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Sept. 19, 2008


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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina, behind junior Ivana Kujundzic’s 14 kills, defeated defending Southeastern Conference Western Division champion LSU, 25-14, 26-24, 25-19, on Friday evening at the Volleyball Competition Facility. The victory extends the Gamecocks’ winning streak to nine matches and moves their record to 9-1 and 1-0 in the SEC, while the Tigers fall to 5-3 and 0-1.

Kujundzic added a match-best three aces and one block, hitting .394 for the match. The Gamecocks, who made just seven attacking errors all night, hit .302 as a team, with freshman middle blocker Teresa Stenlund leading the way with a .643 clip. The Irvine, Calif., native, playing in her first collegiate match, added nine kills and three blocks. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Tory Anderson added seven kills and two blocks. Junior libero Sarah Cline collected a match-high 13 digs, while senior Petra Lorenzi added 11. Junior setter Bridget Denson-Dorman had 28 assists and eight digs. For LSU, Lauren DeGirolamo had nine kills, while setter Samantha Dabbs made 28 assists and 12 digs. Libero Elena Martinez made 10 digs.

In the first set, the Gamecocks got the lead at 9-6 after a pair of LSU errors and a kill by sophomore Annie Thomas. LSU would not tie it up after that, as South Carolina ran out to a 19-12 advantage on a five-point run aided by two Gamecock blocks. Sophomore Hannah Lawing wrapped up the set at 25-14 with a back-row kill. Kujundzic had four kills in the frame, while the Tigers hit just .030.

The second set proved to be a nail-biter. The teams swapped leads back and forth throughout the set. South Carolina looked to finally have taken control after a seven-point run put the squad up, 20-16. Stenlund had three kills in that stretch alone. The lead evaporated when LSU streaked with four consecutive points to tie the set at 22-22, started by a Dabbs dump and ended by a Kyna Washington kill. Kujundzic stopped the run with her kill, and, after the teams traded side outs, gave the Gamecocks the chance to win it with her smash at 25-24. Stenlund wrapped up the frame with her sixth kill. Kujundzic matched Stenlund’s six kills in the second while also getting two aces in the set.

The Gamecocks came back from 9-5 and 13-7 deficits in the final set, getting 18 of the final 24 points to take the frame, 25-19. A six-point South Carolina skein that included two kills and a block assist by Kujundzic knotted up the match at 13-13. A Lorenzi ace and a Kujundzic kill put Carolina up by three, 20-17. After LSU got the next two points after their final timeout, the Gamecocks put the match away by capturing the final five points. Denson-Dorman started the run with a kill, while Lawing put South Carolina at match point with her ace. A Denson-Dorman solo block ended the contest. Lorenzi made eight digs in the frame, while Cline added six of her own, helping to hold LSU to a .093 hitting percentage in the final set.

The win is South Carolina’s fifth over a team that made last year’s NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina hosts Georgia for its Garnet, Black and Green match on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility. The first 300 fans that bring a recyclable product receive a free reusable grocery bag courtesy of South Carolina Athletics.