VB Weekend Preview: Buccaneers host Radford and Liberty in Big South Conference weekend series

VB Weekend Preview: Buccaneers host Radford and Liberty in Big South Conference weekend series

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern returns to the Buccaneer Field House this weekend as CSU hosts Radford and Liberty this weekend in Big South Conference volleyball action on Friday and Saturday. The Bucs will take on the Highlanders on Friday night in a battle between the last two undefeated teams in conference play with first serve set for 7 p.m. CSU will host Liberty on Saturday afternoon with first serve scheduled for 2 p.m.

Both matches will be streamed live via the Big South Network, while live stats will be provided at CSUSports.com. Live updates during the match will be provided on Twitter: @CSUGameDay.

CSU Volleyball Match Notes - vs. Radford*, vs. Liberty*

­­ Scouting Radford
Radford enters the Friday night matchup riding a seven-match winning streak with wins in 10 of its last 11 matches. The Highlanders have posted three Big South road wins on the season at Presbyterian, Campbell, and UNC Asheville, while RU has topped High Point, Liberty, Winthrop and Gardner-Webb at home. Radford is led by Maddie Palmer's 4.19 kills per set, while Mallory McKnight is the hitting leader with a .278 hitting percentage. Haley Kleespies sets up the offense with 11.03 assists per set. Defensively, Kelby Jackson (3.74) leads three players averaging more than three digs per set, while Amaya Rousseau is the blocking leader with 0.98 blocks per set. 

Scouting Liberty
Liberty enters the weekend with four straight wins against Big South opponents after falling at High Point and Radford to open conference play. The Flames take on Presbyterian College on Friday night in Clinton, S.C., before making the trip to Charleston on Saturday to take on the Buccaneers. Leah Clayton leads the Liberty attack on the season with 3.47 kills per set, while Anna Gragg is the hitting leader with a .298 hitting percentage. Anna Willey sets up the offense with 9.10 assists per set. Defensively, Margaret Latchford is the digs leader at 3.19, while Sirenra Vorster leads the Flames at the net with 1.13 blocks per set.

Last Season against Radford/Liberty
Charleston Southern split against the Highlanders and Flames in the 2015 season as the Buccaneers made the trip up to Virginia to face the Big South duo last season. CSU fell to Liberty in four sets on October 16 in the Vines Center. Addison Kaderli sparked the Bucs to a five-set win over Radford on the following afternoon with six of her team-high 18 kills coming in the decisive fifth set in CSU's 3-2 win over the Highlanders.

Last Time out for CSU - Bucs improve to 4-0 in Big South play with 3-1 win over Asheville
Charleston Southern improved to 4-0 in Big South Conference play as the Buccaneers topped UNC Asheville on Tuesday afternoon at the Justice Center in four sets, 25-19, 28-26, 21-25, 25-20. Addison Kaderli led four Bucs (9-11, 4-0) in double-digits with 17 kills as CSU hit .283 from the floor as a team in the conference victory. Kylie Klein (12), Connor Malone (11) and Hannah Western (10) joined Kaderli in double-digits as CSU continued their best conference-opening stretch since the 1988 season.

Bucs against Radford/Liberty under Mooberry
Radford and Liberty have both had the Buccaneers' number over the past three seasons with CSU posting a combined 1-5 record against the Highlanders and Flames. CSU is 0-3 against Liberty over the stretch, but the Bucs have found even footing with the Highlanders. CSU topped Radford last season in a five-set thriller at the Dedmon Center to improve to 1-2 against the Highlanders under Coach Christy Mooberry. 

Battle of the Unbeatens
Someone's perfect conference record is coming to an end on Friday night as CSU hosts Radford in the Buccaneer Field House. The Bucs (4-0) and Highlanders (7-0) are the final two teams to remain undefeated in conference play heading into the weekend. CSU has topped Presbyterian, Gardner-Webb, UNC Asheville and Campbell, while the Highlanders wrap up their first trip through conference play on Friday against the Bucs. 

CSU is 4-0 in Big South Conference Play
You have to dig back into the record books to find the last time the Buccaneers opened Big South Conference play with four straight conference wins. CSU previously started conference play with a 4-0 record back in the 1988 season under Hall of Fame coach Amir Khaledi. CSU opened the season with a pair of home wins against Coastal Carolina and Radford on their way to posting a 5-1 record in conference play on the year. CSU went on to win the Big South regular season and tournament championships in the 1988 season.

Big South Players of the Week
Charleston Southern has been well-decorated by the Big South Conference in the 2016 season with three Buccaneers receiving weekly honors by the conference office. Madison Martin (Defensive) and Brooke Monssen (Freshman) both received honors after leading CSU at the Bash in the Boro hosted by Georgia Southern. Rachel Smith joined the duo, earning Big South Freshman of the Week honors on September 26 after leading the Bucs to back-to-back Big South wins over Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian. 

CSU Big South Weekly Award Winners
Defensive Player of the Week

  • Sept. 6 - Madison Martin - Averaged 5.40 D/S, Four matches with 20+ digs

Freshman of the Week

  • Sept. 6 - Brooke Monssen - Averaged 2.55 K/S, 1.15 B/S, Double-digit kills in three matches
  • Sept. 26 - Rachel Smith - Averaged 8.38 A/S, 3.88 D/S, Double-Doubles in both CSU wins 

Chasing the NCAA Leaders
As a team, CSU sits among the national leaders in four separate categories on the 2016 season. The Bucs are 21st in digs per set at 16.77, 27th in team digs with 1,241, 38th in team service aces with 110 and 41st in team total attacks with 2,709.

Among the NCAA Individual Leaders

Among the Big South Individual Leaders

  • Kylie Klein is eighth in the Big South in hitting percentage at .274
  • Addison Kaderli is fifth in the Big South in kills per set at 2.86
  • Brooke Monssen is seventh in the Big South in kills per set with 2.65
  • Rachel Smith is third in the Big South in assists per set with 7.39
  • Madison Martin is eighth in the Big South in service aces per set with 0.38
  • Kylie Klein leads the Big South in blocks per set with 1.18
  • Caitlyn Michalski is fourth in the Big South in blocks per set with 1.03
  • Addison Kaderli is sixth in the Big South in points per set with 3.20
  • Brooke Monssen is seventh in the Big South in points per set with 3.18
  • Madison Martin is third in the Big South in digs per set with 4.55
  • Taylor Allman is 10th in the Big South in digs per set with 3.13

Among the Big South Team Leaders

  • Charleston Southern leads the Big South in digs per set with 16.77
  • Charleston Southern is second in the Big South in blocks per set with 2.36