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Oct. 2, 2009

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After South Carolina took the first set, Tennessee came back to take the next three in a 3-1 Lady Vol victory, 19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16, in front of 1,007 fans in the third-annual Dig for the Cure match at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

Kayla Jeter’s 12 kills led the Tennessee (10-4, 3-1 SEC) attack, with Leslie Cikra and Farren Powe both adding 10. Nikki Fowler added nine kills and 18 digs, while libero Chloe Goldman posted a match-high 26 digs. Leah Hinkey led everyone with six blocks while adding eight kills. South Carolina (10-4, 2-3 SEC) saw senior Ivana Kujundzic return to the lineup with 17 kills and nine digs. Juniors Hannah Lawing and Megan Laughlin both added 10 kills, while Lawing posted 15 digs for her ninth double-double. Senior Bridget Denson-Dorman also had a double-double with 43 assists and 14 digs. Senior libero Sarah Cline added 18 digs to lead the Gamecocks.

South Carolina got out to a 5-1 lead in the first thanks in part to a pair of Tennessee attacking errors. The Gamecocks later stretched the lead to 17-11 after a Teresa Stenlund kill and a UT error. There, Tennessee made a stand, getting to within three after a three-point run capped by a Jeter kill. But the Gamecocks would not be denied, ended the frame on Denson-Dorman’s lone ace of the match. South Carolina hit .350 in the frame, led by Kujundzic’s six kills.

The Lady Vols won eight of nine points in one stretch which included two four-point runs to put them up, 14-9, in the second. Powe had three blocks during the span, including one solo stuff. The Gamecocks got back to within two before the Lady Vols ripped off another five-point skein to make it 19-12. South Carolina fought back again, getting to within two twice, the first time at 19-17 after a five-point string that included two Kujundzic kills. Tennessee would respond again, taking four of the final five points in the 25-20 win, getting back-to-back Cikra kills ahead of Fowler’s clincher. Five Lady Vol blocks helped hold the Gamecocks to a .041 hitting percentage in the second.

The third stayed close for a while until Tennessee posted a five-point streak to make it 17-12 behind a couple of Cikra kills. The Gamecocks got back to within two after consecutive Lawing kills at 19-17, but the Lady Vols would take it at 25-21 on a block by Marshall and Hinkey. Six South Carolina service errors helped Tennessee claim the third.

Tennessee rode some momentum to a 5-1 lead in the fourth behind a pair of blocks by Jeter and Hinkey. The Gamecocks came back to tie it at 5-5 after a pair of Meredith Moorhead kills, but that would be the last time the squads were close. Tennessee took seven of the next eight points to make it 12-6, getting two kills from Cikra in the span. A four-point skein, capped by an Emily Steinbeck ace, made it 22-12 in favor of the visitors. The fourth frame and match ended at 25-16 on the 12th Gamecock service error of the contest. Tennessee hit .359 in the final set, compared to .087 for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina actually won the kills (56-51) and assists (52-47) categories, but it was out-dug (79-75) for just the second time all year and also out-hit by percentage, .245-.163. The attendance figure of 1,007 is the highest home attendance for South Carolina since last year’s Clemson match. Kujundzic moved into 11th all-time in kills for the Gamecocks, ending the night at 983 for her career.

The Garnet and Black hosts No. 15 Kentucky on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.