Nov. 29, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team closed out its 2014 campaign with a 3-1 loss to LSU on Saturday by the scores of 25-13, 25-19, 27-29 and 25-14 at the Carolina Volleyball Center.
With the loss, the Gamecocks finish the year with a 17-14 overall record and a 7-11 mark in SEC play. LSU improves to 19-8 on the season and 14-4 in the league.
Sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams led the Gamecocks with her team-leading 11th double-double of the season, finishing with 12 kills and 11 digs. In her final match as a Gamecocks, senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen recorded 16 digs to push her season total to 535, which is the most digs in a single season in school history. She also finished second on the South Carolina career digs per set list with an average of 3.99. Junior right side Sarah Blomgren added seven kills and eight digs, while junior middle blocker Darian Dozier added six kills and five blocks. Freshman setter Allie distributed 19 assists and had seven digs, while junior setter Kellie McNeil had 15 assists. Sophomore defensive specialist Megan Kirkland added 12 digs.
Outside hitter Gina Tillis and middle blocker Briana Holman paced LSU with 17 kills apiece. Tillis also had 11 digs to finish with a double-double. Katie Lindelow and Cati Leak also had double-doubles for the Tigers. Lindelow had 11 kills and 22 digs, while Leak finished with 11 kills and 15 digs. Setter Malorie Pardo dished out 54 assists, while libero Haley Smith finished with 18 digs.
As a team, LSU held the advantage in hitting (.297-.115), kills (65-40) and digs (77-61), while South Carolina out-blocked the Tigers 8-5.
After losing the first two sets, the Gamecocks made a spectacular comeback in the third set to avoid the sweep. Carolina trailed 15-5 before a kill by Atoa-Williams sparked a 9-1 run that cut LSU’s lead to 16-14. LSU maintained its lead and had match point at 24-20. However, the Gamecocks answered with four straight points to tie it up. The teams then played through three more ties before the Gamecocks claimed a 29-27 victory after a LSU attack error and a kill by Taylr McNeil.
But LSU built a 16-8 lead in the fourth set it would not relinquish, as the Gamecocks were unable to pull closer than seven points the rest of the way.
After the Gamecocks made a huge comeback to win the third set, LSU jumped out to a 16-8 lead in the fourth set on its way to a 25-14 win, hitting .432 for the set.
The Tigers hit .297 for the match, including a .500 and .432 hitting percentage in first and fourth sets, while holding the Gamecocks to a .115 hitting percentage.
â€¢ Christiaansen finished the match with 16 digs to give her 535 for the season, which is the most in a single season in school history.
â€¢ Christiaansen also finished her career with a digs per set average of 3.99, which ranks second in school history.
â€¢ Dozier finished the year with 141 total blocks, the most in a single season in the rally scoring era in school history.
â€¢ Dozier also had 127 block assists on the year, the most in a single season in the rally scoring era.
â€¢ The seven conference wins this season are the Gamecocks’ most under head coach Scott Swanson and the most since going 12-8 in 2008.
â€¢ The Gamecocks finished with year with a winning record for just the third time since going 22-7 in 2002.