Aug. 27, 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Just a few hours removed from a standout defensive effort against Charleston, South Carolina volleyball’s offense stole the show Saturday morning against Tennessee-Martin. Led by Mikayla Shields’ 11 kills, the Gamecocks swept the Skyhawks, 26-24, 25-13, 25-19 to move to 2-0 for the season.
1st Set: The opening frame would be the most contested of the three, as the Gamecocks were able to pull away despite an offense that hit .438 with just three errors in the game. UT-Martin was able to hold its own thanks to its service game, as it put down four aces in the set. The fourth ace put South Carolina’s back against the wall late in the set, as the Skyhawks went ahead 21-19 before kills on three straight possessions turned the tide. Abreia Epps leveled a kill with UT-Martin serving for the set up 24-23, and a combo block from Dessaa Legros and Jacqy Angermiller swung the set back to South Carolina at the end.
2nd Set: The second set was all about Shields, who had five kills in the game and hit .444. The Skyhawks did themselves no favors with nine unforced attack errors in the set, and finished hitting in the negatives (-.097) for the game. Conversely, South Carolina remained efficient and hit .357 to lead from the first ten points of the game on. Koko Atoa-Williams served the team on a big run, keeping the Skyhawk offense out of system with her float serve and leading a 7-0 run to secure the 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
3rd Set: To close out the match, South Carolina went to its bench and spread the wealth on offense. For the game, eight different players had a kill, with Legros and Epps leading the way with three apiece. Sophomores Jesse Turner and Callie Brown provided a major boost off the bench with effort plays, and freshman Courtney Koehler’s tough serve helped spark a 4-0 run early in the game that put South Carolina ahead for good.
Stat of the Match
The South Carolina offense hit .372 over the three games and had five players with five or more kills. The team hitting percentage is the highest since Nov. 20 against Mississippi State.
The team wraps up the weekend in Charleston with a 2:30 p.m. match against Binghamton.
- Courtney Koehler led the team with 17 assists and added three digs.
- Megan Kirkland saw her first action of the season as libero. The senior finished with six digs.
- Dessaa Legros rebounded with a solid match Saturday morning. She had four kills in the first set alone, and finished with eight on 18 swings with no errors.