Oct. 26, 2007
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Mississippi’s Katie Kramer made 28 kills to lead the Rebels to a 3-1 victory over South Carolina, 30-19, 31-29, 28-30, 30-28, on Friday evening at the Volleyball Competition Facility. The Rebels move to 20-5 on the season, 9-4 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Gamecocks fall to 10-12 and 3-10 in the league.
Carolina sophomore outside hitter Ivana Kujundzic racked up her 10th double-double of the season, getting a team-high 21 kills to go along with 14 digs. Junior setter Petra Lorenzi compiled her fifth double-double with 31 assists and 12 digs. Middle blockers Belita Salters and Megan Laughlin had 16 and 13 kills, respectively, while junior libero Dinelia Concepcion had 23 digs. Freshman outside hitter Hannah Lawing matched her career high with 17 digs.
Kramer was helped by Caitlin Weiss, who had a double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs, and by Jackie Jones, who tallied 13 kills. Libero Tara Langley had 24 digs, while Rebel setter Rachel Kieckhaefer compiled 19 digs, 54 assists and eight kills.
Mississippi took control of game one with a three-point run to take a 10-7 advantage. In that stretch, the Rebels got kills from Emily and Jackie Jones and a ace from Weiss. They pushed the lead to 13-8 on a pair of Kieckhaefer kills and a Kramer smash. The Gamecocks would get within two on a few occasions, but they could not close it any more. The Rebels ended the frame on a eight-point skein, helped by two blocks from Lauren Moffett. The Red and Blue hit .514 in the opening frame. Moffett tallied four of her five of her kills in the game.
The second frame saw the teams go back an forth until a pair of kills by Laughlin that followed a Kujundzic blast put the Garnet and Black on top, 15-13. The teams battled back and forth until the Rebels took a 20-18 advantage on another Kieckhaefer dump. Carolina would answer with a four-point run, led by a Salters kill and two Rebel attack errors. South Carolina was two points from putting away the game after another Salters spike, but the Rebels would not go away quietly, getting to game point first after two USC attack errors, a Jackie Jones ace and a Kramer kill. Salters knotted the game back up, 29-29, but Kramer finished off the Gamecocks, putting down an overpass to punctuate the win. The senior Kramer had eight kills in the game to lead the way. Two ball-handling errors were the difference, as the Gamecocks actually out-hit the Rebels in the second frame.
South Carolina staked an early 10-5 advantage behind two blocks by Laughlin and a Concepcion ace. The lead grew to 17-10 on a Salters kill and a Lorenzi ace. The Rebels fought back, closing the gap to three at 21-18 after three consecutive Carolina attack errors. However, Mississippi handed the advantage right back at 24-18 after a service error and an attack error. After trading side outs on three occasions, the Rebels made a run, getting kills from Kramer, Weiss and Jackie Jones in a six-point swing to make it 27-26. But Kujundzic would end that stretch with a kill before getting another to put USC at game point. The Rebels got another Weiss kill to try to extend the game, but freshman outside hitter Dani Bedore’s attack found the floor to give the Gamecocks the win. Kujundzic had five kills and two block assists to push Carolina to the victory.
For a while, it seemed as if the match would go to five games, after the Gamecocks took an 11-7 lead after kills by Salters and sophomore outside hitter Meredith Moorhead. But Mississippi hung around, closing the margin to one on Jackie Jones and Moffett kills. The Rebels eventually tied the match at 21-21 after a Gamecock service error and a solo block by Jackie Jones. The squads swapped side outs again until the Rebels got kills from Jones and Kramer to stake a 24-23 advantage. The lead grew to 27-24 after three consecutive Kramer kills. Kujundzic stopped the run with a smash, while a Kramer attack error and another Concepcion ace knotted up the match at 27-27. After a Mississippi timeout, the Gamecocks took the advantage on a solo Kujundzic block. But Jones and Kramer would put the Red and Blue on the cusp of the win with back-to-back kills. South Carolina’s 23rd attack error of the match ended the contest with a Rebel victory. Kramer had 10 kills in the final frame, while six service errors negated the Gamecocks’ hitting advantage.
Mississippi edged out Carolina in hitting percentage, .237 to .232, while the Rebels had slight advantages in kills, assists and digs. The match marks the first time the Gamecocks have lost this season when winning the blocks battle.
The Gamecocks host LSU on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility.