Sept. 12, 2015
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — In its final match of the Michigan Challenge, the South Carolina volleyball team lost to Western Michigan 3-1 on Saturday, as the Broncos won by the scores of 25-22, 21-25, 25-22 and 25-19 at Cliff Keen Arena.
In a fourth set that saw 11 ties and six lead changes, the Gamecocks (4-5) looked to be on the way to forcing a decisive fifth set with a 17-15 lead late in the set. However, the Broncos (2-9) outscored Carolina 10-2 down the stretch to clinch the match.
Carolina finished the afternoon with the advantage in kills (61-55), while Western Michigan had the upper hand in hitting percentage (.248-.167) and digs (74-65). Both teams finished the match with nine blocks.
Junior outside hitter Dessaa Legros turned in a solid performance for the Gamecocks to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team. A native of Kennesaw, Ga., Legros tallied 20 kills while hitting .302, five digs and a career-high four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Courtney Furlong contributed a career-high 13 kills and a pair of blocks, while senior middle blocker Darian Dozier finished with 12 kills and a season-high seven blocks. Freshman setter Aubrey Ezell dished out a career-high 49 assists and had nine digs. Freshmen Emma Lock and Claire Blumenthal also posted career highs in digs with 19 and 11, respectively.
Junior outside hitter Alysia Baznik paced the Broncos with a double-double, recording 18 kills and 11 digs, while junior middle blocker Nicole Kinser and sophomore middle Sydney LeMay contributed 12 kills apiece. Kinser also had seven blocks on the afternoon. Freshman setter Mary Murphy finished with 51 assists and five digs, and freshman Hailey Knecht collected 26 digs.
With the Gamecocks holding a 17-15 lead and looking to force a fifth set, Western Michigan went on a 10-2 run to win the set to clinch the match.
Carolina finished with a season-high 32 attack errors on the afternoon.
â€¢ Legros earned her third-straight All-Tournament honor after recording 20 kills, five digs and a career-high four blocks against the Broncos.
â€¢ Furlong (13 kills), Ezell (49 assists), Lock (19 digs) and Blumenthal (11 digs) all finished with career highs on Saturday.
â€¢ With a season-high seven blocks, Dozier moved to eighth on Carolina’s career total blocks list with 354, passing Lori Drost’s (1994-97) total of 349.
The Gamecocks will return home next weekend to host the Carolina Classic. Carolina will face East Carolina on Friday at 7 p.m. and will take on Charleston Southern (1 p.m.) and Wofford (7 p.m.) at the Carolina Volleyball Center.