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Aug. 23, 2014

Final Stats | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After dropping the first set, Garnet won three-straight sets to defeat Black, 3-1, on Saturday in the South Carolina volleyball team’s annual Garnet and Black Match at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

The Garnet team fell in the first set 25-20 before winning the next three by the scores of 25-15, 25-21 and 25-16 in the team’s first game-like situation of the season.

The players switched teams after each set, giving them the chance to play in different lineups. The Garnet team out-hit the Black team, .326-.168, and held a 14-5 advantage in blocks and a 55-44 advantage in digs.

Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil led the way offensively with 18 kills on the afternoon, producing 13 for the Garnet team and five for the Black team. Sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams added 16 kills, with 14 coming while playing for Garnet, and 11 digs. Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier had a huge day, producing 12 kills and tallying a match-high eight blocks, while junior right side Sarah Blomgren added 11 kills, nine digs and five blocks.

Junior setter Kellie McNeil dished out 45 assists on the day to go along with eight digs, five kills and five blocks, while freshman setter Allie Monserez finished with 41 assists, eight digs and one block.

Leading the back line, sophomore libero Megan Kirkland collected 15 digs, while senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen produced 10 digs.

Game Changer
After losing the first set to Black and being tied 4-4 in the second set, Dozier recorded three blocks and added two kills to give the Garnet team a 9-5 lead it would not relinquish on the way to winning the final three sets.

Key Stat
The Garnet team out-hit Black, .326-.168, and held a 14-5 advantage in blocks.

• Taylr McNeil produced a match-high 18 kills in her first game-like action as a Gamecock.
• Atoa-Williams finished with a double-double, producing 16 kills and 11 digs. She did not have a double-double in 21 matches played last season.
• Dozier recorded 12 kills and a match-high eight blocks.
• Kellie McNeil and Monserez dished out 45 and 41 assists, respectively.

Tweet of the Game

South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson
“I liked a lot of what I saw. I thought we had some butterflies early on, but it got better and better as we went. Obviously, we played a lot of different lineups, kind of what we’ve been doing in practice. I thought we played at a pretty high level. I really didn’t think they were that nervous or made a bunch of errors because of the big crowd. That was a pretty big crowd for a scrimmage. I was impressed with all the people that came out. I liked what we did today.”

Up Next
The Gamecocks will open the 2014 season at home on Friday in the Gamecock Invitational. Carolina is slated to play Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m. at the VCF.