Oct. 8, 2003
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Lynae Vanden Hull set a season high for the team and a career best 27 kills as the Gamecocks (10-7, 4-1 SEC) topped the Kentucky Wildcats (10-7, 2-3 SEC) 3-2 Friday night. Shonda Cole also posted a career night, notching a career high 19 kills while Niece Curry added 14 kills. As a team, Carolina posted a season high 77 kills on the match.
“Tonight we played well at all the right times,” said Carolina Head Coach Kim Hudson Christopher. “This team is young and we can do so many things. We’ve been working on taking good shots when we have the right opportunities and we definitely did that tonight. Lynae [Vanden Hull] is a coach’s dream. She is really coming into her own and is a clutch player. We rely on her everyday. We’re off to a great start to the SEC season. We’re thrilled to get out of this match with a win and be 4-1 in the conference.”
South Carolina out hit Kentucky on the match .257 to .161 and also out killed UK 77-68. The match witnessed 20 ties and 13 lead changes in the five-game match. Game scores were 30-23, 26-30, 34-32, 29-31 and 15-13.
The Gamecocks out hit the Wildcats in the 30-23 game one victory .333 to .146. Cole, Curry and Vanden Hull each paced Carolina with four kills each. Morgan led the defensive effort with five digs while Benson and Thomson added four. Carolina out dug UK 18-11 as the Wildcats had two players in negative hitting percentages.
Game two witnessed a tougher Kentucky team come out to play as the Wildcats took a game from the Gamecocks for the first time since 2001. Despite the 30-26 loss, Carolina still out hit Kentucky .261 to .233 and out killed the Wildcats 19-15. Serving plagued Carolina as the Gamecocks recorded four service errors with no aces in game two while the Wildcats notched three aces and two service errors.
Game three was a see-saw nailbiter as USC and UK kept each other close late in the game as neither team had a lead larger than five points in the game. Carolina was up 30-29 but an attack error by Cole kept Kentucky in the game and tied the score at 30. Vanden Hull traded kills with Liz McCaslin of Kentucky to tie the game at 32. Miller and Iris Santos stepped up and notched back-to-back kills to seal the game three victory 34-32 and give Carolina the 2-1 lead in the match.
Game four witnessed a thriller as the Gamecocks started off down 24-13 but fought back with a 16-3 run to go ahead 29-27. But Kentucky answered with four straight points to take the game 31-29 and force a game five – the first five game match between the Gamecocks and the Wildcats since 1999.
Game five was another thriller with Carolina taking the win 15-13. USC out killed UK 9-8 and out dug the Wildcats 10-7. USC hit .316 while Kentucky hit .111 while South Carolina never relinquished the lead in the game.
Carolina now travels to Tennessee Friday to face the Lady Vols at 7 p.m. at the Stokely Athletics Center in Knoxville. The Gamecocks return home next weekend, hosting Western Divisional rival Arkansas Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and the LSU Tigers Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.