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Oct. 28, 2004

Box Score

Knoxville, Tenn. – South Carolina volleyball fought a tough match but came out on the short end as the 16th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols defeated the Gamecocks 3-1 in a mid-week match-up. Match scores were 30-28-26-30, 23-30, 24-30. Junior Nicole Miller recorded a career high 21 digs and also posted 12 kills to hit a team leading .345. Sarah Morgan led the team in kills with 15 and hit .268.

“I thought we gave a much better team effort tonight despite the outcome,” said head coach Kim Hudson. “Our competitive mentality was much better than how it has been recently. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to come out with a win.”

Carolina got off to a slow start in game one as Tennessee led by as much as seven before the Gamecocks began to push back. Down 25-28, USC began a long rally that recorded 11 digs between the two teams. The rally resulted in back-to-back points in favor of the Gamecocks as kills by Sarah Morgan brought USC to within one, 27-28. A ball handling error called on the Lady Vols tied the match 28-28. Carolina then took the lead on another kill by Morgan and won the game 30-28 on a kill by Lauren Ford. Morgan led the game with seven kills for Carolina and hit .462. The victory marked the first game win against a ranked team this season for the Gamecocks.

Tennessee evened the match score in game two as the Lady Vols won 30-26. USC put together a late surge towards the end and came within two points of tying the game on a service ace by Ford, making the score 26-28. However, that would be all points the Gamecocks would collect as setter Julie Knytych dropped a kill for Tennessee to bring them within game point. USC tried to prevent UT from scoring and tried to set a play but a ball handling error was called on the Gamecocks and the Lady Vols were awarded a point to tie the match 1-1.

In game three, Carolina hit .231 and had only five errors with 14 kills but Tennessee hit a match high .422 and recorded 23 kills with just four errors to keep the Gamecocks at bay. USC was down 10-12 before UT went on a 6-0 run to extend its lead to eight and maintained it throughout the game. The Lady Vols shut down the Gamecocks’ blocking and held USC to zero blocks. By the end of game three, UT had four players in double figures in kills with Yuliya Stoyanova leading with 17.

USC grabbed an 8-7 lead in game four and was up by four before Tennessee was able to catch up and tie it 15-15 on a service ace by Cynthia Buggs. From there, the game would be tied three more times before the Lady Vols established a steady lead. An error by Tennessee put USC to within two, 24-26 but four straight kills by the Lady Vols gave UT the victory by a score of 30-24 and the match 3-1.

In game four, USC recorded their best hitting percentage of the game with a .244 average and had only five errors. For the game however, USC was held to .194 hitting percentage with 59 kills and 26 errors in 175 attempts.

USC now falls to 11-9 and 4-7 in the SEC while UT improves to 20-2 and 10-1 in the conference. The Gamecocks next will travel to Lexington, Ky. on Sunday to face the Kentucky Wildcats. Match time is set for 2 p.m.