Big South Produces Four Wins Tuesday Night

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CHARLESTON SOUTHERN DEFEATS SAVANNAH STATE, 25-17, 25-13, 25-18 | BOX SCORE

Erin LaVenice led the Charleston Southern volleyball team with nine kills and Meredith Parrott added eight kills and a block as the Buccaneers swept the Savannah State Tigers on Tuesday evening inside Wilcox-Wiley Gymnasium, 25-17, 25-13, 25-18.

Charleston Southern (3-5) hit a season-high .333 from the floor as a team in the three-set victory, including .500 in the first set as the Buccaneers pulled away from the host Tigers (0-9) in each set in recording head coach Al Givens' 395th career coaching victory.

Charleston Southern snapped a 6-6 tie on three consecutive kills by Sydney Tracy, Davis and Katrina Houston on their way to building a 15-9 advantage in the first set of the match.  The Buccaneers' lead reached double-digits at 21-10 on a kill by Kayla Klinger.  Savannah State rallied back, cutting the deficit to 24-17 on a Bridgette Stephens' kill, but an SSU service error ended the first set in favor of Charleston Southern, 25-17.

The teams battled evenly through the first 20 points of the second set as the two teams struggled to create more than a two-point advantage.  Charleston Southern snapped the deadlock with an 11-1 run sparked by a Tracy kill and continued on Ashley Higgenbothem and Cassidy Greer's serve as the Buccaneers built a 20-11 lead following a Tigers' attack error.  Michaela Luna contributed a service ace, before Parrott closed out the set with a kill off the assist from Greer to put Charleston Southern up 2-0.

Savannah State tied the third set up at 11 apiece following a service ace by Bryana Gadis, but the Buccaneers recorded six of the next seven points as LaVenice contributed a pair of kills during the stretch as CSU built a 17-12 lead.  SSU rallied back, keeping the match alive on a Keandra Lewis' service ace at 24-18, but a service error ended the match in favor of the Buccaneers as Charleston Southern recorded their first sweep of the season.

Tracy and Houston added six kills apiece to the Charleston Southern offensive efforts this season, while Higgenbothem added 11 digs on the backline for the Buccaneers.  At the net, Houston and Davis had two blocks apiece, while Kirsten Struksnes and Cassidy Greer combined for 32 set assists in the victory.

Charleston Southern returns to the court this weekend as the Buccaneers fly up to Baltimore, Md. to take part in the Marriott Greyhound Challenge hosted by Loyola University.  The Buccaneers will play three times over the weekend, taking on Morgan State, Rider and host Loyola.  First match of the weekend is set for Friday, September 7th, as the Buccaneers open the tournament against Morgan State at 4:30 p.m. in Reitz Arena.



CAMPBELL DEFEATS N.C. CENTRAL, 27-25, 28-26, 25-15 | BOX SCORE

The Campbell volleyball team posted a 3-0 (27-25, 28-26, 25-15) victory on Tuesday night at N.C. Central at McDougald-McLendon Gym.  The team registered a season-high .312 hitting pct with 42 kills on just 12 errors in 96 swings.

Sophomore outside Jessica Groen generated a team-high nine kills, while freshman outside Katelyn Layden and junior middle blocker Lindsey Coats each tallied eight kills.

With seven kills each, junior setter Heather Wilson and freshman middle blocker Sam Zuber were key contributors for the Camels.

The defense was led by the strong back row play of Layden, who paced the match with 13 digs.  Freshman outside Renatta Laport set a personal-best with five digs as eight players notched atleast two against the Eagles.

Zuber posted a math-high four blocks for the Camels, who recorded seven team blocks.  Sophomore Lorin Thomas added three blocks along with Coats.

N.C. Central (1-8) was led by Dayana Arrufat Rondon with 16 kills followed by Christine Anthony with 14.  Overall the teams battled to 22 ties and seven lead changes throughout the match.

In the first set, NCCU raced out to a 13-6 advantage before Campbell responded.  The Camels cut the lead to one at 15-14 to cap an 8-2 run on a kill by sophomore right side Brooke Kelley.

Campbell would cut the advantage to one on six occasions, but were able to push the match past 25 points.  A Kelley kill began a three-point rally that was aided by a Zuber ace and completed with a Coats kill for a 27-25 victory.

