Sept. 20, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team turned in its most efficient performance of the season on offense on its way to sweeping The Citadel on Saturday by the scores of 25-14, 25-13 and 25-20 to win the Carolina Classic at the Carolina Volleyball Center.
The Gamecocks hit a season-best .404 on the afternoon, hitting .400 in the first set, .565 in the second and .290 in the third, on their way to improving to 10-2 on the season. Carolina has now won seven straight matches. The Citadel drops to 5-9 on the year.
Carolina senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen garnered Tournament MVP honors after tallying 14 digs and three assists on Saturday. Christiaansen averaged 4.00 digs per set for the tournament. Freshman setter Allie Monserez earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team as she distributed 16 assists and had five digs. Monserez averaged a team-best 6.73 assists per set and 2.36 digs per set.
Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil had a stellar day offensively for the Gamecocks, recording 15 kills while hitting a career-high .520 with just two attack errors. She also contributed seven digs. Sophomore outside hitter KoKo Atoa-Williams chipped in nine kills while hitting .500 without an attack error, while junior middle blocker Darian Dozier had six kills and a pair of blocks. Junior setter Kellie McNeil chipped in four kills and 18 assists, and junior middle Elizabeth Johnbull contributed four kills and sophomore middle Jacqy Angermiller had a match-high five blocks.
Outside hitter Bailey Kernodle paced The Citadel with 11 kills, while Samantha Espy finished with eight kills and five digs. Ise d’Angelo and Dominique Williams had six kills apiece. Setter Rachel Keefer dished out 33 assists and had 10 digs.
The Gamecocks finished the afternoon with the advantage in kills (43-35), digs (48-37) and blocks (8-1).
Taylr McNeil and Atoa-Williams combined for 24 kills on 43 attack attempts with just two attack errors. McNeil hit .520 for the match, while Atoa-Williams swung at a .500 clip. The duo had 11 of Carolina’s 16 kills in the first set to help the Gamecocks win 25-14 and set the tone for the rest of the match.
The Gamecocks hit a season-best .404 for the match with just seven attack errors. In the first two sets alone, Carolina hit .466 with only two attack errors.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have won seven straight matches. It’s their longest winning streak since winning nine straight in 2012.
â€¢ Carolina hit a season-best .404 for the match, its highest hitting percentage since hitting .411 against Mississippi State at home on Nov. 9, 2012.
â€¢ Christiaansen was named Tournament MVP after averaging 4.00 digs per set. Monserez received All-Tournament honors, averaging 6.73 assists and 2.36 digs per set.
â€¢ Taylr McNeil hit a career-best .520 with just two attack errors. She averaged 3.88 kills per set with a .385 hitting percentage for the tournament.
â€¢ The Gamecocks entered the tournament leading the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.143) and held their opponents to a .108 attack percentage this weekend.
Tweet of the Match
— Charles Bloom (@CharlesBloomSC) September 20, 2014
South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson
“I thought we were in control for the whole match. We put up some big blocks, dug some balls, served them tough and got them out of system and made our defense a lot better. We had some really good performances by a lot of individuals today. It was a really good performance by the team.”
On being more efficient offensively
“We talked about being who we want to be and not worrying so much about the other side of the net and playing how we want to play on our side of the net. I think we did that a little better today. We have our ups and downs with serve receive and some miscommunications every once in a while, but I think we are ironing that out. We are getting closer and closer to being ready for SEC play to start next weekend, so this week of practice is going to be very important.”
The Gamecocks open SEC play at home on Friday against Ole Miss. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at the Carolina Volleyball Center. The match will be televised on the SEC Network.