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Sept. 7, 2004

Columbia, S.C. –
The Colonial Center was a good luck site for the Carolina Gamecock volleyball team as they defeated their archrival Clemson Tigers Tuesday night in sweeping fashion, 3-0. A USC and State of South Carolina record crowd of 1,965 watched the Gamecocks win 30-24, 30-22, 30-23 and improve to 3-1 for the year while the Tigers fell to 4-2.

“This is really an important match and it feels good to get it under our belt. Last year we got beat pretty badly at their place and it turned out to be a mediocre season,” said head coach Kim Hudson. “The crowd was great and our fans were awesome. They provided us a great atmosphere and we could feel that.”

Shonda Cole led the team in kills with 15, marking her fourth consecutive match of double figure kills. Lauren Ford led the team in hitting percentage with .360 and was second with 13 kills. Cole also recorded her first double-double of the season as she registered a career high 11 digs with her kills.

In game two, Clemson came out on the court and attacked early by posting a 9-3 lead on the Gamecocks. That wasn’t enough to hold Carolina as they connected on kills by Ford and setter Katelyn Panzau and capitalized on some unforced errors by Clemson to go on a 6-0 run and tied the game 9-9. From there, USC eventually pulled away with a slight lead and went on a 6-2 run. The Tigers came within one at the 17-16 mark, but the Gamecocks stayed in the lead and closed out the game with another 6-0 run to take a 2-0 lead and the momentum going into the break.

Game three was the clinching point. Clemson got out to a 4-2 lead but that would be all the Tigers saw as USC tied it 4-4 and from there never fell behind. The Gamecocks were up 20-9 at one point. USC won the game by seven, 30-23.

“There were things I was really impressed with in this match,” said Hudson. “There were times that our focus could have subsided, but we were able to finish strong and that was one of our concerns from last year.”

As a team, the Gamecocks hit .236 and outkilled Clemson 53-29. The Tigers hit .062 and had 21 errors. Leslie Finn was the Tigers kill leader with 10.

The series now stands at 32-19 with Carolina leading. USC’s streak of winning in Columbia is now extended to five matches.

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