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Gamecocks Fall in Five Sets on the Road Friday
Women's Volleyball  . 

Gamecocks Fall in Five Sets on the Road Friday

The team wraps up its regular season schedule Saturday night with a rematch against Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – South Carolina volleyball (12-9) fell in five sets at Arkansas (13-8) on Friday night, 25-15, 20-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-8. The Gamecocks were led by Kyla Manning and Riley Whitesides, who combined for 36 of the team’s 54 total kills, but the defense was unable to slow the Razorback offense on the night.  
SET ONE: Arkansas claimed an early lead off a sluggish start for the Gamecock offense, who committed four attack errors to account for the Razorbacks’ first 11 points of the set. Similar to last weekend’s series at LSU, South Carolina wasn’t able to string together the runs it needed to erase the early deficit in a 25-15 final. Mikayla Robinson was an early highlight on offense, converting three of her first four swings into kills early but overall the Gamecocks had just five kills compared to eight errors (three from Arkansas blocks) in the game and hit -.120.
SET TWO: The Gamecocks would break out of their slump with a big second set, winning it 25-20. Trailing 2-1, South Carolina ran off six unanswered points with Riley Whitesides accounting for a pair of kills in the run. A second 6-0 run soon after that pushed the lead all the way up to 14-6 for South Carolina, as Whitesides used another kill and a service ace. Her counterpart on the left side, Kyla Manning, took the reins of the offense from there and had five of her team-high six kills in the set over the team’s final 12 points of the set. The team tripled its kill total in set two, hitting .387 with 15 kills and pushed Arkansas’ hitting percentage from .417 in set one to .175 in set two. 
SET THREE: The third game would be the biggest battle of the night to that point, after an early 10-6 lead for Arkansas, neither side carried a lead that large the rest of the way. All told, there would be six lead changes and 12 ties in a 25-23 final score to push Arkansas ahead 2-1. The combination of Manning and Whitesides again kept the offense running, the pair combined for eight of the team’s 13 kills in the set. Manning’s fifth kill of the game gave the team a 22-21 lead late, but a pair of aces from the Razorbacks helped the home side finish on the 4-1 run.
SET FOUR: Similar to set two, a fast start for the Gamecocks helped the team calm their nerves in a must-win scenario. The offense converted six kills on its first seven swings to build a 10-4 advantage, with Whitesides accounting for four kills in the team’s first eight points. South Carolina carried a healthy advantage until back-to-back errors helped Arkansas get within one, 16-15. Out of a Gamecock timeout, though, a pair of Razorback errors along with a kill from Kiune Fletcher got the team back on track. After setting the tone early in the set, Whitesides would provide the closing points as well with kills to account for the team’s final three points of a 25-22 score – the last kill marking her eighth of the set. 
SET FIVE: Playing to 15, Arkansas grabbed the momentum quickly with a 5-0 run that broke the home side away from a 2-2 score early. The Gamecocks were unable to slow down the assertive Razorbacks, falling 15-8 to close the match. The home side went without an error of any kind until the set was well in hand at 11-4, finishing with a .533 to .111 advantage in hitting percentage for the game.

  • With two aces Friday night, Mallory Dixon now has at least one ace in 12 consecutive matches. Of those 12, six have been games with multiple aces. Her 26 aces for the season pushes her up to sixth on the program’s single-season SEC-only record book.
  • Manning’s 19 total kills for the night snapped a streak of four matches in a row with single-digit kill totals. It was one off her season high. Her season total of 257 is the sixth-highest single season total in SEC play for a Gamecock during the rally-scoring era (2001), passing Juliette Thevenin’s 2010 total of 255.
  • Arkansas committed 18 service errors in the match, three more than any other Gamecock opponent this season. The Razorbacks came into Friday averaging 1.57 aces per set, good for second-most in the SEC, and did finish with a 9-5 advantage in aces.
  • The left-side attackers were the life blood of the team all night, both Manning and Whitesides filled the box score with totaling at least one assists, ace and block along with reaching double-digits for kills and digs.

The final game of the schedule awaits South Carolina on Saturday, as it looks for redemption against the Razorbacks with another 8 p.m. ET first serve. The match will again be carried on the SEC Network+.