Presbyterian defeats Charleston Southern in Big South Conference opener

Presbyterian defeats Charleston Southern in Big South Conference opener
Box score

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Three Presbyterian volleyball players reached double-digit kills on Friday evening inside the Buccaneer Field House in the Big South season opener as the visiting Blue Hose topped Charleston Southern in three sets, 25-17, 25-19, 25-23.

Wynter Davis led CSU (5-11, 0-1 BSC) with eight kills, hitting .727 from the floor in the match and added three blocks for the Lady Bucs as Charleston Southern fell in their conference home opener to Presbyterian (4-12, 1-0 BSC). The Blue Hose were led by Presley Mabrey, Allison Brown and Kelly Berryman as the trio recorded 10 kills apiece as the visitors hit .234 as a team from the floor in the contest.

"Presbyterian played really well today and they showed us the difference between the regular season and conference play today," commented head coach Al Givens on the match. "Wynter (Davis) came to play today and had a great match, hitting .727 from the floor, but for the most part, we played like we were afraid to lose today, and you can't play like that in conference."

Presbyterian rattled off the first six points of the match and 13 of the first 16 in jumping to an early lead over Charleston Souhern as Mabrey sparked the Blue Hose with three kills and a pair of service aces. The lead remained double-digits until CSU rallied back, bringing the match to within five points at 22-17 as Sydney Tracy placed in a pair of service aces. Davis and Tracy combined for a pair of blocks during the comeback, but back-to-back Charleston Southern errors led to the final kill by Mabrey as the Blue Hose took the first set, 25-17.

Charleston Southern and Presbyterian battled throughout the second set as the teams combined for 12 ties and five lead changes in the frame, before Charleston Southern took an 18-15 lead following a block by Davis and Kirsten Struksnes. Presbyterian answered with the next three points to tie the set up again behind kills by Ashtin Frank and Andrea Barman to even the match. After PC's Andrea Barman and CSU's Davis traded kills to keep the match tied, Brown sparked a 6-0 Presbyterian run with a pair of kills to block out the set with Mabrey getting the final point to put the visitors up 2-0 with the 25-19 victory.

The final set was the most tightly contested of the match as the teams combined for 13 ties and six lead changes, with neither side able to gain more than a two-point advantage throughout the frame. Berryman snapped a 22-all tie with a kill for the Blue Hose and Frank followed with a kill to put the visitors within match point, but Davis followed with her eighth kill of the night to keep Charleston Southern in the match. However, Elizabeth Miler followed with the final point to give Presbyterian the 25-23 win and sweep over the host Buccaneers in the Big South Conference opener for both teams.

Kayla Klinger matched Davis with eight kills in the contest and Siraya Windsor added five for Charleston Southern as the Buccaneers hit .101 from the floor in the match. Ashley Higginbothem led CSU's defensive efforts with 13 digs, while Windsor was also in double-digits with 10 of her own. Struksnes added 20 set assists in the loss.

"The sun's going to come up tomorrow and we've got another match with Winthrop coming to town," said Givens about the short turnaround time. "They are a good team with a lot of weapons on the floor and they'll come to play. We have good kids here on the team and they're disappointed in their performance today. I'd like to see us rebound, come out and play hard tomorrow and see what happens."

Charleston Southern remains at home and in conference play as CSU welcomes Winthrop University to the Buccaneer Field House on Saturday, September 22nd. First serve between the Buccaneers and the Eagles is set for 2 p.m.