Nov. 23, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. — The South Carolina volleyball team defeated Georgia in four sets on Sunday by the scores of 26-24, 17-25, 32-30 and 26-24 at the Ramsey Center.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 17-12 on the season and 7-9 in SEC play. Georgia drops to 13-16 overall and 5-12 in the league. The victory is South Carolina’s first at Georgia since a 3-0 win on Oct. 16, 2009.
Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen had a record-setting day to lead the Gamecocks defensively. A native of Tucson, Ariz., Christiaansen recorded a career-high 33 digs, which is a school record for a four-set match. Junior right side Sarah Blomgren matched her career-high with 17 kills while hitting .400 and had nine digs. Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier pitched in 14 kills while hitting .444 and four blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Jacqy Angermiller added 10 kills and three blocks, while sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams added nine kills and nine digs and sophomore Dessaa Legros had nine kills. Junior setter Kellie McNeil finished with 25 assists, and freshman setter Allie Monserez dished out 24 assists and had eight digs.
Jasmine Eatmon paced Georgia with 15 kills while hitting .542 and four blocks. Amanda Dachs contributed 11 kills, six digs and five blocks, while Tirah Le’au added nine kills and 10 digs. Kendall Kazor distributed 27 assists and had eight digs, and Kayle Kehoe finished with 24 assists and eight digs. Gaby Smiley tallied a team-high 27 digs, and Desiree McCray led the Bulldogs’ defensive effort with eight blocks.
The Gamecocks and Bulldogs each recorded 60 kills for the match, while Georgia held the advantage in hitting percentage (.217-.187) and blocks (17-7). Carolina finished with an 80-71 edge in digs.
Georgia pulled ahead 21-19 in the first set on a service ace by Smiley, but the Gamecocks went on a 3-0 run to take a 22-21 lead on a kill by Blomgren. The teams then tied the set three more times before Legros delivered back-to-back kills to give the Gamecocks the win.
After Georgia tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-17 win in the 2nd set, the teams battled through a back and forth third set that saw 16 ties and 12 lead changes. Carolina fended off set point on three occasions, with the last being at 30-29. Blomgren came through with a kill to tie the match at 30-30. After a Georgia attack error, Blomgren finished off the set with an ace to give the Gamecocks a 32-30 win. Dozier came up big for the Gamecocks in the set, recording eight of her 14 kills.
The fourth set was more of the same, as the teams played through 13 ties and three lead changes. With the frame tied at 24, Blomgren and Atoa-Williams recorded the final two points with kills to lift the Gamecocks to the win. Blomgren and Atoa-Williams recorded six and four kills, respectively, in the set.
Dozier and Blomgren came up huge for the Gamecocks in the third and fourth sets. Dozier recorded eight kills with no attack errors on 13 swings in the third set, while Blomgren led the way with six kills with no attack errors on seven swings in the fourth set. Dozier and Blomgren combined for 31 of Carolina’s 60 kills on the afternoon while hitting .444 and .400, respectively.
Christiaansen led the Gamecock defense with a career-high 33 digs, which is a school record for a four-set match.
â€¢ The win is Carolina’s first at Georgia since a 3-0 win in Athens on Oct. 16, 2009.
â€¢ Carolina now has seven conference wins, which are the most under head coach Scott Swanson and the most since going 12-8 in 2008.
â€¢ The win is also the Gamecocks’ sixth road win this season, which is Carolina’s most since recording seven in 2002.
â€¢ Sunday’s marks the fifth time this season Carolina has won a match despite being outhit by its opponent. The Bulldogs outhit the Gamecocks .217-.187.
â€¢ Christiaansen tallied a career-high 33 digs, which is a school record for a four-set match.
â€¢ With the 33 digs, Christiaansen moved to second on the program’s single-season rally scoring era digs list with 512.
â€¢ Blomgren matched her career high with 17 kills while hitting .400.
South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson
“We were extremely resilient and battled. It was just up and down, and we ended up on the favorable end at the end of the match. I thought we dug very well. Mikaela Christiaansen had 33 digs, which is incredible. I know that is a school record for four sets. Offensively, we had two people step up. Sarah Blomgren had 17 kills and hit over .400. Darian Dozier had an awesome day. She hit .444 with 14 kills. Our juniors really stepped up for us.”
The Gamecocks wrap up a three-match road stretch at Florida on Wednesday. First serve is set for 7 p.m. in Gainesville, Fla. The match will air tape delayed on ESPNU at 10 p.m.
Tweet of the Match
– dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) November 23, 2014