Gamecocks Conclude Carolina Challenge with Sweep of Winthrop
Sept. 6, 2014
ROCK HILL, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team wrapped up the Carolina Challenge in strong fashion on Saturday night with a sweep of Winthrop by the scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-22 at Winthrop Coliseum.
The Gamecocks improve to 4-2 on the season with the win. Winthrop drops to 3-5.
South Carolina finished the night with the advantage in hitting (.196-.052), assists (33-32), digs (54-52) and blocks (12-7).
Gamecock freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil was named to the All-Tournament team after leading the team with 14 kills and adding six digs. Sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams finished with six kills and nine digs, while junior right side Sarah Blomgren and sophomore middle blocker Jacqy Angermiller added five kills each. Angermiller also had five blocks, while Blomgren produced four. Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier delivered a match-high seven blocks. Junior setter Kellie McNeil had 19 assists, seven digs and four blocks, and senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen collected 12 digs.
Emma Weakland paced Winthrop with 10 kills and three blocks, while Rachel Lenz added eight kills and four blocks. Eagles setter Jessie Vicic recorded a double-double, finishing with 29 assists and 12 digs.
South Carolina was solid offensively early as it hit .320 in the first set and erased a 17-13 deficit by closing out the set on an 12-3 run. The Gamecocks never trailed in the second set and led by eight points on their way to a 25-18 win. The third set went back and forth with nine ties and two lead changes. Carolina trailed 19-15 but closed on a 10-3 run to win the match.
With the Gamecocks trailing 17-13 in the first set, a block assist by Dozier and Blomgren sparked a 12-3 run by Carolina to win the set. The Gamecocks had four blocks during the run.
The Gamecocks controlled the action at the net, out-blocking the Eagles 12-7. Carolina is 3-1 on the season when winning the blocking battle.
â€¢ Taylr McNeil was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 3.58 kills per set and 3.33 digs per set on the weekend.
â€¢ South Carolina recorded double-digit blocks for the fifth time in six games this season. The Gamecocks reached double-digit blocks 10 times in 31 matches last season.
Tweet of the Match
– Charlie Moore Jr. (@USCGamecockBoy) September 7, 2014
South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson
“I think we did a really good job of following our defensive plan. We served tough and didn’t let them run as fast of an offense as they wanted to. I thought our hitting efficiency made a difference as well. After two sets, we only had six hitting errors and were hitting .300. We had more errors in the third set but held on by blocking balls. Anytime we were down, we blocked our way into the match, which is definitely a strength of ours, being strong at the net. I’m pretty proud of us bouncing back. We know we have a lot to work on. There were some really good teams here this weekend. They were better than people would think. It was a good eye opener and lessons learned by us. We now know what we need to do better and work on. We are going to hit the gym again Monday and start improving.”
The Gamecocks will be back in action next weekend at the Campbell Invitational. Carolina will play Campbell on Friday at 7 p.m. and Elon (10 a.m.) and North Florida (4:30 p.m.) on Saturday in Buies Creek, N.C.