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Nov. 10, 2013

Final Stats

ATHENS, Ga. — The South Carolina volleyball team dropped a three-set decision at Georgia on Sunday, as the Bulldogs claimed the sets by the scores of 25-16, 25-11 and 25-19 at the Ramsey Center.

With the loss, the Gamecocks fall to 12-13 on the season and 3-9 in SEC play. Georgia improves its record to 18-8 overall and 8-6 in the conference.

For the second-straight match, South Carolina played shorthanded as it was without starters Juliette Thévenin (illness), Kellie McNeil (foot) and Jacqy Angermiller (illness).

The Gamecocks hit just .057 for the match, while Georgia hit at a .436 clip. Sophomore Sarah Blomgren paced South Carolina with 10 kills. Sophomore Darian Dozier added seven kills and two blocks, and freshman KoKo Atoa-Williams chipped in five kills. Freshman setter Helen Récaborde distributed a career-high 23 assists and had five digs. Junior libero Michaela Christiaansen finished with a team-high eight digs.

The Bulldogs finished the afternoon with the edge in kills (42-28), digs (29-22) and blocks (6-4). Junior outside hitter Inutiraha Le’au led Georgia with 10 kills, while senior outside hitter Brittany Northcutt pitched in nine kills and six digs. Senior middle blocker Elena Perri and junior middle blocker Lauren Teknipp contributed six kills apiece, with Perri also recording four blocks. Junior setter Kaylee Kehoe dished out a team-high 21 assists.

The Gamecocks came out strong in the first set. After playing the Bulldogs to a 6-6 tie early on, a kill by Blomgren and a pair of blocks by Récaborde and Elizabeth Johnbull sparked a 4-0 run that gave South Carolina a 10-6 lead. Georgia answered with a 5-1 run to take a 12-11 lead. The Gamecocks scrapped back to tie it up at 13-13 on a kill by Christiaansen, but the Bulldogs outscored South Carolina 12-3 the rest of the way to win the set.

Georgia jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the second set. South Carolina cut Georgia’s lead to 9-5 on a solo block by Dozier, but that was as close as the Gamecocks were able to get, as the Bulldogs pulled away for a 25-11 win by hitting .609 for the set.

The teams played to a 6-6 tie in the third set before Georgia went on a 5-0 run to build an 11-6 advantage. After the Bulldogs pushed their lead to 20-12 late, the Gamecocks used a 6-1 run capped by a service ace by Gabrielle Rubeis to cut Georgia’s lead to 21-18. However, the Bulldogs closed out the set on a 4-1 run to win the match.

South Carolina will be back in action on Wednesday at No. 5 Florida. The match will be televised nationally on ESPNU. First serve is set for 6 p.m. at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.