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Women's Volleyball  . 

Gamecocks Cap Final Road Trip With Sweep at Auburn

The defense totaled 16 blocks in the win

AUBURN, ALA. – South Carolina volleyball capped its 2019 road schedule with an emphatic win Sunday afternoon, sweeping Auburn (25-17, 25-20, 25-19). The Gamecocks are now 18-10 overall and 10-6 in SEC play heading into the final week of the season, Auburn is now 6-21 (0-16 SEC).
 
SET ONE: The Gamecock defense was stout in the opening game, holding Auburn to a .000 hitting percentage in a 25-17 final score. Along with 19 team digs, South Carolina also had four blocks and induced 10 total attacking errors from the Tigers. Mikayla Shields and Mikayla Robinson combined for seven of the team’s 12 total kills in the set, and Addie Bryant secured the back line of the defense with six digs.
 
SET TWO: The blockers up front stepped it up another notch in the second set, putting down seven more Auburn attacks to power the team to a 25-20 win and a 2-0 lead in the set. While the Tigers would record more kills than the Gamecocks, 13-12, the 7-1 advantage in blocks would more than make up for the disadvantage, as Auburn hit just .104 in the game. Shields did a little bit of everything to help the team, leading the offense with four more kills and the defense with five digs.
 
SET THREE: Auburn claimed the lead to start the third, as South Carolina’s offense hit three unforced attacking errors to fall back 8-4. The team went back to what earned it the 2-0 lead, getting back-to-back blocks from Claire Edwards and Courtney Koehler to spark a run that pushed it ahead for good. From a 13-13 tie, South Carolina reeled off 12 of the next 19 points to seal the win.
 
NOTABLE

  • This is the first time since 2001-02 that the team reached double-digit SEC wins in back-to-back seasons. The six road wins in 2019 are tied with 2014’s team for the most over the last decade.
  • South Carolina’s 16 total blocks is the highest total for a three-set match in 14 years. The last time the Gamecocks reached the mark was Nov. 9, 2005 against Tennessee. The team has double-digit blocks in eight matches this season, and its average of 2.54 blocks per set so far this season is the highest average by a Gamecock team since 2005.
  • With nine more blocks Sunday, Mikayla Robinson finished the weekend with 23 total blocks over eight sets. The seven block assists at Auburn are second most for a three-set match in the rally scoring era, and her 124 total blocks with two matches to play are already a single season best for the junior.
  • Robinson is up to 17 solo blocks in SEC matches alone, which is tied with Belita Salters’ 2007 total for most in the rally scoring era.
  • Mikayla Shields (13 kills, 11 digs) recorded her third double-double in a row on Sunday, and now has five over the last six matches and seven overall this season. Shields also move into the program’s top 10 list for points in a single season, with 418.5, passing Cally Plummer’s 2001 total of 414.0.
  • Courtney Koehler reached 3,500 career assists in the win, something only four other Gamecocks have achieved in program history.

QUOTABLE: HEAD COACH TOM MENDOZA
Anytime you can return home from an SEC road weekend with two wins it’s huge for the group. We were able to pass and side out well and our block made some great adjustments which was great to see again. Overall, I like the way the team is competing and hopefully we can build on that heading into another challenging week.
 
NEXT UP: Just two matches remain in the regular season, and both will be in the friendly confines of the Carolina Volleyball Center. The Gamecocks play Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, then return to action on Black Friday with a 7 p.m. match against Arkansas. The finale against the Razorbacks will also be senior night for Carolina’s six seniors.

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