Kaderli, Smith lead Buccaneers to 2-0 start in Big South play with four-set win over Gardner-Webb

Kaderli, Smith lead Buccaneers to 2-0 start in Big South play with four-set win over Gardner-Webb

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. Addison Kaderli and Rachel Smith both posted double-doubles for Charleston Southern as the Buccaneers topped the Runnin' Bulldogs in four sets on Saturday afternoon in Paul Porter Arena, 25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 26-24.

Kaderli led the Bucs (7-11, 2-0) with 13 kills and 10 digs on the afternoon as CSU picked up its second Big South win to open conference play on the season. Smith added 34 assists and 19 digs as CSU improves to 2-0 in Big South play for the first time since the 1988 season.

Connor Malone and Brooke Monssen finished with nine kills apiece as the Bucs hit .175 from the floor as a team. Madison Martin led CSU's defensive efforts with 21 digs and added three service aces. Kylie Klein led CSU's blocking efforts at the net with seven total blocks.

Taylor Lillard was one of three Gardner-Webb (9-6, 1-1) players to achieve double-digits in the kills category with 14 on the afternoon. She added 11 digs to complete the double-double. Keira Moore added 13 kills, while Hannah Driscoll finished the match with 12 for the Runnin' Bulldogs. Tinsley Fain (30) and Amanda Sahm (25) combined to set up the GWU offense. Emma Milstead led the defensive efforts with 25 digs.

CSU jumped ahead 5-1 early in the first set as Malone set the tone early with a pair of kills. The junior right side hitter connected on four kills overall in the first set with her final one breaking a late tie to give the Bucs 22-21 lead. Klein and Smith combined for a block to give CSU set point, before Smith put the ball home to cap the Bucs' 25-22 first set win.

Gardner-Webb built an 8-2 lead early in the second set and never let CSU get within striking distance in evening the match at 1-1 heading into the break. The Runnin' Bulldogs held a late 22-13 advantage over the Bucs and closed out the set on a two Kiera Moore kills and a final kill from Driscoll to take the 25-17 set win.

GWU took the first four points of the third set and five of the first six in building the early lead over CSU out of the break. CSU responded with an 11-1 surge of their own with Martin and Taylor Allman both connecting on service aces during the span to build the 11-6 lead. The Runnin' Bulldogs fought back with Lillard connecting on a kill to tie the set up at 14-14. CSU broke the tie with five of the next seven points and the Bucs controlled the set the rest of the way with Smith and Caitlyn Michalski combining on the block to end the 25-20 set win.

Back-to-back kills by Malone and Klein ended the fourth set and gave the Bucs the 26-24 match-clinching set win. With CSU trailing 21-17 late in the frame, Kaderli and Malone connected on back-to-back kills to spark the Bucs' offense late. Kaderli recorded three kills late and Smith added a service ace during the run to close out the win.

Charleston Southern continues Big South Conference place this week as the Buccaneers open up the 2016 home schedule on Saturday afternoon against Campbell University. First serve between CSU and the Fighting Camels in the Buccaneer Field House is set for 2 p.m.