Strong offensive output leads Radford past Charleston Southern

Strong offensive output leads Radford past Charleston Southern

RADFORD, Va. - Charleston Southern was unable to overcome a strong offensive output by host Radford on Thursday night in the Dedmon Center as the Buccaneers fell in straight sets to the Highlanders, 25-19, 25-18, 25-17.

Addison Kaderli and Connor Malone led the Bucs (12-19, 7-8) with seven kills apiece as CSU split the season series with the Highlanders. The Bucs previously topped Radford at home in the Buccaneer Field House on October 14 in four sets.

Naiomi Rivera set up the CSU offense with 26 assists as the Bucs hit .108 from the floor in the loss. Madison Martin led the backline defense with 11 digs, while Taylor Allman was also in double-digits with 10 digs. Connor Malone led the Bucs at the net with three total blocks.

Stephanie Neast led the RU (23-5, 14-2) offense with 10 kills and a .474 hitting percentage to pace the Highlanders to the win. Haley Kleespies set up an RU offense that connected at a .257 clip with 36 assists in the match. Maddie Palmer was the Highlanders' defensive leader with 10 digs.

CSU battled back from a 6-3 deficit with a 5-0 run in the first set behind a pair of Kaderli kills as the Bucs took their largest lead of the frame. Connor Malone added a pair of blocks during the stretch before Neast ended the CSU stretch with a kill. The teams swapped points with the Bucs tying the frame up at 16-16 on a Malone kill. The Highlanders closed out the set with a 9-3 run paced by a pair of Neast kills in taking the 1-0 lead.

The Highlanders rode the momentum from the first set in building a 5-0 lead on Kelby Jackson's serve in the opening frame. Back-to-back Brooke Monssen kills narrowed Radford's lead to 9-7 to keep CSU in the frame. The two-point deficit was as close as CSU would get the rest of the way as five kills by Sydney Tekstra gave RU late momentum in taking the 25-18 win.

Radford never trailed in the third set in closing out the sweep. Macey LaPorte connected on a late service ace to prolong the match, but a solo block by Palmer ended the match in favor of the Highlanders.

Charleston Southern closes out the regular season on the road this weekend with a Saturday matchup at Liberty. The Buccaneers take on the Flames in Liberty Christian Academy with first serve set for 1 p.m.