Nov. 20, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s three seniors celebrated their senior night on and off the court Friday night, leading the team to a sweep of Mississippi State, 25-18, 25-16, 25-19. Sarah Blomgren, Darian Dozier and Elizabeth Johnbull combined for 28 of the team’s 39 total kills to move the team to 12-16 overall and 5-10 in the SEC.
1st Set: The Gamecocks jumped out to a big lead from the start of the match, forcing the Bulldogs (14-15, 3-12 SEC) into both timeouts before the 12th combined point of the game. Sarah Blomgren shook off a slow start to the set, finishing with five kills overall as the team never trailed.
With the team ahead 9-5, Blomgren took over the serve and helped seal the win with a 4-0 run. The team would hit .308 for the game, while holding the Bulldogs to just .107. On the defensive side, Dozier and Blomgren each had a block assist.
2nd Set: The defense would lock in even more to send the team to a 2-0 lead. Mississippi State would record just nine kills overall as a team and hit .024. The back line of the Gamecocks would eat up the MSU offense, with Aubrey Ezell and Megan Kirkland each popping up five digs and the team as a whole posting 20 digs.
Blomgren remained strong on the attack, going for five more kills, and Dessaa Legros added three kills on just four swings.
3rd Set: The Bulldogs were able to rediscover a rhythm offensively, but were undone by a blistering Gamecock side that hit .455 as a team to seal the win. The set would be close early, with Carolina ahead 11-8. A 4-0 run behind Kirkland’s serve would provide the difference the home side needed to take the win. Dozier and Blomgren each pitched in four kills in the set.
Stat of the Match
The offense hit for .350 overall for the match, the third-highest percentage of the season. It was by far the highest of the SEC schedule, over the previous best of .312 against Alabama. The Gamecocks have hit over .300 as a team six times so far this season.
The 2015 home season wraps up Sunday with a big match against Alabama. The Crimson Tide has won three straight in the series, including a win on Nov. 8. In the most recent meeting, the Tide won 3-1 in Tuscaloosa. Sarah Blomgren hit a career-high 22 kills with 10 digs and Darian Dozier added 17 kills.
- Carolina has now won seven straight at home in the series. The home team is 8-2 in the series dating back to 2010.
- Despite the quick match, Aubrey Ezell picked up another double-double with 33 assists and 10 digs. Now with 17 for the season, she moves into sole-possession of sixth in the single-season list and moves to 18th on the career double-double chart.
- Mississippi State finished with a combined hitting percentage of .098. It was the fourth time this season that the Gamecocks held an opponent to under .100 in a match. The last opponent to hit under .100 is Charleston Southern on Sept. 19.
- Darian Dozier led the team with four block assists. She passed Heather Larkin (1994-97) for fourth in career blocks, with 421.
- Aubrey Ezell had a pair of aces in the match, with just one error. She now has 43 aces this season, moving her into fifth on the program’s single-season record list.
- In wins this season the Gamecocks have 59 aces, while the opposition has just 33 aces with 95 errors. Mississippi State committed eight errors with just one ace Friday night.
Tweet of the Match
Thanks to all who stuck around for our senior night, and thank you to our #Gamecocks seniors!
— Gamecock Volleyball (@GamecockVolley) November 21, 2015