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Nov. 20, 2009

Box Score

LEXINGTON, Ky. – South Carolina could not overcome a stellar Kentucky team, falling 25-13, 25-19, 25-12 to the 10th-ranked Wildcats in front of 1,426 fans at Memorial Gymnasium.

Lauren Rapp and Sarah Mendoza paced the Wildcats with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Rapp hit .611, helping Kentucky to a .353 team percentage. BriAnne Sauer and Stephanie Klefot both added 15 digs. Gretchen Giesler had a match-best nine blocks. Senior Sarah Cline paced the Gamecocks with 19 digs, while junior Megan Laughlin had a team-best nine kills.

Kentucky ran out to a 6-0 lead behind kills by Giesler and Mendoza and a block from the duo. South Carolina took two of the next three points, but the Wildcats posted a four-point run to force a Gamecock timeout at 11-2. After trading points, the Gamecocks got back into it with a three-point swing capped by an Olivia Ryder kill. Another three-point skein made it 16-11. Kentucky took over from there, taking seven straight to take a double-digit lead. The squads swapped sideouts over the last four points, the final at 25-13 coming on a Gamecock service error. Giesler had four kills and five blocks in the first.

After taking six of seven points in one stretch, Kentucky held a 13-7 lead in the second. After head coach Ben Somera called a timeout, the Gamecocks ripped off five straight to force the Wildcats to use a break. But another Big Blue hitting error tied up the frame at 13-13. The Wildcats got six of the next eight to make it 19-15. After two Gamecock points, Kentucky took six of the next eight to win it, 25-19. Blaire Hiler had six kills in the set.

The Gamecocks held a 5-3 lead in the third after a three-point string that included kills by Ryder and Laughlin and a block from freshman Brandi Byers and Laughlin. That woke up the Wildcats, who won 13 of the next 15 points while forcing the Gamecocks to use both of their timeouts. The Kentucky run went another three points to nine straight before Byers found the floor with a shot. A South Carolina attack error ended the third set and match at 25-12.

Kentucky held advantages in every stat category but was most dominant up front, as the Wildcats had 11 blocks to the Gamecocks’ one.

South Carolina continues the road trip on Sunday with a showdown at Tennessee. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m.