October 9, 2012

Bulldogs Collect Home Wins over Charleston Southern, Savannah State

Charleston, S.C. – Behind four double-digit kill performances The Citadel volleyball team completed its second win of the season over Charleston Southern, prevailing in a five-set thriller by scores of 16-25, 25-20, 25-16, 19-25, 15-12 at McAlister Field House on Tuesday evening.

The Bulldogs (4-18) managed 13 kills apiece from Rachael Farrell and Jessica Maxwell, while Amanda Rudnik and Ise d'Angelo added 12 and 10 kills, respectively, in the night cap of a tri-match at McAlister Field House. Freshman Mikaela Tracy was also an integral part of The Citadel's offense, handing out 45 assists, tying her career-high for a match. On the defensive end, the Dogs got a sound showing from the back row combination of Erin Bucherl (22 digs), d'Angelo (12 digs) and Tracy (11 digs). Up front they were able to rely on the performances of Farrell (five assisted blocks) and Lauren Hurt (four assisted blocks, one solo). 

Charleston Southern, who slipped to 9-13 overall, was led offensively by Kayla Klinger's match-high 14 kills. The trio of Sydney Tracy, Wynter Davis and Meredith Parrott provided a formidable attack with 12 kills each, but it was not enough to turn back the upstart Bulldogs. Kirsten Struksnes handed out 55 assists to pace the Buccaneers offensive unit, while Ashely Higgenbothem (21 digs), Klinger (13 digs) and Siraya Windsor (13 digs) were the cogs defensively.

The Bucs gained an early lead in the first set, driving home nine kills among the first 25 points of the contest to establish a 16-8 lead. The Citadel responded with kills by Rudnik and Farrell, to trim the lead to five, 18-13, but allowed five CSU kills down the stretch to make for the 25-16 score.

The Citadel rebounded in the second set, using three kills by Farrell and two off the hand of d'Angelo to deadlock the game at 12-12. A pair of unforced errors allowed CSU to regain the lead, but that was quickly answered with a 5-1 run by the Dogs, who used two Hurt kills to take a 17-15 lead. The Bulldogs used two kills down the stretch by Farrell to their advantage as they knotted the set at 1-1 with a 25-20 win.

The closely matched units battled throughout the early stages of the third set, creating a 12-12 tie, behind three kills by Rudnik. The Bulldogs turned momentum in their favor with a 10-2 run, keyed by two points from Maxwell and Bucherl, to take a commanding 22-14 lead. A pair of kills by d'Angelo and Farrell, combined with a CSU error, proved decisive in the 25-16 win.

In similar fashion to the third set, the two teams reached a 12-12 deadlock, this time behind five kills by Klinger. Rudnik kept the Dogs within striking distance, but four kills by Tracy proved decisive as CSU took a 21-17 lead late in the game. The Dogs made one final push, pulling within two, 21-19, but two unforced errors and kills by Parrott and Klinger completed the 25-19 Buccaneer victory.

The Bulldogs forged ahead early in the fifth set, taking a 6-3 lead on a kill by d'Angelo, before CSU responded with kills by Tracy and Davis to send the game to a 7-7 tie. The two teams split each of the next four points before a Rudnik gave the Dogs a slim 10-9 lead. With Tracy in serve, the Dogs converted three straight points on unforced CSU errors before a pair of Rudnik kills closed the door on a 15-12 five-set win.

The Citadel 3, Savannah State 0

Behind a well-balanced lineup that included seven hits from Lauren Hurt, Rachael Farrell and Jessica Maxwell, The Citadel completed its second sweep of the season by defeating Savannah State by scores of 25-12, 25-17 and 25.17.

The Bulldogs converted 38 kills in 93 total attacks, committing only nine errors to close with a .312 hitting percentage. Sophomore Ise D'Angelo topped all hitters, finish with five kills in 10 attacks and a .500 hitting percentage. Meanwhile the Dogs defensive effort was anchored by the play of Erin Bucherl (14 digs) and Maxwell, who finished with three solo blocks and assisted on four others. Citadel setter Mikaela Tracy dished out 28 assists in the match.

Despite eight kills from Bryana Gadis, Savannah State struggled to find any rhythm in their offense, hitting just .063 on the afternoon. The Tigers posted 28 team kills and committed 22 errors. Bridgette Stephens recorded a team-high 11 digs, while Gadis tacked on seven digs.

Keyed by a pair of Maxwell kills The Citadel broke a 3-3 tie early in the opening stages of the first set to establish a 13-9 lead. The Bulldogs capitalized on nine Savannah State errors and a series of kills by Ise d'Angelo to complete the 25-12 opening game win.

Savannah State rebounded in the second set and forced 11 ties among the first 30 points to bring the game to a climatic 15-15 tie. An unforced error followed by a Tracy kill gave the Dogs a slim two point lead, 17-15, which quickly grew to five behind kills from Maxwell and Farrell teamed with a series of Tiger errors. The Citadel grabbed a two-game advantage in the match following strikes by Maxwell and Cassie Uribe, capturing the second game 25-17.

The third game of the set followed in the same fashion as the second with the two units battling to a 7-7 tie, before a kill by Mallory Moore gave the Dogs a lead they would not relinquish. Moore sparked a 13-4 run by The Citadel that included six kills, two each by Maxwell and Farrell, along with five Savannah State errors that made for a 20-13 advantage. Two kills down the stretch by Hurt proved to be the difference as the Cadets completed their third win of the season, 25-17.

The Citadel completes its six-match home stand at McAlister Field House this weekend when the Dogs host Samford (Oct. 13) and Chattanooga (Oct. 15). For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.

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