Volleyball Rallies for Five-Set Win at Georgia
The Gamecocks erased a 2-0 deficit on the road to run win streak to nine
ATHENS, GA. – South Carolina volleyball won its ninth-straight match in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon, erasing a 2-0 deficit to defeat Georgia (11-4, 2-2 SEC) on its home court. Four different Gamecock attackers tallied double-digit kills, with Mikayla Shields (14 kills, 14 digs) and Mikayla Robinson (11 kills, 11 blocks) recording double-doubles.
SET 1: The Bulldogs claimed the opening game, 25-20, marking the first time this season that the Gamecocks (13-1, 4-0 SEC) trailed 1-0 in a match. Georgia hit .419 as a team and were able to keep the Gamecock offense from finding a rhythm. An early 13-10 lead for South Carolina was quickly erased by a 4-0 run, and a 5-0 after the Gamecocks regained a 17-16 lead keyed the home side to the win.
SET 2: Georgia’s offense kept rolling in set two, and again South Carolina was unable to keep pace. The Bulldogs would lead by as much as 10 points and led for almost the entire set. The Gamecocks blocked back four Georgia attacks, but the offense only had nine kills with six attack errors in the game. Trailing 20-10, South Carolina would make a modest comeback and trimmed the lead to 22-17 before the Bulldogs closed out a 25-18 win for the 2-0 advantage.
SET 3: Three big blocks early helped South Carolina take an early lead in the third set, 15-10. Georgia would get no closer than four points the rest of the way in the 25-19 win to cut the deficit to 2-1. The defense held Georgia to a .179 hitting percentage, and three aces on serve helped the Gamecocks pull away from the Bulldogs in a must-win situation.
SET 4: The net defense continued to fuel the comeback hopes of South Carolina, as a 4-0 advantage in blocks helped the Gamecocks even the match up with a 25-17 win. The Bulldogs held a 10-8 lead, but three-straight blocks from Carolina flipped the score and ultimately put the Gamecocks ahead for good. The team padded its lead with five kills from three different attackers on consecutive plays that extended the score out to 20-13 and the match would move to a do-or-die fifth set.
SET 5: The two teams traded blows in the final set, but the Gamecocks would be able to rally last in a 15-13 victory. South Carolina led at the switch-over, 8-6, but Georgia came out of a timeout and tied the set up at 9-9. From that point on, neither team would lead by more than two points, with the Gamecocks taking a 12-10 lead that was quickly erased, but a Georgia service error and a Courtney Koehler ace gave the team match point. Shields’ 14th kill of the afternoon clinched the team’s second 3-2 win of the season.
- South Carolina has won three of the last four matches in Athens, but this is the team’s first 3-2 win over the Bulldogs in the history of the series (71 matches, dating back to 1975).
- The last time the team won back-to-back road SEC matches was in 2014, when it beat Tennessee on Nov. 19 and Georgia on Nov. 23.
- This is the team’s first win after trailing a match 2-0 since 2016, when it came back at Mississippi State on Nov. 4.
- Shields’ double-double was her fourth of the season, and moves her to 17thin program history for a career (with 20).
- Robinson’s 11 blocks (one solo, 10 assists) are a career high. The last Gamecock with double-digit blocks in a match was Alicia Starr on Oct. 3, 2016 against Kentucky. The last Gamecock with ten block assists or more in a five-set match was Jacqy Angermiller against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 19, 2014.
UP NEXT: The team will rest up before a split third week of conference play. A trip to Missouri awaits the team on Friday night, then it will return to the Carolina Volleyball Center on Sunday for a 1:30 match against Texas A&M.