Aug. 26, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Led by a trio of high-percentage attackers, the South Carolina volleyball team moved to 2-0 for the season on Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 sweep of Troy (0-2) in game two of the Gamecock Invitational tournament. The Gamecocks were led by Mikayla Robinson’s 10 kills, and a career-high 32 assists from Courtney Koehler.
The team ran out to an early lead in the opening set, strengthened by the efforts of freshman Brooke Gostomski. Making her first start, Gostomski racked up three kills, a pair of digs and a service ace in the opening game. Carolina hit .524 as a team in the frame, with Gostomski, Claire Edwards, Mikayla Robinson and Mikayla Shields all knocking home three kills. A 5-1 run mid way through the set proved to be all the breathing room the Gamecocks needed in the 25-18 win.
It would be South Carolina’s defense that made the difference in the second set. The Gamecocks blocked down four Trojan attacks and held their opponent to just a .088 success rate in the game. The team’s two Mikayla’s again led the offense with three kills apiece, but it was the addition of Courtney Furlong that really made the difference for Carolina. The junior had three kills off the bench, and added two blocks. Her block in a 15-all game helped spark a 5-0 run that sealed an eventual 25-20 victory and a 2-0 lead.
The Gamecocks led almost wire-to-wire in the final set, despite being out-hit by the Trojans. Troy committed five errors in the serve and receive game that negated its hitting advantage. Robinson capped off another match with double-digit kills after going for four more in the third to give her 10 in the match. Junior Aubrey Ezell had four digs for her best game of the afternoon, and Furlong added a key aces late to push the team to a 25-22 win and the sweep.
The team returns to action at 7 p.m. Saturday night, facing North Florida (2-0) in the tournament championship match.