Oct. 30, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team closed out the month of October against the 12th-ranked Florida Gators Friday night. The short-handed Gamecocks would lose in straight sets, 25-22, 25-14, 25-21, and move to 9-14 overall and 2-8 in the SEC this season. Florida has now won seven straight (16-4, 8-3 SEC).
Playing without starting middle blockers Jacqy Angermiller and Darian Dozier, the Gamecocks relied on Dessaa Legros and Sarah Blomgren to carry the offense. The two would combine for 21 of the team’s 38 total kills for the night.
1st Set: Carolina’s best chance at taking a set would come right out the gates, but Florida would take the hotly contested first set, 25-21. There were 14 ties and six lead changes in the set. The Gators seemed to be pulling away after using a 5-1 run to break a 13-all tie, but the Gamecocks would rally back. Aces on consecutive serves from Joely Cabrera would force a timeout with Florida ahead 19-18.
The home side would eventually tie the set up again, this time at 21-21, but a rash of hitting errors would keep them from getting the early advantage. Florida earned their two clinching points on attack miscues and held off any more rallies.
2nd Set: The second set would start off just as close as the first, but behind a big run served up by Florida’s Abby Detering, the Gators went into halftime ahead 2-0. The Gamecocks used a diverse attack to earn the early 8-5 lead before Detering took serve and spurred on an 8-0 run. She finished that run with a pair of aces and was able to keep Carolina out of system. It would not be able to recover from the swing, and Florida finished the set out on a 7-0 for the 25-14 win. The Gators hit a combined .560 in the set, with just one error in 25 chances.
3rd Set: The Gamecock offense rallied back in the third set, but were unable to put up a big enough block to slow down Florida’s offense. There would be no critical run to break the game open, but the Gamecocks would be unable to sustain service to overcome an early deficit. Sarah Blomgren shined brightest in the final frame, hitting six kills in just nine attempts for Carolina, but she was countered by three Florida hitters who each went for four or more kills in the set.
Stat of the Match
The Gators hit .440 for the match, committing just seven hitting errors overall. It was the highest opponent hitting percentage allowed by the Gamecocks all season, surpassing the previous high of .321 set by Michigan on Sept. 11. The Gamecocks have only allowed four opponents to hit over .300 in a match all season long.
Carolina hosts Ole Miss Sunday 1 p.m. to cap the home stand. The Rebels won 3-1 at home in the two teams’ first meeting on Oct. 2, and since then have accumulated a 5-5 conference record. The team’s only losses have come to the current top four teams in the SEC and archrival Mississippi State. Sunday’s rematch will air live on the SEC Network.
- Without its two leading blockers, the Gamecocks would record just one block in the match, a season low.
- Freshman Jesse Turner earned her first career start Friday night, filling in at middle blocker. She finished with three kills, a pair of blocks and a block assist.
- Friday was the second straight match missed by Angermiller, who was hurt following the Tennessee match. This was Dozier’s second missed start in the last three matches.
Quotable: Head Coach Scott Swanson
“I thought we had a really good mentality, especially in the first set. We were following our game plan exactly how we practiced it. There were some really good moments there, I thought had we executed just a little better, gotten one or two more blocks and a couple more digs we could’ve maybe even won that first set. After that, I’m not sure if our mentality changed in game two, we stopped doing what was working in game one, we stopped tipping and tooling and we started making more errors and we just gave them too many points… There were some positives, we are hopefully on our way back to being a little more healthy and having some of our missing pieces in, our bigger-blocking lineup, so we’ll see what tomorrow’s practice will look like and what we’re able to do on Sunday.”