Sept. 26, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. — After losing the first two sets on Friday night, the South Carolina volleyball team regrouped and rallied to knock off undefeated Ole Miss, 3-2, by the scores of 22-25, 19-25, 25-21, 26-24 and 15-12 in front of a record crowd of 1,807 at the Carolina Volleyball Center.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 11-2 overall and 1-0 in the SEC, extending their winning streak to eight matches. The Rebels fall to 14-1 on the year and 0-1 in SEC play.
Ole Miss had match point in the fourth set at 24-23, but Carolina reeled off three-straight points to knot the match at 2-2 with a 26-24 win.
In the decisive set, the Rebels led 12-11 after a kill by Melanie Crow. However, the Gamecocks didn’t allow another point. Jacqy Angermiller and Kellie McNeil tied it up with a block, and Carolina then took the lead on a kill by Taylr McNeil. After a block by Dozier and Kellie McNeil gave the Gamecocks match point at 14-12, Taylr McNeil clinched the comeback win with a kill.
Kellie McNeil had a huge night for the Gamecocks to lead the way as she came up one dig shy of a triple-double, finishing with 38 assists, a career-high 10 kills, nine digs and six blocks. Taylr McNeil added 18 kills and four blocks, while sophomore outside hitter KoKo Atoa-Williams produced a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier tallied 11 kills and seven blocks, while sophomore middle blocker Jacqy Angermiller finished with 11 kills and six blocks. Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen delivered a stellar performance anchoring the back line with a match-high 26 digs.
Middle blocker Nakeyta Clair paced Ole Miss with 20 kills and four blocks, while sophomore right side Melanie Crow added 10 kills. Freshman outside hitter Lexi Thompson, freshman middle blocker Taylor Alexander and senior outside hitter Marie-Pierre Bakima added nine kills each. Thompson and defensive specialist Kristen Brashear each collected 16 digs for the Rebels.
As a team, the Gamecocks finished with the advantage in kills (69-50) and blocks (15-10), while Ole Miss outhit Carolina .189-.184 and held a 75-74 edge in digs.
Christiaansen and McNeil were difference makers for the Gamecocks on Friday. Christiaansen didn’t let many attacks hit the floor on her way to a season-high 26 digs. McNeil did a little bit of everything, coming up just shy of a triple double with a season-high 38 assists, 10 kills, nine digs and six blocks.
McNeil recorded a career-high 10 kills on 15 attacks without an attack error, hitting .667 on the night.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have won eight straight matches, their longest streak since winning nine straight in 2012.
â€¢ McNeil fell one dig shy of a triple-double, finishing with 38 assists, a career-high 10 kills, nine digs and six blocks. She hit .667 on the night without an attack error.
â€¢ Christiaansen collected a season-high 26 digs.
â€¢ Atoa-Williams recorded her team-leading sixth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs.
â€¢ The win marks the first time the Gamecocks have lost the first two sets and came back to win since rallying from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Alabama at home on Nov. 13, 2005.
â€¢ The crowd of 1,807 is a record for the Carolina Volleyball Center. The previous record was 1,793 for the Florida match on Sept. 21, 2001.
Tweet of the Match
— Donnie Fetner (@GamecockFet) September 27, 2014
South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson
“They were extremely resilient. I felt like we gave up an outrageous amount of hitting errors early in the match and dug ourselves in some holes. They could have easily crumbled and lost in three to that team. That was a very good Ole Miss team. Instead, we made the adjustments and changed our lineup a little bit. We came back, got more efficient and started blocking balls and digging balls. Credit to our kids. They were just really tough-minded. It was a really, really good way to start conference play. I think we learned a lot of lessons tonight.”
The Gamecocks will wrap up their first weekend of SEC play on Sunday against No. 14 Kentucky. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Carolina Volleyball Center.