Sept. 13, 2014
BUIES CREEK, N.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team claimed the Campbell Invitational title with a sweep of North Florida on Saturday afternoon by the scores of 20-25, 25-20, 25-17 and 25-23 at Gore Arena.
The Gamecocks move to 7-2 on the season with their fourth-straight win. North Florida drops to 3-7 with the loss.
Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil had another strong performance to lead the Gamecock offense, finishing with 16 kills and adding seven digs to earn Tournament MVP honors. Sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams contributed a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs. Junior middle blocker Elizabeth Johnbull finished with nine kills while hitting .500 and three blocks. Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier had nine kills and six blocks, while junior right side Sarah Blomgren had seven kills and three blocks. Freshman setter Allie Monserez distributed a career-high 43 assists and had seven digs and two blocks. Senior Mikaela Christiaansen collected a team-best 15 digs and had four assists.
Tessa Alyman paced North Florida with 15 kills, while Carina Hoff pitched in 12 kills. Setter Carinne Turner dished out 32 assists, and Courtney Miller had seven kills and a team-high 15 digs.
As a team the Gamecocks held the advantage in hitting (.246-.140), kills (53-46), assists (49-45), digs (57-48) and blocks (9-7).
After trailing the entire first set on its way to a 25-20 loss, South Carolina bounced back in the second set. Trailing 7-6 early on, the Gamecocks used a 13-5 run to take command and win the set 25-20, out-hitting the Ospreys .296-.000. Carolina had its most efficient offensive set of the night in the third set, hitting .419 on its way to a 25-17 win. The fourth set went back and forth with the teams playing through seven ties and five lead changes. With the score tied at 19-19, the Gamecocks went on a key 4-0 run with Taylr McNeil, Johnbull and Atoa-Williams all recording a kill. North Florida pulled to within 24-23, but the Gamecocks won 25-23 on an attack error by the Ospreys.
The Gamecocks took control of the match with a stellar offensive effort in the third set, hitting .419 for the set. Carolina also had three blocks on its way to taking a 2-1 lead with a 25-17 win.
Junior middle blocker Elizabeth Johnbull started for the Gamecocks and had an impressive night, finishing with nine kills while hitting .500 on 16 swings and three blocks.
â€¢ Taylr McNeil was named Tournament MVP, while Atoa-Williams and Blomgren made the All-Tournament Team.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have won four straight matches.
â€¢ South Carolina lost just one set on the weekend.
â€¢ Monserez finished with a career-high 43 digs.
â€¢ Atoa-Williams posted her fourth double-double of the season.
â€¢ Taylr McNeil averaged 4.10 kills per set while hitting .309 on the weekend.
South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson
“I thought we played pretty well. We had some ups and downs but we were very resilient in how we came out of those downs. We had really great performances from five or six different players, so it was a real team effort. A lot of people got playing time this weekend and experience. I think it was a great learning experience for us but also a confidence building weekend.”
The Gamecocks will return to action next weekend as they host the Carolina Classic at the Volleyball Competition Facility. Carolina will play Norfolk State (10 a.m.) and Eastern Kentucky (7 p.m.) on Friday and The Citadel on Saturday at 3 p.m.