ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Led by 17 kills from senior outside hitter Addison Kaderli, 24 digs from senior libero Madison Martin and a near double-double from senior do-it-all outside hitter Hannah Western, Charleston Southern pushed third-seeded Winthrop to the brink and nearly pulled the upset before falling 3-2 (27-29, 25-22, 22-25, 27-29, 15-13) Friday night.
The loss marks the end of a great career for the three seniors and the season for Charleston Southern (13-12) volleyball, who made a late-season push and carried a three-match win streak into Friday's Big South quarterfinals contest.
Kaderli's 17 kills were the second-most in a single match this season for the outside hitter while Martin ends the season with double digit digs in 23 matches and Western had a career-year in 2018 with a .244 hitting percentage and 76 blocks.
Winthrop was led offensively by 17 kills from Jace Kelffner and15 from Phoebe Wu as four Eagles had double digit kills to outlast CSU's quartet of Kaderli, Western, Madison Malloch and Brooke Monssen.
Not to be overshadowed were performances from Malloch and Monssen collecting 13 kills each while freshman Ashleigh Holweger had 51 assists and 11 digs in her first career start. Four Bucs finished with 10-plus digs led by Martin's 24, Holweger's 11, Skylar Blackmon's 14 and Macey LaPorte's 10. LaPorte also had a season-high six service aces to help the Bucs hit .210 while Monssen had five blocks and Caitlyn Michalski added four and seven kills.
The senior class of Kaderli, Martin and Western cemented their legacies on the CSU volleyball program during their four seasons donning the Buccaneer uniform. Martin is the all-time leader in digs with 1,963 in her career. Kaderli finished sixth all-time in kills and has placed herself second in career attacks. Western is just one of eight CSU players in program history with 2,000 attacks and 800 digs contributing in every facet of the game with kills, digs and blocks.
How It Happened
- CSU came out hot taking a highly-contested 29-27 set, setting the tone for the night. Each set was within three points as two of the first four went over the 25-point mark.
- The Bucs hit .326 in the opening frame and had 18 kills as part of a night in which they hit above .225 in three sets.
- Winthrop battled for a second-set win to tie it 1-1 before the Bucs and Eagles traded third and fourth-set wins and force a decisive fifth.
- In the fourth set, CSU was on the verge of closing it out leading by a 23-18 margin, but a late Winthrop rally forced it to a 29-27 decision and fifth frame.
- Both teams traded runs in the early stages of the fifth set before trading points and finding themselves in a 13-all deadlock. The Eagles took the final two points, but it wasn't without a fight from the lower-seeded Bucs.
Inside the Numbers
- Friday marked the third head-to-head matchup between CSU and Winthrop with the Eagles coming away victorious in all three. However, CSU showed fight and grit in the final two matches nearly taking the first set in the Buc Dome before a 3-1 defeat and nearly pulled the upset Friday leading twice in the match.
- CSU had led the all-time series in Big South tournament play 2-1 before Friday as the Eagles evened it 2-all. In each of the four matchups, CSU was the lower seed and it was the second-straight 3-6 matchup.
- Winthrop snapped CSU's perfect record when taking the first set against Big South foes as the Bucs were 3-0 with wins over Presbyterian, Radford and Gardner-Webb.
- The loss also snapped a three-match win streak for CSU and was just the second five-set defeat of the season, finishing with a 4-2 record in such decisions.
News and Notes
- Senior libero Madison Martin ends her career with 1,963 digs – the most in CSU history by 130 digs.
- Outside hitter Addison Kaderli moved into sixth on the all-time kills list wrapping her career with 1,108 to her credit.
- Outside hitter Hannah Western ends her time as a Buccaneer in the top-25 in multiple categories including career sets played (370), total attacks (2,222) and digs (839).
- Freshman setter Ashleigh Holweger became the second Buccaneer to collect 50 assists in a match this season, turning in 51 for her first career start.