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Sept. 26, 2008

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina winning streak ended at 10, as Mississippi took a 3-1 victory, 25-17, 25-21, 13-25, 25-19, over the Gamecocks in the Gillom Sports Center on Friday afternoon. The Rebels move to 6-5 overall and 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play with the victory, while the Gamecocks fall to 10-2, 2-1 in league action.

Redshirt senior Belita Salters had 12 kills to lead the Gamecocks. Junior Bridget Denson-Dorman added her fourth double-double of the year with 42 assists and 11 digs. Junior Ivana Kujundzic also had a double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs. Sophomore Annie Thomas added 10 kills, while junior Sarah Cline compiled 18 digs. Sophomore Hannah Lawing also contributed 10 digs. For the Rebels, Caitlin Weiss had 15 kills, while Katie Norris added 13. Allison Weber had a match-high 21 digs, while Weiss and Emily Kvitle both had 10 digs. Ole Miss setter Rachel Kieckhaefer nearly had a triple-double, getting 38 assists with eight kills and eight digs while hitting .615 in the match.

Mississippi got the first advantage in the fourth set with a four-point run that put the squad up, 12-9. Another three-point swing moved the Rebels’ lead out to 17-12. The Gamecocks got back to within two at 17-15, but a Rebel three-point run gave them a five-point advantage again, 21-16. A pair of solo blocks by Kujundzic and sophomore Megan Laughlin brought South Carolina back within three, but kills by Norris and Emily Jones pushed the lead back to five again. Weiss’ 15th kill of the match put Mississippi to match point, and a Gamecock hitting error ended it, 25-19.

After the break, the Gamecocks came out focused for the third set, running out to a 6-1 advantage. Three consecutive Thomas kills made it 9-2. A Salters kill and block bookended a four-point skein that put South Carolina ahead, 15-5. But out of the Mississippi timeout, the Rebels captured six of the next seven points to get within five at 16-11 and compel another Gamecock timeout. South Carolina took six of the next seven points, two coming on kills by junior Meredith Moorhead, to take a 22-12 lead. Two more Rebel errors pushed the Gamecocks to set point, and Kujundzic would close it out at 25-13 with a back-row kill. The Carolina Gamecocks hit .324 in the frame and held the Rebels to a .118 hitting percentage.

South Carolina had an early 4-3 lead in the second set before the Rebels got five of the next six points to take an 8-5 advantage. A five-point run by Mississippi, four of those coming on Carolina errors, forced the Gamecocks to call timeout at 14-7. The black-clad visitors chipped away at the lead, getting to within one at 18-17 after a block by Moorhead and Laughlin and a kill by Thomas. Two straight Rebel kills caused another Carolina timeout. The Gamecocks would get within one twice, the final time after a Salters smash to make it 22-21. But Mississippi got the final three points, two from Norris to close out the set, 25-21. Norris and Weiss both had four kills in the frame to lead the Rebels, which thwarted Salters’ attempts to tie up the match. The Scranton, S.C., senior had six kills in the second.

The Gamecocks never found their offensive rhythm in the first set, making 10 kills and nine errors for a .026 hitting percentage. The Rebels ran away with the frame, 25-17, behind four kills by Weiss. South Carolina came back from an early deficit to tie up the match at 6-6, but Mississippi would eventually get the lead back out to 15-10. Three straight Gamecock points, two by Laughlin and another by Kujundzic, would force the Rebels to call timeout. Coming out of the break, Mississippi got four consecutive points, all on Carolina errors, which caused Gamecock head coach Ben Somera to use his final timeout. The Garnet and Black responded with kills by Moorhead and Thomas to bring them back to within three at 19-16. Weiss would help the Rebels take over from there, getting three kills as Mississippi took six of the final seven points for the 25-17 set win.

Mississippi held the Gamecocks to their second-lowest hitting percentage of the year at .168. South Carolina had a five-dig advantage in the match, 68-63, but the Rebels had more kills and aces.

The Gamecocks continue the four-match road swing on Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. CDT match at Arkansas.