Aug. 27, 2011
by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Behind another double-double from sophomore outside hitter Juliette ThÃƒÂ©venin, South Carolina (3-0) swept past Temple (1-1) to claim the Temple Invitational championship.
ThÃƒÂ©venin, the tournament MVP and most valuable attacker, had 10 kills and a match-best 19 digs in the win. Freshman outside hitter Hanna Forst tallied a team-best 12 kills and added nine digs. Junior setter Taylor Bruns had 35 assists and 10 digs, while sophomore libero Paige Wheeler and freshman outside hitter Bethanie Thomas added 12 and 10 digs, respectively. Collin Wallace led Temple with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Elyse Burkert and Gabriella Matautia both had 10 kills. Matautia led the Owls with 14 digs, while Tiffany Connatser and Chelsea Tupuola both had 11 digs.
The Gamecocks ran out to a 9-3 lead in the first, posting a four-point run to start the match and a three-point skein powered by Forst kills that caused a Temple timeout. The streak reached five on a back-row kill by ThÃƒÂ©venin and an Owl blocking error, giving the Gamecocks an 11-3 advantage. Temple got within four before the Gamecocks pulled away again. Junior middle blocker Brandi Byers put away a kill to end the set at 25-15. Forst posted six kills in the frame and four digs, while ThÃƒÂ©venin adds four kills and seven digs.
South Carolina streaked out to 7-2 and 11-6 advantages in the second, but Temple fought back to take a 14-13 lead thanks to a four-point run. The Gamecocks responded with their own four-point stand, bookended by ThÃƒÂ©venin kills. The Owls tied it again at 19 after a solo block and kill by Wallace, forcing the Gamecocks to call timeout. The sides traded points before South Carolina posted three straight, the final two on a block assist and kill by Byers, causing another Owl timeout at 23-20. Temple posted two straight, but the Gamecocks posted two in a row as well, including the set ender by ThÃƒÂ©venin off the Owl block that made it 25-22. The Gamecocks got four kills from ThÃƒÂ©venin and three from Forst, while five Gamecocks had three or more digs.
Temple got a five-point run early to make it 8-5, but the Gamecocks responded by taking 10 of 12 to claim a 16-12 lead. Redshirt freshman Cara Howley had three kills and an ace in the sequence. South Carolina got another three-point run to make it 19-13, with kills from Vain and Thomas coming around an Owl error. Temple took four points in five to cause a Gamecock timeout at 21-18, and South Carolina regrouped to take the next four points to end the set, 25-18. Howley had the kills that started and ended the final stretch and posted six in the set overall.
The Gamecocks held an edge in every statistical category, including a 5-3 block advantage and a .217-.135 mark in hitting percentage.
Bruns garnered most valuable setter honors in the tournament.
South Carolina hosts the Gamecock Invitational on Sept. 2-3 at the Volleyball Competition Facility, with matches beginning at 9:30 a.m. EDT each day.