CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern picked up the first set, but was unable to overcome Liberty on Saturday as the Buccaneers dropped a four set decision to the Flames, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17.
Winners of three straight, Liberty (9-14, 6-4) got off to a fast start and took a 6-3 lead on a kill by Anna Gragg. Charleston Southern fought back to win seven of the next eight points to take a 10-7 lead on a service ace by Skylar Blackmon. A kill by Monssen gave CSU a 15-14 lead and the Bucs led 21-19 after a kill by Kalysia Bates. The match was tied 21-21 following a kill by Liberty's Sirena Vorster, but Charleston Southern won the final four points of the frame to close the first set.
A kill by Kaderli in the second set tied the score 8-8 until Liberty grabbed a 13-10 lead on a kill by Gragg. The Flames led 20-15 after a kill by Vorster. CSU then won four straight points to close the margin to 20-19. Liberty took advantage of a service error by the Bucs to lead 23-20 and held a 24-21 lead after another kill by Gragg. Two points later, the Flames won the set on an attack error by CSU to tie the match 1-1.
CSU led 9-7 in the third set following a kill by Kylie Klein. Liberty then used a service ace by Victoria Baptista to cap off five points in a row for the Flames to go in front 12-9. A kill by Gabrielle Vess gave Liberty a 16-12 advantage and the lead for the Flames grew to 19-14 after an attack error by the Bucs. Liberty led 22-16 following back-to-back kills by Vess. A kill by Kaderli and a kill by Monssen trimmed the lead to 22-18, but the Flames won the next three points to close the set and take a 2-1 lead.
Liberty won the opening three points of the fourth set until six straight points by CSU gave the Bucs an early 6-3 lead. The Flames regained the lead 10-9 when Casey Goodwin had a kill. Charleston Southern led 14-13 after a kill by Monssen, but Liberty won five in a row to take an 18-14 lead on another kill by Goodwin. CSU trailed 22-17 following a kill by Klein. The Flames then won three straight points to win the set and the match.
Inside the Numbers
· Brooke Monssen led CSU in kills in both matches with Liberty this season. She had ten kills in the match on Oct. 14 and 11 kills on Saturday.
· Rachel Smith had her thirteenth double-double of the season with 11 digs and 30 assists.
· Madison Martin has recorded double-digit digs in four straight matches after a team-high 15 digs.
· Kalysia Bates led CSU with six blocks and continues to lead the Bucs in blocks per set (1.08).
· Kylie Klein had three blocks and now sits in fifth place all-time at CSU with 396 blocks.
News and Notes
· Charleston Southern has dropped five of its last six Big South matches.
· CSU has fallen to Liberty in 18 of the last 19 meetings.
· The Bucs pick up a set for the first time since a 3-1 win at Gardner-Webb on Oct. 13.
· Charleston Southern sits in seventh place in the Big South standings with six matches remaining in the regular season.
CSU hits the road for a match at Winthrop on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The Bucs then return home for a match with UNC Asheville on Friday, Oct. 27.