Oct. 2, 2011
by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director
AUBURN, Ala. – South Carolina (9-6, 0-5 SEC) struggled offensively and dropped a three-set decision at Auburn (9-7, 3-3 SEC), as the Tigers took the sets 25-19, 25-19, 25-17 on Sunday afternoon at the Student Activities Center.
Kelly Fidero led the Tigers with 14 kills, while Sarah Bullock added 12 kills and 11 digs. Camila Jersonsky tallied 11 kills on a .611 hitting percentage, and Chelsea Wintzinger added 27 assists and 14 digs. MacKenzy Harper matched Wintzinger with 14 digs, tops for anyone in the match.
Sophomore Paige Wheeler posted 13 digs for South Carolina, while freshman outside hitter Bethanie Thomas had 12 digs and six kills, leading the Gamecocks in the latter. The Gamecocks hit .086 in the match, the lowest output of the year.
Auburn claimed the first set, 25-19, behind five kills each from Bullock and Fidero. Auburn took the lead initially at 10-9 after a three-point run and claimed it for good with a four-point stand that made it 14-11, powered by a kill and block from Vesela Zapryanova. Later, the Tigers took seven of nine points to get to set point, where Bullock posted a solo stuff to end the frame. The Tigers held the Gamecocks to a .024 hitting percentage, posting four blocks in the set. Wintzinger tallied nine assists and nine digs in the set.
The Tigers took the second set, 25-19, behind strong play from Jersonsky, who had four kills without an error in the frame. Auburn held a five-point lead before a Gamecock three-point run made it 9-7. The teams traded two different three-point skeins and two more points before Auburn took command with a three-point run that included consecutive Jersonsky kills followed by a Bullock tip at 20-15. The Gamecocks posted two straight points, but Auburn got another three-point string to make it 23-17. Kills by freshman Hanna Forst and senior Teresa Stenlund closed the gap to four at 23-19, but a service error and an attack error by Carolina ended the frame. Four Tiger service aces were the difference, as the teams were even nearly everywhere else. Fidero added five kills for the Tigers.
The third set looked like a runaway early, with Auburn holding a 13-4 advantage. Bullock had four kills and an ace in the early going. The Gamecocks fought back, posting two three-point runs and a two-point swing to make it 16-12. But the Tigers reclaimed a large advantage with back-to-back points on four occasions, making it 24-16. A backrow kill by Thomas extended the frame a point, but Kathia Rud ended it with her cross-court kill at 25-17. The Tigers hit .484 in the final frame, making only two errors while tallying 17 kills as a team.
The Tigers claimed every stat category, hitting .237 and posting eight blocks.
South Carolina returns home to host LSU and Arkansas next weekend at the Volleyball Competition Facility. It will be Alumni Weekend for the program.