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Nov. 13, 2013

Final Stats

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Facing one of its strongest opponents of the season, the South Carolina volleyball team fought hard but dropped a three-set decision at No. 5 Florida on Wednesday night in a nationally televised match on ESPNU. The Gators won the sets by the scores of 25-15, 25-9 and 25-22 at the O’Connell Center.

With the loss, the Gamecocks are now 12-14 on the season and 3-10 in the SEC. Florida improves its record to 23-2 overall and 12-1 in league play.

Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin paced the Gamecocks with eight kills, five digs and two blocks, while sophomore Sarah Blomgren added five kills. Sophomore middle blocker Darian Dozier contributed three kills and two blocks, and freshman Dessaa Legros pitched in four kills. Making her third-straight start, freshman setter Helen Récaborde distributed 21 assists for South Carolina.

The Gators finished the night with an advantage in hitting (.372-.059), kills (45-24) and digs (39-26). Ziva Recek led Florida’s attack with a match-high 15 kills (.500) and nine digs, while Simone Antwi finished with eight kills (.500) and three blocks. Taylor Brauneis dished out 28 assists. Nikki O’Rourke and Holly Pole chipped in eight digs apiece in the win.

Florida jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first set, but the Gamecocks battled back and pulled to within 14-10 on a kill by Dozier. However, the Gators went on a 6-1 run capped by a Antwi block to push their lead to 20-14. Florida went on to claim the set 25-15, hitting .455 for the frame.

The Gamecocks played the Gators tough early in the second set as they pulled to within 6-5 after a kill by freshman Jacqy Angermiller and a Florida attack error. But Florida pulled away with an 11-3 run on its way to claiming a 25-9 win, behind a .583 hitting percentage.

South Carolina played its best set of the night in the third. The Gamecocks built a 10-6 lead before Florida fought back with a 5-0 run to take an 11-10 lead. Back-to-back Thévenin kills later in the set gave the Gamecocks an 18-15 lead. South Carolina held a 20-19 lead late, but the Gators claimed the match by outscoring the Gamecocks 6-2 down the stretch.

The Gamecocks will be back in action this weekend at home as they are set to host Alabama on Friday (7 p.m.) and No. 7 Missouri on Sunday (1:30 p.m.) at the Volleyball Competition Facility.