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Oct. 16, 2004

Box Score

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – South Carolina volleyball took step back Friday as they fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide 3-0 with game scores of 30-20, 30-25, 30-25. USC falls to 10-6 overall and 3-4 in the SEC while the Tide improves to 14-4 and 4-3 in SEC play. Lauren Ford and Lynae Vanden Hull led the team with nine kills each and hit .385 and .318, respectively. Nicole Miller led the team in blocks with five block assists.

“Alabama played very well tonight. We didn’t follow our scouting report either,” said head coach Kim Hudson. “Alabama came out and played very aggressively and we didn’t respond.”

Erin Heffner led the Tide with 20 kills and hit .325. Heffner also led the team in digs with 15. As a team, Alabama hit .284 while USC hit .188. The Tide also posted more assists than the Gamecocks, 51-36.

The Tide took game one 30-20 as they outblocked USC 8-4 and posted 15 kills to hit .294. The Gamecocks were held to a .162 hitting percentage. Alabama recorded five block solos in game one while USC had only one. Down 13-20, the Gamecocks were able to pull within five before Alabama called a time out to interrupt Carolina’s rhythm. From there USC would only score three more points as Alabama pulled away to a 10-point victory.

Alabama continued to set the pace in game two and went up 2-0 over the Gamecocks after winning 30-25. At the break, Ford led USC with seven kills and had a .559 hitting percentage but it wasn’t enough to lift the Gamecocks over the hump. The Tide had the lead 29-23 before a service error allowed USC to take advantage and prolong the game. After a time out was called by Alabama, Katelyn Panzau slammed a kill over the net to bring USC to within four. But that would be all the Gamecocks would get in the game as Heffner recorded a kill to clinch game point. With her first kill of game two, sophomore Shonda Cole recorded her 500th career kill.

Game three was a closer battle as the Gamecocks were down by just three at the 27-24 mark. Alabama scored its next two points on kills by Kelly Potter and Rachel Green. Now down 29-24, Panzau tried to keep the match alive for USC with her eighth kill of the match, tying her season high. But the Tide did not give the Gamecocks a chance to extend the match as Crystal Hudson provided Alabama the winning point with a kill.

This marks the fourth consecutive match the Gamecocks have lost to Alabama and the Tide now lead the series 14-11. USC is now 3-2 against SEC West teams this year and will wrap up the four-match road stint at Auburn on Sunday. Match time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (EST).