CHARLESTON, S.C. - Katrina Houston led the way with 10 kills as Charleston Southern swept South Carolina State in their final match at the Sticky Fingers Citadel Invitational, defeating the Bulldogs 25-15, 25-15, 25-18.
Houston paved the way for the Bucs with her double-digit kill effort, while Meredith Parrott added eight kills and Kayla Klinger had seven of her own to go with 13 digs in the win. Cassidy Greer set up the CSU attack with 21 assists as the Buccaneers hit .247 from the floor as a team.
Parrott, Siraya Windsor and Houston all had three service aces apiece in the victory, while defensively Maggie Murphy had 17 digs in the contest to lead all players. Windsor added 13 digs of her own, while Erin LaVenice continued her dominant play at the net this weekend with five blocks in the match.
Charleston Southern improves to 4-7 overall with the win, while S.C. State falls to 0-9 in the 2013 season.
Desire Waller led all players with 12 kills in pacing the Bulldogs efforts on the afternoon, while Melanie Williams had 18 assists in the match. Victoria Ferguson (12) and Williams (10) both reached double-digits in digs, while Taylor Bailey had two blocks in the loss.
Charleston Southern jumped ahead early in the first set and held off a late S.C. State rally in taking the first frame and going up 1-0 after the 25-15 set win.
With the margin at 8-5 in favor of CSU, the Buccaneers went on a 10-1 run sparked by a kill by Klinger in building the 18-6 advantage. During the run, Houston placed in three service aces and added two kills over the span to take the 12 point lead.
With the lead at 24-9 following an S.C. State service error, the Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run, forestalling the set win by CSU on Alexis Moses' serve as Desire Waller had a pair of kills during the run to cut the deficit down to 24-15. However, the comeback fell short as Houston placed in the final kill for the Bucs as CSU took the 25-15 win.
The teams rallied back and forth in the second set with S.C. State taking the slight lead at 11-9 following a CSU attack error. However, the Bucs rallied to even the frame up on a service ace by Windsor at 11-11 before a kill by Waller swung the lead back to the Bulldogs.
The Waller kill was answered by Houston and sparked a 12-0 run for CSU on Parrott's serve as LaVenice had three blocks during the stretch and added a kill, while Parrott had a pair of aces to give the Bucs the 23-12 lead. Klinger placed in the final kill for CSU in the set, connecting on the pass from Kirsten Struksnes to give the Buccaneers the 2-0 lead.
The Buccaneers carried the momentum over into the third set, taking seven of the first nine points behind a trio of Houston kills to go up 7-2 early over the Bulldogs. S.C. State rallied back, cutting the match down to within two points at 13-11 as Taylor Bailey placed in a service ace and added a kill.
Charleston Southern proved to be too much in the end though, as the Buccaneers closed out the frame, going up 18-13 on their way to a 25-18 third set win with Windsor placing in the final kill in the 25-18 win.
The Buccaneers remain on the road as CSU travels to Statesboro, Ga., next weekend to take on Jacksonville State, Central Michigan and host Georgia Southern in CSU's final tournament of the season. CSU opens play on Friday against the Gamecocks, with first serve set for 5 p.m.