Charleston, S.C. – The lethal combination of Amanda Rudnik and Rachael Farrell allowed The Citadel volleyball team to close out the East Bay Deli Invitational in winning fashion as the Bulldogs swept host Charleston Southern by scores of 25-19, 25-12 and 25-20.
Rudnik completed the second match of the day with a double-double, 10 kills and 13 digs, while hitting .269. Meanwhile, Farrell tacked on nine kills and 11 digs and teammate Emily Dalton added 11 digs for the Dogs. The Citadel (2-11) finished with 42 kills in their first sweep of the season, making for a .293 attack percentage. Mikaela Tracy, who dished out 112 assists and was responsible for 41 digs in the two-day event, grabbed all-tournament honors. Joining her in that honor was teammate Lauren Hurt, who finished with 26 kills and 16 total blocks (seven solo).
"Overall we came out of the tournament with a series of great performances," said head coach Amir Khaledi. "We won a big five-set match over Stetson and managed a sweep of Charleston Southern and even though we lost a close match to Wofford, the play of Mikaela and Lauren kept us in matches the entire weekend. Mikaela showed great maturity in the way that she carried our offense as a setter with her assists and digs. Lauren kept us in all three matches with her blocks at critical junctures and complimented those with kills at crucial points."
Charleston Southern (5-9) was unable to find any rhythm on the offensive end as the Bulldogs limited the Bucs to a .094 attack percentage. Siraya Windsor led the way with nine kills, while Kayla Klinger and Katrina Houston added six kills each. Ashley Higgenbothem (15 digs) and Sydney Tracy (seven digs) provided the defensive spark.
The service game of Mikaela Tracy and Rudnik combined for five of the Dogs first eight points in the opening set. Leading 8-6, The Citadel turned to Lauren Hurt who came through with a pair of kills to push the Dogs in front by five. CSU closed to within two points, 12-10, but a series of kills by Ise d'Angelo, Tracy, Maxwell and Rudnik maintained the five-point margin. Leading 21-16 in the latter stages of the set, a Farrell service ace combined with a d'Angelo kill put the Cadets in command, 23-16. Five points later, Farrell completed the victory, 25-19, with a kill on a pass from Tracy.
Tracy continued her solid play in the opening frame of the second set, accounting for seven points, as The Citadel moved in front 16-7. The Bulldogs continued to pile on the offensive numbers with kills by Farrell, Hunt and d'Angelo to assume a 21-12 lead. It was there that Erin Bucherl stepped in to complete the 25-12 win with four points in serve, giving the Dogs a two set lead.
Tracy again allowed the Bulldogs snagged an early lead in the third set, 8-7. She sparked an 8-2 run and along with kills by d'Angelo and Maxwell The Citadel assumed a 17-9 lead. Despite a series of points from CSU, three kills by Rudnik and one each by d'Angelo and Farrell put the Dogs in command 22-17. The Citadel took advantage of kills down the stretch by Hurt and Farrell to complete the 25-20 sweep.
WOFFORD 3, THE CITADEL 2
Senior outside hitter Rachael Farrell continued her stellar play this weekend when she led the capped off her second double-double (16 kills, 12 digs) in as many matches. However, it was not enough to carry The Citadel past a Wofford squad who earned the 3-2 (25-17, 25-16, 22-25, 22-25, 15-13) victory.
Farrell was the standout on a well-balanced Citadel offensive unit that combined for 51 team kills and 90 digs. Nine kills apiece from Amanda Rudnik and Jessica Maxwell combined with eight kills by the tandem of Lauren Hurt and Ise d'Angelo gave Wofford problems throughout the contest. Rudnik added 21 digs on defense, while teammates Mikaela Tracy and Emily Dalton tacked on 17 and 14 digs, respectively.
Wofford countered with four players in double figure kills, led by Wendy Burnett's 16. Burnett teamed with Rachel Woodlee (15 kills), Amanda Liguori (15 kills) and Arden Anderson (13 kills) to give the Terriers 69 team kills and a .226 attack percentage. The defensive attack of Reagan Styles (25 digs) and Liguori (23 digs) were the anchors for a unit that combined for 101 digs.
Matching the intensity of the other in the opening set, Wofford managed to take an early 8-5 lead on a series of kills by Liguori. Rudnik answered with a kill on a pass from Tracy before the Terriers scored seven of the next 10 points to move in front 15-9. The Citadel pulled within four points on just four more occasions, capitalizing on kills by Farrell and d'Angelo, to make for a 19-15 score. But, two kills down the stretch my Anderson proved to be the difference in the 25-17 final.
The early battle in the second set was the same as the first as the two teams reached a 7-7 tie on a Liguori service ace. Wofford managed to take advantage of a Citadel service error, putting together an 8-2 run and moving in front 15-9 on a Kelsey Bagwell kill. Three unforced errors and a Farrell kill kept the Dogs within striking distance, 19-13, but Wofford took advantage of kills by Liguori and Woodlee to complete the 25-16 win.
The Citadel made a resounding response in the third set by jumping out to an early lead. Dalton utilized her service skills to ace the Terriers on four occasions and along with a kill by Maxwell, to assume the 16-5 advantage. The Cadets continued to click offensively with kills by Maxwell and Rudnik en route to a 21-12 score. Wofford put heat on the Dogs with a series of Woodlee kills, trimming the margin to six, but four unforced errors proved to be the difference in the 25-22 Citadel victory.
Ise d'Angelo proved to be a valuable commodity for the Bulldogs early in the fourth set with a series of kills to give the early 9-7 lead. Wofford again would answer with a run, outscoring the Cadets 6-4, to draw the set even at 13-13. The two teams played to a fifth, 20-20, before a series of attack errors by the Terriers with Tracy in serve made for a three-point Citadel lead. The Bulldogs closed the set with kills by Maxwell and Farrell to send the match to a decisive fifth set with a 25-22 win.
Maxwell was key for The Citadel in the early going of the fifth set as her service game combined with a critical kill by Farrell made for an early 10-5 Citadel lead. The rival Terriers responded with two kills by Anderson and one each from Liguori, Woodlee and Burnett to pull ahead 13-12. Maxwell answered for the Citadel by driving a strike past the Wofford defense, but it was a kill by Woodlee and an unforced error that proved to be the 15-13 match clincher.
For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.