Gamecocks Defeat Charlotte Tuesday Night
The team got double-digit kills from McLean and Starr in the win
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina defeated Charlotte, 3-1, Tuesday night at the Carolina Volleyball Center. The Gamecocks (6-1) held the 49ers (5-4) to a .102 hitting percentage for the match, and Brittany McLean’s 13 kills paced an offense that had 21 more total kills than the opposition.
SET 1: South Carolina’s defense was strong at the net in the opening game, blocking five balls to hold Charlotte to a negative hitting percentage in a 25-13 win. All told, the 49ers committed nine attack errors and four service errors, and an 11-1 run mid-way through the set quickly put the score out of reach of the visitors. McLean had five kills on just six swings, and Claire Edwards had three blocks and an ace in the game.
SET 2: Charlotte’s offense was limited again in the second, won 25-18 by Carolina, but the home side committed ten unforced errors in the game. Edwards turned from a defensive standout in set one to an offensive star in set two, leading the team with six kills. Courtney Koehler got in on the attack with three kills of her own to go with nine assists in the set. Gamecock errors kept the score close early on, but adjustments keyed an 8-0 run that turned a tense 13-12 score into a comfortable lead down the stretch.
SET 3: Carolina’s errors emerged again in the third, and coupled with an improved Charlotte attack it spelled trouble in a 25-23 loss. The Gamecocks weren’t able to get the key run that earned them a 2-0 lead in the match, and after 14 ties and seven lead changes the 49ers were able to break free at the end with an ace and a Carolina attack error to break a 23-all tie and pull within one in the match.
SET 4: Motivated by the lost set, South Carolina’s offense roared back in the fourth to end the night with a convincing 25-10 win to clinch the win. Mikayla Shields and Mikayla Robinson combined for eight kills on eight swings, and Alicia Starr chipped in four kills and three digs in the game. McLean was deadly behind the service line, getting three of the team’s five aces in the set, and the Gamecocks led wire-to-wire.
- After leading the team with 13 kills Tuesday, McLean now has double-digit kills in three of the last four matches, and is averaging 3.19 kills per set.
- Aubrey Ezell’s 18 digs match her season high, and the senior libero is averaging 4.13 digs per set over the last four matches.
- Alicia Starr saw extended playing time for the first time since coming back from injury, and hit .364 with 10 kills and seven digs.
- Edwards led the team with three service aces, tying her career high. The junior has eight aces in the last four matches, and is already five away from matching her previous single-season high.
- As a team, South Carolina has four straight matches with double-digit aces, compared to just one all of last season.
- The win moves the Gamecocks to 11-0 all-time against Charlotte.
QUOTABLE: TOM MENDOZA AND BRITT MCLEAN
UP NEXT: The team has a few days to rest and prepare for its next road trip, when it heads up to College Park for the Maryland Invite on Saturday and Sunday. The Gamecocks face Liberty and the host Terrapins on Saturday, and end the weekend with a match against Colgate. First serve against the Flames Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.