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Sept. 1, 2017

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


Kills: Mikayla Shields (38)

Digs: Aubrey Ezell (33)

Assists: Courtney Koehler (65)

Aces: Emma Lock (2)

Blocks: Mikayla Shields (7)

Upcoming Schedule
Date Opponent Time (TV)
9/2 at Duke 3:00 p.m.
9/8 Eastern Kentucky 1:00 p.m.
9/8 Miami (Ohio) 7:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
9/9 Radford 2:00 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C. – Inconsistent offense plagued the South Carolina Gamecock volleyball team Friday, as it dropped both matches to start the Duke Invitational. In the first match, the team lost to Northwestern, 3-1 (25-13, 18-25, 18-25, 19-25). It closed the day with a 3-1 loss to UNCW (25-17, 21-25, 21-25, 26-28). The team is now 3-2 this season. Mikayla Shields had a career-best 24 kills and 17 digs in the loss to the Seahawks, and also had a double-double against Northwestern.

In the early afternoon, the team matched up with Big Ten foe Northwestern. South Carolina came out hot against the Wildcats, taking a 9-4 lead and extending it out to 19-10. For the set, the Gamecocks out-hit Northwestern .414 to 0.83, with Mikayla Shields leading the offense with four kills.

Northwestern flipped the equation over the next three sets, though, shutting down the Carolina offense while using improved ball control to up its offensive production. After committing just one attack error in the first set, the Gamecocks averaged just under seven per set in the final three games. The duo of Nia Robinson (19 kills) and Symone Abbott (18 kills) would be all the Wildcats needed on offense, as their defense held South Carolina to just a .109 hitting percentage in sets two, three and four to wipe away the loss in the first set and take a 3-1 win.

The day ended with a similar story for the Gamecocks. A big win in the first set against UNCW was the end result of a combined hitting percentage of .395 for the team, just one error against 18 kills. Mikayla Robinson and Mikayla Shields each had five kills in the set, and Alicia Starr added four of her own.

In the second set, though, the Gamecocks hit a rut that mirrored the struggles faced a few hours earlier with Northwestern, and UNCW was able to take the next two sets with relative ease and put Carolina’s back against a 2-1 deficit. The Gamecocks hit just .112 in the second and third sets, with unforced errors costing them throughout both games.

Sporting a different lineup look in the fourth set, Carolina looked ready to force a deciding fifth set. Neither team could find much breathing room in the fourth, but a big run late appeared to be the Gamecocks’ best shot at evening the match. Down 20-18, Carolina reeled off five-straight points to take a 23-20 lead on the Seahawks. The team had three chances to clinch the set, starting at 24-21, but could not hold off UNCW, who would eventually take back the lead at 26-25 and closed out the match at 28-26.


  • Mikayla Shields’ two double-doubles on Friday were her first two of the year. Her 24 kills against UNCW broke a previous high of 23 kills against Mississippi State in 2016.
  • Aubrey Ezell led the defense with 18 digs against Northwestern.
  • Courtney Furlong set a new career high with 16 digs against UNC Wilmington. She shattered her previous best, which was seven in her freshman year.
  • Shields also set a career high digs, popping up a team-high 17.
  • Aubrey Ezell’s 17 assists and 15 digs give her 26 career double-doubles, good for ninth in school history.

Up Next

The Gamecocks wrap up the weekend in Durham with a match against the host Blue Devils Saturday afternoon. First serve with Duke is scheduled for 3 p.m. with coverage on the ACC Network Extra online stream.