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Sept. 3, 2010

Final Stats | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

ROCK HILL, S.C. – South Carolina (0-4) dropped a three-set decision to archrival Clemson, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19, in the first match of the 2010 Carolina Challenge, hosted at Winthrop Coliseum.

Gamecock senior libero Hannah Lawing posted 24 digs in the match, her third match of the season with 20 or more digs. It’s also the fifth-best dig output in a three-set match by a Gamecock in program history. Junior middle blocker Teresa Stenlund had 10 kills and hit .412. South Carolina hit .079 collectively. Sandra Adeleye led the Tigers (4-0) with 12 kills, while Serenat Yaz had eight kills and a team-best 17 digs. Cansu Ozdemir added 10 digs, while Moneshia Simmons posted 10 digs and five block assists. Alexa Rand also had five block, three of them solo.

Neither team took more than a three-point lead during the first. Stenlund had a pair of kills in the Gamecocks’ four-point run that gave the squad a chance at set point at 24-23. Clemson, however, came back, with a kill from Adeleye and an ace from Simmons to get a chance to claim the first set. A South Carolina error handed it to the Tigers, 26-24, despite seven kills on a .455 hitting percentage by Stenlund and seven digs by Lawing.

The Tigers used a seven-point run to take control of the second, building the lead to 12-7, before the Gamecocks fought back with a five-point stand to tie it at 12-12. But Clemson came back with four straight points, three on kills by Adeleye, to take back momentum and the lead at 16-12. The Tiger advantage made it to 23-18 before South Carolina tried to come back. Kills from Juliette Thévenin and Cara Howley bookended a three-point run to close the gap to 23-21. Clemson would close it at 25-22, as Rand put the set away. Clemson’s Adeleye had seven kills in the second alone, and Yaz added six digs while the Gamecocks’ Lawing had six digs as well.

A four-point run early in the third set gave Clemson the advantage, and the Tigers never looked back. The advantage grew to eight on two different occasions before Yaz ended the set with a kill at 25-19. She had four kills and five digs for Clemson in the final set, while Lawing posted 11 digs in the third alone.

Clemson out-hit the Gamecocks and posted more digs, blocks and aces. The squads tied with 36 kills, and South Carolina held a slight advantage in assists. Thévenin made her debut in the Garnet and Black, posting eight kills and five digs.

South Carolina faces College of Charleston during the morning session on Saturday in the Carolina Challenge at 12 p.m. EDT, before closing out the weekend with a 7:30 p.m. showdown against host Winthrop.