Oct. 12, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The South Carolina volleyball team dropped a four-set decision at Alabama on Sunday, as the Crimson Tide won by the scores of 25-23, 25-19, 25-27 and 25-18 at Foster Auditorium.
With the loss, the Gamecocks are now 13-4 on the season and 3-2 in SEC play. Alabama improves to 16-4 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
The Crimson Tide captured the first two sets, but Carolina responded in the third set and used a 5-2 run to erase a 24-22 deficit to win the set 27-25. The Gamecocks jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the fourth set. However, Alabama went on a 17-4 run to take a 17-10 lead on its way to winning the set 25-18.
Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier tallied 11 kills while hitting .400 and had two blocks to pace the Gamecocks. Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil recorded her third double-double of the season, finishing with 11 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Jacqy Angermiller added seven kills and five blocks, while junior right side Sarah Blomgren had seven kills. Junior setter Kellie McNeil distributed 36 assists and had five kills and four blocks. Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen finished with a match-high 23 digs.
Freshman outside hitter Kat Hutson finished with 17 kills to lead Alabama, while Brittany Thomas produced a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs. Freshman middle Leah Lawrence also had 11 kills and a team-high five blocks, and sophomore right side Krystal Rivers pitched in 11 kills and three blocks. Setter Sierra Wilson finished with 47 assists and eight digs, and libero Natalie Murison collected 13 digs.
As a team, Alabama finished the afternoon with an edge in kills (57-47), hitting percentage (.230-.159), digs (53-50) and blocks (10-7).
With the Gamecocks looking to force a fifth set leading 6-0 in the fourth, Alabama used a 17-4 run to take control and win the match, outhitting Carolina .321-.000 for the set.
The Gamecocks had seven reception errors on the afternoon, their most in SEC play and third most this season.
â€¢ The loss was the Gamecocks’ first on the road this season. Carolina is now 4-1 in true road matches.
â€¢ Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 kills and 13 digs.
â€¢ Sunday’s match was just the fourth time Carolina has been out-blocked this season, as Alabama held a 10-7 advantage in blocks.
â€¢ Christiaansen recorded 23 digs, the fourth time in the last five matches she has tallied 20 or more digs.
South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson
“I’m really proud of how we fought. We are just kind of an emotional roller coaster team right now with our serve receive and how we are executing our serve and pass game. As our passing goes, our offense goes and we start to become pretty high error when Kellie (McNeil) has to run all over the court to get balls. It’s one of those things that we are relying on some young players to make some changes, and now it’s just get back to practice. More practice and building more confidence in what we are doing. I’m proud of how we played at times. We never gave up. We were just not able to execute at the right times.”
The Gamecocks will return to action on Wednesday at home against No. 9 Florida. First serve is set for 6 p.m. at the Carolina Volleyball Center, and the match will be televised on ESPNU.