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Nov. 16, 2007

Final Stats

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Great hitting performances from junior middle blocker Belita Salters and sophomore outside hitter Meredith Moorhead propelled the Gamecocks to a 3-0 sweep of Mississippi State, 30-24, 30-20, 32-30, in the Volleyball Competition Facility on Friday night. Carolina moves to 13-15 on the year, 6-13 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Bulldogs drop to 12-16, 7-12 in league outings.

Moorhead led the way with her 14 kills and .423 hitting percentage. Salters added 10 kills and a match-best four blocks while hitting .421. Sophomore outside hitter Ivana Kujundzic had 12 kills. Sophomore libero Sarah Cline topped all players with her 18 digs, while freshman outside hitter Hannah Lawing added 10. Freshman setter Jordan Bradosky just missed a double-double, getting 15 assists and nine digs.

Jamie Joyner was the only Bulldog with double-digit kills, getting 10. Libero Megan Lukasek contributed 14 digs.

The Gamecocks got out to a 12-8 advantage in game one on a four-point run that had kills from Moorhead and Salters and an ace from Lawing. The lead grew to 17-10 after Mississippi State had trouble setting the ball, being called for three set or handling miscues in a five-point stretch. The Bulldogs closed the gap to 17-15 thanks to kills from setter Eva Kriegel and Ashley Newsome. But Carolina answered, taking a 20-16 lead after a kill from freshman outside hitter Dani Bedore and a block from Bedore and Salters. The Garnet and Black closed out the game taking four of the final five points, including a smash from Bedore to wrap it up. Four Gamecocks had three kills or more in the frame, while the squad hit .333.

Carolina controlled game two from the start, running out to a 11-3 lead. The Maroon and White answered with a five-point skein, led by a pair of block assists from Erin Seago. Kujundzic stopped the run with a kill before Bedore made one for the Gamecocks on her own, getting consecutive smashes. Kujundzic followed those with a pair of aces to put USC up, 16-8. After Carolina took a 25-13 lead, State made a stand, eventually getting to within nine after back-to-back kills from Ioana Demian. But Salters would close out the frame with a spike to put the Gamecocks on top, 2-0. Moorhead had five kills in game two to lead the Gamecocks.

The Bulldogs went out strong in game three, taking a 14-8 lead after a four-point streak that included a pair of Demian kills. Carolina fought back, cutting a seven-point lead down to one behind a pair of Salters kills and block assists. After the Garnet and Black tied it up twice, State took back the advantage after a four-point run. Demian had a kill and block assist during that stretch. A South Carolina timeout at least helped end the streak, but it did not last long. The squads traded side outs until a Gamecock service error put the Bulldogs up, 25-21. A pair of Carolina handling errors put State three points away from the game win. But the Gamecocks fought back. Moorhead had two kills in the seven-point skein that tied up the game at 27-27. A Kujundzic kill put Carolina on top briefly, but a Demian kill and a USC attack error gave the Bulldogs a chance to take the game. Kujundzic ended that threat with a kill, but Joyner answered to put State right back on the brink. Moorhead stepped up again and put away a ball to tie it up before freshman middle blocker Megan Laughlin hammered an overpass to the floor to push the Gamecocks to game point. A Bulldog attack error ended the match in Carolina’s favor. Kujundzic had seven kills in the final game to lead South Carolina.

Carolina dominated the stat sheet, leading in kills, digs, assists, aces, blocks and hitting percentage.

The Gamecocks wrap up the 2007 campaign on Sunday afternoon against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Match time is set for 1 p.m., as Fox Sports Net will televise the match.