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Sept. 12, 2009

Box Score

HOUSTON, Texas – The Gamecocks played tough against the 23rd-ranked Wichita State Shockers, but they could not overcome their foes in a 3-1 loss in the squad’s second match of the Mizuno Invitational II at Rice University. The Shockers (9-1) gained the 25-18, 25-27, 25-20, 25-19 win, handing South Carolina (7-1) its first loss of the season.

Junior Hannah Lawing led Carolina with her second-straight double-double with 13 kills and 16 digs. Senior Bridget Denson-Dorman also compiled a double-double with 36 assists and 16 digs. Senior libero Sarah Cline posted her fourth 20+ dig contest of the season, leading all players with 21. Junior Megan Laughlin added 10 kills for the Gamecocks. Emily Stockman led Wichita State with 19 kills and 16 digs, while Sarah McGee had 14 kills. Melissa Granville added 15 digs for the Shockers.

The Gamecocks used a timeout early in the first after falling behind 5-1, making four hitting errors which included two Shocker blocks. The WSU lead grew to 8-2 before South Carolina closed the gap to 9-6 thanks in part to a Ivana Kujundzic ace. But the comeback didn’t last long, as Wichita State got a dump from Mary Elizabeth Hooper and their fourth block of the set to take an 11-6 lead. After the Gamecocks called their last timeout, Lawing responded with the first Gamecock kill of the match. The squads swapped side-outs for a bit until the Shockers responded to consecutive Gamecock points with a three-point run, capped by a McGee ace, to give Wichita State a 18-12 advantage. Back-to-back Kujundzic kills brought South Carolina to within four at 22-18, prompting a timeout from WSU. The break worked for the Shockers, as they took the next three points to end the set. Wichita State hit .323 in the 25-18 set-one win while holding South Carolina to -.029.

South Carolina got a 6-2 lead in the second and held it until 12-12, when Wichita State got a dump from Hooper and a Gamecock attack error for the tie. But the Gamecocks came back with a three-point run that included a Lawing kill and block, forcing a Shocker timeout. The run kept up to 17-12, with Lawing adding another kill and redshirt freshman Olivia Ryder getting her second kill of the stretch. The squads traded points after that, with Wichita State calling its final timeout after a Stenlund tip found the floor at 21-16. A kill by Kim Wadsworth preceded three South Carolina errors that made the Gamecocks lead just one at 21-20. A Stenlund kill stopped the bleeding for a moment, but kills from McGee and Stockman knotted up the second at 22-22. The Shockers got a set-point chance first after another Stockman kill and a Gamecock handling error, but the WSU serve went into the net to make it 24-24. Stockman’s eighth kill of the frame gave Wichita State another chance, but Lawing got a kill to give South Carolina back the serve. A Shocker attack error gave South Carolina its first chance to claim the set, and Laughlin did just that with a smash. The Gamecocks hit .423 in the second, led by Lawing’s .714 on five kills, and had 18 digs, seven from Cline. But in the set, the Gamecocks suffered a big loss, as Kujundzic went down with a leg injury at 9-8. She will be reevaluated next week.

Two early aces from Wadsworth and Sarah Waldorf helped Wichita State take an 8-3 lead in the first, causing the Gamecocks to use their first timeout. South Carolina finally got rolling, making it a two-point difference after a four-point skein that included two kills from Lawing. The run forced a Shocker timeout, and the squads would both get consecutive points, with the Gamecocks calling their final timeout after a Katie Niggemeyer block. Wichita State would stretch the run to four on kills by Stockman and Niggemeyer, making it 18-13. Another four-point run made it 22-15 for the Shockers. The Gamecocks got within four after a block from Laughlin and Tory Anderson, but a Gamecock error plus a Hooper ace put Wichita State at set point. South Carolina tried to make it interesting with consecutive points, but McGee ended it with a crosscourt kill. Three WSU aces were the main difference.

Two aces from Waldorf gave Wichita State an 8-5 lead in the fourth. South Carolina chipped at the lead, but the Shockers eventually got it to five at 15-10 after a Granville ace. The Gamecocks trimmed the lead to two at 16-14 after a Denson-Dorman kill on a dump and a Ryder kill on an overpass. The run stretched to five on Ryder’s second-straight kill and a Shocker set error, tying the match at 16-16 and forcing the final Wichita State timeout. After trading points, the Shockers put together a four-point run bookended by Stockman kills. Another three-point swing after a Stenlund kill put Wichita State to set point. A service error kept the match alive, but a Gamecock handling error ended it at 25-19. McGee had four kills for the Shockers in the deciding set.

South Carolina out-dug the Shockers, 68-61, but the Shockers held the advantage in all other stats, including a 10.5-2.0 blocks.