Sept. 1, 2012
FAIRFAX, Va. – Behind a dominating performance from junior outside hitter Juliette ThÃƒÂ©venin and the Gamecock defense, South Carolina (5-0) swept past West Virginia (2-3), 25-15, 25-18, 25-19, in the first match for both teams at The Mason Inn Patriot Invitational.
ThÃƒÂ©venin posted 17 kills and hit .351 to lead the way offensively. She also played good defense, ranking second on the team with 14 digs and three block assists. Junior libero Paige Wheeler added 16 digs, while sophomore outside hitter Bethanie Thomas posted nine kills. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Cara Howley added five kills and a match-best three aces.
Caleah Wells led West Virginia with nine kills. Brittany Sample had a double-double with 25 assists and 15 digs. The Gamecock defense held the Mountaineers to a .073 hitting performance, while South Carolina posted a .233 mark in the contest.
In the 25-15 set-one win, South Carolina ran out to a 12-6 lead, capped by a kill and an ace from Howley. A 7-1 run nearly ended the frame, as both ThÃƒÂ©venin and Thomas had two kills in the stretch. The outside hitters combined again to close out the set at 25-15. Wheeler had eight digs and ThÃƒÂ©venin seven in the first set alone.
Tied at 16-16 in the second set, South Carolina took nine of the final 11 points to claim the game, 25-18. Howley added two aces to go with two ThÃƒÂ©venin kills in the final stretch. ThÃƒÂ©venin made six kills without an error in the second.
South Carolina had a five-point lead in the third set that the Mountaineers nearly fought back through, but the Gamecocks ended the frame on a five-point skein to end the match with a 25-19 third-set win. ThÃƒÂ©venin landed six more kills in the third and posted all three of her block assists in the frame, while both Wheeler and sophomore setter Lexie Pawlik had four digs.
The two teams tied with five blocks; the rest of the statistical categories went the Gamecocks’ way.