Aug. 31, 2002
East Lansing, Mich. – South Carolina volleyball suffered its first loss of the season as they fell to No. 15 Michigan State 3-1. Despite USC’s 30-20 game one win, the Spartans won three straight, 31-29, 33-31 and 34-32 to win the Coca-Cola/MSU Volleyball Classic. Gamecocks Megan Hosp, Cally Plummer and Berna Dwyer were named to the All-Tournament team.
Errors cost the Gamecocks. USC recorded 36 while MSU had 28. Carolina had four players collect double-figure kills including two double-doubles. Sarah Morgan recorded her second double-double of the tourney with 15 kills and 12 digs, while Plummer recorded 15 kills and 20 digs. Hosp registered a season high 55 assists and 16 digs, while Sam Alban and Dwyer led the team with 17 kills each.
“I thought that was a great match. The match-ups were really good. It really could have gone either way. Who knows what would have happened if it had gone to game five,” said head coach Kim Christopher. “Sara Villwock stepped it up and did what she needed to do to help her team out. We made a lot of errors but I still saw some good things.”
USC came out on fire in game one as they led by as much as 10 points at 18-28. Tough defense held the Spartans to just a .118 hitting percentage. The Gamecocks kept errors to a minimum in game one as they recorded only four. Alban led the game by hitting .714 with five kills, zero errors and seven attempts. Dwyer was a close second as she hit .625 with five kills, zero errors and eight attempts.
Michigan State rallied back in game two, and despite being down by eight at one point in the game, the Spartans came from behind to win 31-29. Carolina had the lead at 26-27 before MSU’s Kim Schram connected on two straight kills to tie and take the lead. USC’s Plummer tied the game twice more but an error by Yajaira Cadet and a kill by MSU’s Angela Morley pushed the Spartans to the game win, and a 1-1 tie in the match. The Gamecocks were held to -.022 with 13 kills, 14 errors and 46 attempts.
Game three was an even tougher battle as USC was down by six four times before the Gamecocks tied the match 19-19. Since the 19-19 tie, there were 11 lead changes before the final result of 33-31, Spartans. USC registered more kills then MSU in game three 22-18 but had 10 errors to the Spartans five.
Michigan State sealed the deal in game four in a back-and-forth battle. With 25 ties in game four alone, the Spartans claimed the championship on a service ace by MVP Sara Villwock. For the match, USC out hit the Spartans .209 to .204 but MSU recorded 15 team blocks to USC’s 12.
The Gamecocks return home for the Carolina Classic Sept. 6-7. USC will open the tourney against Arizona State on Friday at 7 p.m.
Coca-Cola/MSU Volleyball Classic All-Tournament Team Cally Plummer, S. Carolina Megan Hosp, S. Carolina Berna Dwyer, S. Carolina Nikki Colson, MSU Angela Morley, MSU Lauren Warner, Georgetown MVP- Sara Villwock, MSU