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Oct. 2, 2016

Final Stats | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif


Kills: Dessaa Legros (19)

Digs: Megan Kirkland (21)

Assists: Courtney Koehler (25)

Aces: Koko Atoa-Williams (2)

Blocks: Alicia Starr (11)

Hitting Pct. (Min. 5 Kills): Alicia Starr (.583)

Upcoming Schedule
Date Opponent Time (TV)
10/7 Georgia 7:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
10/9 Florida 12:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
10/14 at Texas A&M 7:30 p.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina volleyball team gave SEC leader Kentucky (11-4, 4-0 SEC) all it could handle Sunday afternoon, but fell 3-1 in another exciting match at the Carolina Volleyball Center. The Gamecocks saw season-best performances from a number of players, but missed a key opportunity in the third set to drop them to 13-2 overall, 1-2 in the SEC.

1st Set: The Gamecocks took a while to get a feel for Kentucky’s defense, and the Wildcats built a commanding 19-10 lead while holding Carolina to a negative team hitting percentage. Though Kentucky closed out the set win, the Gamecocks found some momentum late in the set behind the blocking of Alicia Starr and carried it through the rest of the afternoon. Starr had six total blocks in the set (two solo), and four of those came during Carolina’s late run. After trailing 19-10, the home side cut it all the way down to 23-21 after Starr’s final block of the set, but the early deficit was too much to overcome.

2nd Set: The late momentum gained carried into the second game, and behind the big swings of Dessaa Legros the Gamecocks would even the match at 1-1. A pair of early kills gave Carolina the lead, and Kentucky would never get back ahead. Carrying a 15-13 lead out of the media timeout, the Gamecocks converted four straight kills (three from Legros, one from Jacqy Angermiller) to push the lead up to 18-14. Tough service from Courtney Koehler put the game away, as the freshman served the team to a 5-0 run that made it 24-16 and the `Cats fell 25-17 to even the match going into halftime. Legros hit .667 with six kills on nine swings in the set to lead the offense.

3rd Set: Coming out of the break, the Gamecocks stayed hot and built another early advantage in the pivotal third set. Another big run behind Koehler’s serve, this time a 7-0 burst, gave Carolina an 11-7 lead early and the home side carried at least a two-point lead for most of the set before the offense stalled out. Leading 23-16, the Gamecocks yielded an 8-1 lead to allow Kentucky to tie the set up at 24-all. South Carolina served for the set seven times, but could not put away the point when it needed to. The Gamecocks appeared to have another set point opportunity out of a 30-all tie, but lost a key instant replay review that turned a 31-30 advantage into a 31-30 deficit and the Wildcats clinched the game on the very next possession.

4th Set: Needing to bounce back to extend the match, the Gamecocks instead found themselves in an early 4-0 hole to begin the fourth set. Though they were able to trim the lead down to one on four different occasions, the Gamecocks could not get back ahead of Kentucky and hit just -.061 in the game to drop the 3-1 decision.

Stat of the Match

Freshman middle blocker Alicia Starr finished the match with 11 blocks (two solo, nine assists), tied for the second-most in a four-set match by a Gamecock in the rally-scoring era (2001-present). She joins Darian Dozier as the only two Gamecocks with 11 total blocks over four sets in the last decade.


  • Dessaa Legros’ 19 kills tied for the most by any Gamecock so far this season.
  • Thanks to 11 blocks from freshman Alicia Starr, South Carolina finished with 15 as a team. That is tied for the most so far this season.
  • Freshman setter Courtney Koehler passed out a season-best 25 assists to go with nine digs and an ace.
  • The 62 combined points in the third set were the most for Carolina since beating Georgia 32-30 on Nov. 23, 2014 in Athens.
  • Kentucky has now taken the last eight matches in the all-time series. South Carolina’s win in the second set was the team’s third set taken overall during the streak.

Quotable: Head Coach Scott Swanson

On the team’s performance
“I thought we battled, I thought we did block extremely well, played pretty good defense… that’s just such a good, physical team (Kentucky), they have so many weapons. I think that we hopefully earned some respect and people can see we’re a better volleyball team this year, I think we just have to learn some lessons from that so we can move forward and continue to get better on what we weren’t good at today.”

Up Next

The four-match home stand wraps up next weekend with two more nationally televised matches. First up will be Georgia on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the team’s annual Dig Pink match, airing on the SEC Network. Then on Sunday, the No. 5 Florida Gators come to Columbia for a noon match that will also be broadcasted on the SEC Network.

Tweet of the Match