The second set would be evenly played between the teams as the frame saw 15 ties and six lead changes as neither team captured a lead larger than three.

With the set square at 26-all, a mistake from the Eagles would provide set point and a big block from Zuber and Layden capped the frame, 28-26, to provide the Camels with a 2-0 lead in the match.

Both teams would come out of the intermission battling for each point in the first 10 games. Wilson and Zuber aided the Camels from the service line to a comfortable 16-7 lead.

The set would end with Wilson at the service line and Thomas posting back-to-back-to-back kills followed by a double block from Thomas and Zuber.

The Camels travel to Raleigh, N.C., this weekend for the NC State Courtyard Midtown Invitational and begin the event with Central Michigan at 4 p.m. on Friday.  NC State and Western Carolina are on the docket on Saturday with the first serve slated for 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.



UNC ASHEVILLE DEFEATS WESTERN CAROLINA, 23-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-12 | BOX SCORE

For the second straight year, the UNC Asheville volleyball team rallied to win its home opener.

A year ago, the Bulldogs trailed Gardner-Webb by two sets before storming back to win.  Tuesday against Western Carolina, Asheville lost the first two sets 25-23, 25-17 but roared back to win 25-23, 25-21, 15-12.

Holly Shelton led the Asheville (2-7) comeback with a career-high 23 kills and a career- best 17 digs.  Anna Moore chipped in 13 kills, while freshman Christine Lakatos had nine kills.  Setter Katie Davis had 53 assists and 11 digs.  Alex Stewart led the Bulldog offense with 22 digs.

Western Carolina (2-5) was led by Caitlin Piechota with 20 kills and 13 digs.  Leah Butler finished with 17 kills, while Jordan Timmerman contributed 15 kills and 14 digs.

WCU won the first two sets behind the play of Butler and Piechota.  Butler had eight kills in the opening set.

But Asheville quickly rallied in the third set.  The Bulldogs led most of the way before fending off WCU comebacks to win 25-23.

The home team was in command of the fourth set as they led from start to finish.  The Cats hurt themselves with eight attack errors.  Moore had six kills in the set.

In the fifth set, Asheville ran off four straight points early to grab a 4-1 lead.  WCU tied the match a 7-7 on a kill from Timmerman.  Shelton's 20th kills put the Bulldogs in front for good at 8-7.

Asheville got the lead up to 10-7 and three different times WCU closed to within one point as a Zimmerman kill carved the lead to 13-12.

But Moore got a kill to give the Bulldogs a 14-12 advantage.  And Rachel Wells had her only kill of the match on match point to give Asheville the thrilling win.

UNC Asheville plays next in Greensboro at the Spartan-Aggie Invitational this weekend.  The Bulldogs play at UNC Greensboro Friday at 7 p.m. and then has two matches at North Carolina A&T on Saturday.  Asheville faces American at 11 a.m., followed by a match with the Aggies at 7 p.m.



HIGH POINT DEFEATS UNC GREENSBORO, 25-18, 25-19, 20-25, 26-28, 15-8 | BOX SCORE

After UNC Greensboro came back from two down to force a fifth set, the High Point University volleyball team topped the Spartans, 15-8, in the deciding frame to take a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night at the Millis Center.  Senior Courtney Johnk and sophomore Chelsea Davis each had 18 kills for the Panthers.

Davis had a career-high in kills (18) and digs (23) in the Panthers' 3-2 (25-18, 25-19, 20-25, 26-28, 15-8) win over UNC Greensboro.  Senior Molly Barlow also posted a career-high 30 digs.  HPU is 4-0 in five-set matches this season.

Davis had four of her kills in the fifth set including one to bring up match point, 14-8.  Barlow went back to the service line and put down an ace to win the match.  High Point is 5-3 on the season while UNC Greensboro drops to 3-1 with its first loss.

UNCG opened the match with a 5-1 lead which the Panthers erased to hold a 16-11 advantage at the first timeout.  The Panthers pushed their lead to seven points, 23-16, on an ace by Johnk.  High Point won the set 25-18.  HPU outhit the Spartans .314 to .059 in the frame.

High Point closed the second set on a 12-1 run to beat the Spartans 25-19.  UNC Greensboro had an 18-13 lead over the Panthers when Johnk put down a kill to sideout for the Panthers.  Johnk went back to the service line and HPU scored 10 straight points.  Jamie McDonald had the final kill of the frame to win the set for HPU.

