Nov. 12, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team picked up a 3-1 (21-30, 30-24, 30-24, 33-31) victory against Tennessee on Sunday in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks improved to 14-15 and 7-11 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Lady Volunteers dropped to 18-10 and 9-9 in the league. For the first time in school history, South Carolina has defeated Clemson, Florida and Tennessee in the same season.
Shonda Cole led all players with 29 kills on 73 attempts, which set a USC record for a four-game match. Cole also set a single-season record for attacks in the contest, as her total now stands at 1,367. The previous record of 1,338 by Amy Iannoccari was established in 1994. Cole surpassed the 1,700-kill plateau and the 4,000-attack mark for her career against the Lady Vols as well. She is second in USC history for kills with 1,701 and her 4,007 attacks rank first.
Other contributors for the Gamecocks included Meredith Moorhead, who reached double figures in the kills category for the second match in a row with 12. Alexcis Thomson came close to a quadruple-double with a career-high eight kills, 35 assists, 12 digs and a career-high seven blocks. Ivana Kujundzic tied her career-best with eight blocks, and Dinelia Concepcion tallied 11 digs.
Kelsey Fautsch led the Lady Vols’ offense with 23 kills on 61 attacks, and she made 11 digs. Sarah Blum recorded 13 kills and five blocks, while Chesea Noble made 42 assists and eight digs. Kylie Marshall had 10 digs.
South Carolina had a slight edge in hitting percentage with a .182 (62-31-170) figure compared to .181 (56-28-155) for Tennessee. UT’s 60 digs was one more than Carolina, but the Gamecocks led 14-9 in blocks and 10-5 in service aces.
Tennessee went on a 3-0 run after the score was tied 10-10 in the first game. The Lady Vols were up 20-15 after a ball handling error was called against Carolina and they went on to win the next six rallies for an 11-point advantage. The best the Gamecocks could do was close the margin to eight at 28-21, but the next two points went to UT following a pair of hitting mistakes.
USC grabbed a 3-0 lead in game two and never looked back. South Carolina went up 9-2 after consecutive service aces by Cole, marking the Gamecocks’ fourth and fifth aces of the game. Carolina led by as many as eight on two occasions, the last of which came when Milan Clarke of Tennessee misfired on a hit to put USC ahead 22-14. The Lady Vols managed to close the deficit to three at 24-21, but the Gamecocks held steady for the victory.
With a 16-14 lead in the third frame, South Carolina won the next four points thanks in large part to three hitting errors by Tennessee. The Lady Volunteers were able to close within three, 26-23, when Cole missed on an attack, but Marija Milosevic and Moorhead tallied kills on the next two rallies to put USC back up by five. Two miscues by UT eventually gave the Gamecocks another six-point win.
The Lady Volunteers built a 20-16 advantage in game four, but the Gamecocks countered with a 4-0 run to deadlock the score. With the game still tied 21-all, USC won three consecutive points and appeared ready to close out the afternoon. Tennessee, though, responded with a 7-0 tear capped by two aces from Leah Hinkey. The Gamecocks charged back after Hinkey dumped her serve in the net with two kills by Cole. South Carolina fought off two game points and on its third match point received a combined block from Kujundzic and Moorhead for the win.
The Gamecocks will be back in action Wednesday when they host Georgia at 7 p.m.