Charleston. Martin ended the match with 1,009 career digs to pass Kathy Dantzler (1,000, 1991-94) and move into ninth all-time in the CSU career record books. Martin needs 91 digs to move into eighth all-time and pass Sam Sasan (1,102, 2006-09).

1,000 ASSIST CLUB ABOUT TO WELCOME NEW MEMBER
Sophomore setter Rachel Smith enters the weekend just 23 assists shy of becoming the 10th member all-time to join the 1,000-assist club at CSU. The Euclid, Ohio native is averaging 9.57 assists per set over the first four matches of the season and has already posted two matches with at least 30 assists on the year.

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