The third set was a reversal for the Panthers, who trailed early but allowed UNC Greensboro to take the set late. HPU made 10 attack errors and hit .000 in the frame. The Panthers 16-12 lead disappeared with a service error and four straight attack errors. UNCG took advantage of High Point's miscues and held on to win the set 25-20.

UNC Greensboro pushed HPU until the end in the fourth set, coming away with a 28-26 win to tie the match 2-2.  A kill by Davis knotted the score 26-26 but she followed it with an error to give the Spartans set point.  Karrian Chambers put down a kill to win the set for UNC Greensboro.

Sophomore Kristin Heldt finished the match with 13 kills and freshman Annemarie Chin came up with 14 digs.  Sophomore Caity Farus added eight kills and three blocks.

This weekend the Panthers will host the High Point University Classic at the Millis Center.  George Mason, Loyola Marymount and Virginia Tech will make the trip to High Point.  The tournament begins with a match between HPU and George Mason on Saturday at 7 p.m.



RADFORD DEFEATED BY ELON, 23-25, 14-25, 25-23, 25-15, 12-15 | BOX SCORE

After falling behind 2-0, the Radford volleyball team rallied to tie the match, but fell in the decisive fifth set to Elon on Tuesday night inside the Dedmon Center.  Set scores were 23-25, 14-25, 25-23, 25-15 and 12-15.
 
Rachel Wiechecki once again led the Highlander attack with 14 kills and 14 digs, making her outing the sixth double-double of the season for the sophomore from Wilmington, Del.  Emma Deininger chipped in 10 kills, five blocks and four digs.
 
Jena Braden (21) and Christine Beckham (18) combined for 39 assists on the night, while Braden also added 10 digs for her first double-double of the season.  Katelyn Meeks and Emily Carlin split time as the libero, contributing 14 and 11 digs, respectively.
 
Elon (4-4) was paced by Megan Gravley's 24 kills and 11 digs.  Maggie Reichard was credited with a match-high 23 digs, while Ana Nicksic dished out a match-high 46 helpers.
 
Nine of Gravley's 24 kills came in the opening set.  The Phoenix and Radford (4-4) were locked in a tight battle early on with neither team creating separation.  Elon finally established the largest lead for either team in the first set at 19-16.  The Highlanders went on a 7-3 run, capped by a Cheyanne James kill, to give RU the 23-22 advantage.
 
However, the visitors grabbed the final three points of the opening frame to take the win, 25-23.
 
Elon hit a team-best .314 in the second set to take a 2-0 lead in the match.  Racing out to a 10-4 lead, the Phoenix extended the margin to 10 at 16-6, prompting the Highlanders to burn a timeout.  A kill by Wiechecki pulled Radford within seven at 19-12.  After an Elon timeout, the visitors regrouped and claimed the second game, 25-14.
 
Thanks to a match-high hitting percentage of .375, the Highlanders kept their hopes alive in set three.  Back and forth action was the theme until the Phoenix scored back-to-back points late in the game to take a 21-19 edge.  Following a Radford timeout, Elon expanded its lead to 23-20.
 
Freshman Savanna Burton came up with an answer for the Highlanders, putting down one of her seven kills on the next rally to spark a 5-0 run to clinch the third set, 25-23, and keep RU in the match.
 
The fourth game was all Radford as the hosts held the Phoenix to a -.033 attack clip.  On the offensive side, Wiechecki came alive in the fourth set - hitting over 40 percent.  Holding on to a 13-12 advantage, a Meeks' service ace ignited a 12-3 spurt that gave Radford the fourth set, 25-15, and forced a decisive fifth game.
 
After winning the first three points, a Deininger kill capped a 4-0 run to give the Highlanders their only lead of the set.  Elon returned the favor by claiming the next five points, to restore its lead to four.  Radford trimmed its deficit to 13-12, but two attack errors ended the match and dashed the Highlanders' comeback.
 
RU will be back in action Friday, Sept. 7, competing in the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge hosted by West Virginia in Morgantown.  Up first for the Highlanders is Wright State at 5:30 p.m.  On Saturday, Radford will battle the Mountaineers and Saint Peter's at 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., respectively.