Carolina Opens with Sweep of Liberty
COLLEGE PARK, MD. – South Carolina volleyball improved to 7-1 on the season with a 3-0 sweep of Liberty at the Maryland Invitational at XFINITY Center Pavilion. The Gamecocks dominated the opening set then fought through two tight sets to complete the victory.
South Carolina posted a .720 hitting percentage in the match with Mikayla Shields leading the offense with 11 kills.
SET 1: South Carolina’s Aubrey Ezell opened up a 4-4 tie early as her three aces followed a Shields kill to put the Gamecocks up 8-4. Ezell added another ace in the set to cap a run of Liberty errors that helped South Carolina to a 23-12 lead. A Liberty service error set up set point, which was delivered on a block shared by Claire Edwards and Jess Vastine.
SET 2: The second set stayed tight for longer as the Flames were within 18-14 late. Robinson smacked a pair of kills and assisted on a block with Brittany McLean to push the Gamecock lead to 21-15. Liberty kept pushing, though, closing within a point at 22-21. The teams traded points twice with Shields delivering a kill ahead of a Gamecock service error each time. With South Carolina up 24-23, Shields pounded her third-straight kill to deliver the set.
SET 3: In the final set, South Carolina scored four straight points to open an 11-7 lead. A series of errors by the Flames stretched the advantage to 16-9, but Liberty closed to 18-23 late. The Gamecocks finished off the set when Robinson and McLean combined on a block to set up match point, which came on a Liberty attack error.
- Shields led South Carolina with 11 kills on 18 swings. She also posted a team-high eight digs.
- Courtney Kohler finished the match with 23 assists on the Gamecocks’ 34 kills.
- Robinson and McLean finished with six and five block assists, respectively.
- Ezell’s outing moved her within one match of 100 played in her career.
UP NEXT: The Gamecocks continue play in the tournament tonight, facing host Maryland at 7 p.m.