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Nov. 6, 2015

Final Stats


Gamecock Stat Leaders

Kills: Darian Dozier (16)

Digs: Megan Kirkland (19)

Assists: Aubrey Ezell (33)

Aces: Emma Lock (2)

Blocks: Darian Dozier (11)

Hitting Pct. (Min. Five Kills): Elizabeth Johnbull (.588)

Upcoming Schedule
Date Opponent Time (TV)
11/8 at Alabama 3:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
11/11 Tennessee 6:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
11/20 Mississippi State (Senior Night) 7:00 p.m. (SEC Network+)

AUBURN, ALA.- Despite season-best performances from their middle hitters, the Gamecocks were unable to rally back from an early deficit in a 3-1 loss at Auburn (25-16, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23). Darian Dozier recorded her first career double-double with 16 kills and 11 blocks, but Carolina now falls to 10-15, 3-9 in the SEC. The Tigers improve to 13-10, 5-6 SEC.

1st Set: The Tigers pounced from the first serve, taking a commanding 7-3 lead after an early 3-all tie. Breanna McIlroy would go for six kills in the set and Auburn as a team would hit .300. Carolina would struggle to stay in system offensively due to the Auburn attack and when the home side was on serve. The Gamecocks hit .108 as a team, with four different attackers recording two kills.

2nd Set: With some tweaks to its defense in place, the Gamecocks rallied back for a stronger second set, but could not close it out and went into the half down 2-0.

Both defenses would toughen up on the net, with each recording three blocks in the first 20 combined points. Darian Dozier would be a calming presence both on offense and defense, recording five kills and four blocks in the second set alone.

Carolina held an early 12-10 lead, but the Tigers pulled ahead before the media timeout, 15-14, and would not allow the Gamecocks to retake the lead the rest of the way. Along with Dozier, Elizabeth Johnbull would produce for Carolina, chipping in three kills on four attacks.

3rd Set: The defense would again be a big contributor for the Gamecocks in the third set, and the middle combo of Dozier and Johnbull remained productive on the attack. Carolina would stake itself to a big lead early and held on for the win. Auburn erased an early lead but still trailed 9-8, the Gamecocks hit the gas again with an 8-2 run from there to force the Tigers into their final timeout.

The home side came out of the break reinvigorated, though, and chipped away until it was just a one-point game again, 22-21. A kill from Dozier provided a major swing point and a 23-21 lead and the Gamecocks closed out the final two points to extend the match. Johnbull and Dozier led the offense with four kills apiece.

4th Set: The momentum carried over early for the Gamecocks, who took the lead early in the fourth. This time, however, Auburn was able to close out the comeback it was short on the set before.

After burning its final timeout, trailing 17-11, Auburn would rally to tie the set up at 20-20. Carolina was unable to stem the comeback, and despite five more kills from Dozier the team would drop a 25-23 decision to end the match. The Tigers, after committing 19 hitting errors in the second and third sets, had just five in the fourth. Three of those errors came on blocks.

Stat of the Match

For as strong as Carolina was up the middle, the Tigers were able to counteract that with a strong night from their outside hitters. Courtney Crable and Breanna McIlroy each went for 16 kills. Auburn finished with a plus-18 margin in kills for the match.

Up Next

The Gamecocks will head west Sunday to take on Alabama at 3 p.m. ET. It will be the 45th meeting between Carolina and Alabama, with the Tide leading 26-18. Alabama has won three straight in the series and is 4-1 at home since 2008. In the most recent meeting, the Tide won 3-2 in Columbia almost a year to the date, Nov. 9, 2014. After falling behind 2-0 in the match, Carolina rallied to force a fifth set but came up short.


  • Thanks to her big night on the block, Darian Dozier surpassed Amy Collinsworth (1990-93) for third in program history in block assists.
  • Also, in career milestones, Dozier surpassed 400 total blocks for her career. She is one of only six Gamecocks to reach the mark. The last player to reach it was Heather Larkin in 1997.
  • As a team, Carolina finished with 15 blocks. It was the most in a four-set match this season and the second-most all season. The last time the team had 15 or more block against a SEC opponent was Oct. 24, 2014 against Mississippi State.
  • Liz Johnbull finished with a season-high 11 kills. It was her highest total in a match since finishing with 13 against Furman on Sept. 7, 2013. She also hit a career-high .588 (11-1-17)
  • Emma Lock set a new career high with a pair of aces. As a team, the Gamecocks committed just four errors on serve, the fewest since Sept. 11 against Pittsburgh.

Quotable: Head Coach Scott Swanson

On the play of his middles, Dozier and Johnbull
“I thought they both played their best matches of the year tonight, they gave it everything they had. If we could have set them the ball more we would have, but we needed to pass and dig a little better. I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts, as seniors I thought they tried to carry the team any way they could tonight. They just needed more help.”

Tweet of the Match