Buccaneers split on first day of Bulldog Invitational; CSU falls to Austin Peay in opener before rallying to top Savannah State

Buccaneers split on first day of Bulldog Invitational; CSU falls to Austin Peay in opener before rallying to top Savannah State

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern split its matches on the opening day of the Bulldog Invitational hosted by The Citadel in McAlister Field House. The Buccaneers fell in the opener to Austin Peay in three sets, 25-17, 25-23, 25-23. CSU bounced back to top the Savannah State in the afternoon match, 25-12, 26-28, 25-16, 25-23.

The Buccaneers (5-9) continue tournament play tomorrow afternoon as CSU closes out the final day of the Bulldog Invitational against Elon and The Citadel. First serve in the afternoon match against the Phoenix is set for 2:30 p.m. The Bucs take on the tournament host Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

Austin Peay 3, Charleston Southern 0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-23)
Addison Kaderli's 10 kills and Madison Martin's 17 digs led the Bucs in the early afternoon matchup against the Governors as CSU fell in three sets in their Bulldog Invitational opener on Friday.

Brooke Monssen added eight kills as the Buccaneers hit .159 from the floor as a team in the match. Rachel Smith set up the offense with 18 assists and added eight digs. Kylie Klein had six total blocks (two solo, four assists) at the net to pace CSU defensively.

Cecily Gable led APSU with 16 kills and Kaitlyn Teeter was also in double-digits with 12 kills as the Governors hit .256 as a team in the match. Kristen Stucker set up the offense with 39 assists. Teeter and Allie O'Reilly had 11 digs apiece.

A combined block by Caitlyn Michalski and Logan Windsor pulled CSU back to within one at 8-7 in the first set before APSU took control of the frame. The Governors went on a 11-4 run sparked by a pair of blocks and a kill by Kaylee Taff to take a 19-11 lead in the set. The Bucs staved off set point with three straight points late in the set, but Taff put in the game-winner to give APSU the 1-0 lead with the 25-17 set win.

Three straight points on Kaderli's serve spotted CSU with the 8-6 lead early as the Bucs and Governors went back-and-forth early in the frame. APSU's Gable tied the set at 12-12 with a kill to start a Governors' run. APSU went up by six at 23-17 following a CSU attack error before the Bucs rallied back. CSU brought the frame all the way back to within one point at 24-23 following a 6-1 run before a service error brought the Bucs just short of completing the comeback in the 25-23 set loss.

CSU went up 15-11 midway through the third set as Smith put in one of her five kills in the set. APSU responded with a 10-2 run capped by three straight Teeter kills to take the 21-17 lead. The Bucs brought the set back to within one point on two separate occasions before Gable put in the final kill to end the match.

Charleston Southern 3, Savannah State 1 (25-12, 26-28, 25-16, 25-23)
Brooke Monssen recorded a career-high 20 kills as Charleston Southern topped Savannah State for second time this week and third of the season in the four set win.

Connor Malone added a career-high 17 kills in the match with the junior right side hitter connecting at a .419 clip to pace the CSU offense. The Bucs hit .204 from the floor as a team in the win.

Rachel Smith set up the Bucs' attack with 32 assists and the freshman setter added 13 digs to complete the double-double. Madison Martin led five CSU players in double-digits in digs with 17. Taylor Allman (12), Addison Kaderli (11) and Logan Windsor (10) were also in double-digits. Caitlyn Michalski led the Bucs at the net with eight total blocks.

Caitlynn Masoe led Savannah State with 11 kills in the match as the Lady Tigers struggled from the floor in hitting -.019 as a team. Alee Quint set up the offense with 20 assists. Alexis Washington led SSU's defensive efforts with 16 digs.

Charleston Southern broke open a 7-7 tie in the first set with an 18-5 run in building the 1-0 lead. Monssen and Malone combined for 11 kills in the first set as the Bucs built a double-digit lead at 21-11 on their way to the set victory.

Savannah State rallied back from set point in the second frame in evening the match at 1-1. The Buccaneers utilized a 6-0 run sparked by a pair of blocks from Michalski and Sydney Schwiebert to build a 24-21 advantage. The Lady Tigers rallied back with four straight points with Jademone Jones and Charlinda Colbert combining for a block to give SSU the 25-24 lead. Michalski and Monssen both added kills for CSU to continue the set, but a Bucs' attack error ended the frame in favor of Savannah State, 28-26.

CSU utilized an early run in the third set in building a 15-8 advantage. The Bucs lead never went below five the rest of the way as Klein and Monssen combined for a pair of blocks to end the third set in favor of the Bucs, 25-16.

The Bucs rallied late in the fourth set to close out the match. Trailing 23-20, Monssen sparked a 5-0 run with a kill and Michalski added a solo block during the stretch as CSU took the 25-23 set win.