Sept. 29, 2017
LSU 3, SOUTH CAROLINA 1
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina fell into bad habits Friday night in its SEC home opener, costing the Gamecocks (8-6, 1-1 SEC) in a 3-1 loss to LSU (11-3, 2-1 SEC). Alicia Starr and Mikayla Shields paced the offense with 10 kills each, and Aubrey Ezell added 20 digs.
SET 1: The team played perhaps its crispest game of volleyball all season to open the match, and breezed to a 25-15 win. South Carolina led wire-to-wire, leading by as much as 13 points while out-hitting the Tigers .441 to .176. Starr led the team with four kills, Abreia Epps added three more from the outside and setter Courtney Koehler was successful on three of her attacks in the front row.
SET 2: LSU flipped the script in the next set, roaring back to hit .435 in the second to even the match with a 25-17 win.
SET 3: The Gamecocks fell behind 2-1 in the match after hitting in the negatives in the third, -.031. The team committed 10 attack errors, three coming from LSU blocks, but trailed just 18-15 before a 7-0 Tiger run but the set to rest, 25-15.
SET 4: Another run from LSU in the fourth set stole away Carolina’s bid to force a fifth game. The Gamecocks held a slight lead led throughout the early going, and were the first to 15. Tough service from LSU setter Anna Zwiebel late would be the back-breaker, as she keyed a 7-0 run that turned an 18-15 advantage for South Carolina into a dangerous late deficit for the Gamecocks. The would not be able to recover, and fell 25-20 to end the match. The Tigers hit .438 with 17 kills in the fourth.
Stat of the Match
LSU’s .310 hitting percentage Friday night was the highest by a Gamecock opponent this season. After hitting just .176 in the first set, the Tigers hit .367 for the rest of the match to get the win.
- The team is now just 6-6 this season when winning the first set.
- This was the first time this season that Alicia Starr led the team in kills and attacks.
- Aubrey Ezell now has four matches this season with 20 or more digs.
- This is the third time in 2017 that the Gamecocks were out-blocked in a match, and the team in 0-3 when it happens.
Next up will be a Sunday matinee with Tennessee. The Volunteers (8-4, 1-2 SEC) lost at Florida Friday night. The 1 p.m. first serve will air on the SEC Network, and will be the team’s annual Dig Pink match. Fans wearing pink will receive $1 admission.