Aug. 29, 2009
CLEMSON, S.C. – Another hard-fought five-set match went the Gamecocks way, as South Carolina outlasted College of Charleston in a five-set affair, taking the 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22, 15-10 victory in the squads’ second match of the Big Orange Bash at Jervey Gymnasium.
Three Gamecocks (2-0) turned in double-doubles for the second-consecutive match, as seniors Ivana Kujundzic and Bridget Denson-Dorman joined junior Hannah Lawing with the honors. Kujundzic led all players with 23 kills while also making 15 digs. Denson-Dorman turned in her second 50-assist night of the year, hitting the mark exactly while making 17 digs. Lawing added 12 kills and 15 digs, while senior Sarah Cline topped the Gamecocks with 18 digs. Sophomore Teresa Stenlund matched her career high with nine kills and led everyone with a .643 hitting percentage. College of Charleston (1-1) was led by Emily Sawin’s double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs. Cole Dawley had 47 assists and 19 digs, while Paige Johnson tied her for match-best honors with her 19 digs. Ginny Phillips and Sarah Havel both added 11 kills, while Kelly Kolich had 10 kills off the bench.
Kills from Laughlin, Stenlund and Kujundzic early in the first gave the Gamecocks a 7-4 lead, but Charleston came back with a five-point run to go up 10-8. After a Meredith Moorhead kill, Lawing and Laughlin got the first of two blocks in the set to tie it again at 11-11. But the Cougars got kills from Phillips and Elyse Chubb to take a two-point advantage and cause a Carolina timeout. Chubb made it a three-point string with another kill, but the Gamecocks responded, taking five of the next seven points to tie it at 17-17 and force a Charleston timeout. The break helped, as the Cougars got three straight points and make the Gamecocks use their final timeout of the set down 20-17. After both teams got consecutive points, the squads traded sideouts, with a block error on South Carolina ending the frame at 25-22. The Cougars hit .316 to take the set, with Phillips getting seven kills.
South Carolina came out in the second and played much more focused from the start, getting a 7-1 advantage thanks in part to two Moorhead kills and a block by the senior and Stenlund. But the Cougars came back to within two after a kill and an ace by Sawin and a Carolina hitting error. The Gamecocks got the lead back to four after a Stenlund block and a Moorhead kill. Havel tied up the match at 18 with two kills and a solo block that capped a four-point run. A pair of Gamecock blocks pushed the lead back to two, but Havel and Phillips both got kills to knot it at 21-21. Kujundzic gave the advantage back to South Carolina, and the team would not relinquish it. A Denson-Dorman ace came in between Cougar hitting errors to hand the set to the Gamecocks. South Carolina held College of Charleston to a hitting percentage of -.021, while Moorhead had four kills in the frame.
In the third, a three-point run by the Gamecocks gave them a 9-5 lead. Freshman Taylor Bruns had an ace to close the stretch started by a Lawing kill. South Carolina kept getting two kills to every one for Charleston, pushing the advantage to 15-8. During that stretch, Kujundzic had four kills while Denson-Dorman added two on dumps. The Cougars would not go away, taking five of six points out of their final timeout to close the gap to 16-13. Lawing had two kills, including one on an overpass, to stop the run, but Charleston kept coming, taking seven straight points to take a 20-18 lead. The Garnet and Black tied it up at 20-20, but the Cougars got the lead back to 23-20 after two blocks and a Gamecock error, causing head coach Ben Somera to use his last timeout. A back-row kill by Kolich put Charleston to set point, and Sawin finished the deal with a kill off the block. College of Charleston bounced back to hit .333 in the third.
The fourth set never saw a team get more than a three-point advantage, with that coming with the Gamecocks on top at 6-3. After a Phillips kill and a let ace from Liza Price put Charleston up 20-18, Somera utilized his first timeout to settle his squad. South Carolina responded with a Laughlin kill and a block from Moorhead and Stenlund, forcing a Cougar timeout. But out of that break, the Cougars committed two errors, making Charleston head coach Jason Kepner use his final timeout. A dump by Dawley stopped the run, but a Cougar error gave the Gamecocks back the advantage. A service error didn’t stop the Gamecocks, as Kujundzic and Stenlund both came back with kills to end the frame. Kujundzic had six kills, while Carolina hit .317 in the frame.
A service error gave the Cougars the first lead in the fifth, but a Stenlund kill followed by three Cougar attacking errors put South Carolina up, 4-1, and forced a Charleston timeout. Two straight solo blocks by the Gamecocks, first by Laughlin and then by Kujundzic, made it 6-1. The teams traded sideouts twice, then traded two-point runs before Stenlund and Kujundzic got consecutive kills to make it 13-7. A Cougar block and a Gamecock hitting error made South Carolina call timeout at 13-9. A Cougar error pushed the Garnet and Black to match point. Another Charleston block extended the match, but Kujundzic ended it with her shot down the line, with the Gamecocks ahead 15-10. Eight attack errors for Charleston put their hitting percentage in the frame at -.160, while Kujundzic had four kills and two total blocks.
The Gamecocks out-hit the Cougars, .167 to .135, while they won the assist and digs categories as well. Cline’s 18 digs pushed her into the 1,000-dig club at South Carolina, just the seventh member that group.