Full Team Effort Powers Gamecocks to Sweep at Missouri
South Carolina wins in Columbia, Mo. for the first time ever in the series
COLUMBIA, MO. – South Carolina shook off a six-game losing streak at Missouri and collected a strong 3-0 win over the Tigers in the Hearnes Center Thursday night. The Gamecocks (10-3, 2-1 SEC) hit .333 on offense and added 10 aces and nine blocks over the three sets, with Kyla Manning leading the team in both kills (11) and digs (10). On defense, Ellie Ruprich was credited with a season-high eight blocks and South Carolina limited Missouri (3-12, 0-2 SEC) to a .129 hitting percentage.
SET ONE: South Carolina wasted no time bucking its negative history on the road in the series, dominating with a 25-12 score in the opening game. Lauren McCutcheon helped the team build the lead early with a 6-0 run behind the service line that included a pair of aces, and the team never looked back from there. The Gamecocks excelled in all areas of the game, totaling five blocks and three aces while also converting just 25 total attacks for 13 kills. Individually, McCutcheon led the team with five kills on seven swings and Kyla Manning added four kills and a team-high six digs.
SET TWO: Missouri took an early 7-5 lead to begin the second set, but South Carolina’s offense carried over its momentum from the opening game and quickly flipped the scoreboard in its favor. With Morgan Carter serving tough behind the line, the team scored eight of the next ten points to pull away. Of those eight points, five came from kills and two more from block assists from Ellie Ruprich. In total, the offense churned out a 15-11 advantage in kills while hitting .394, with five hitters putting away two or more kills. The defense had a game-high 17 digs, with four individuals recording three or more.
SET THREE: Following a similar storyline to the first two sets, a big serving run early helped South Carolina grab momentum in a 25-19 score to clinch the sweep. Ruprich dropped a pair of aces into a 5-0 run that gave the Gamecocks a 7-2 lead early, a lead it would not give back. Missouri was able to draw within one, 15-14, but another service run – this time by Caitlin Crawford – put the set away. Crawford recorded two aces in a 4-0 run that made it 19-14, and two more blocks down the stretch from Ruprich ended the match. Manning, Ruprich and Mikayla Robinson each had three kills to lead the offense in the final game.
- The Gamecocks entered Thursday with not just an 0-6 record all-time at Missouri, but the team had not won a single set in those games.
- Thursday was Kyla Manning’s fourth double-double of the season; two of the four coming in three-set matches.
- Ellie Ruprich continues to heat up as the season goes on, after finishing Thursday with a .429 hitting percentage the sophomore middle now has hit .300 or better in seven consecutive matches. It isn’t just her offense that’s improving, she also has six or more blocks in three consecutive matches after leading the team with eight – a season high for the team.
- Led by three aces each from Lauren McCutcheon and Morgan Carter, the team finished with 10 aces Thursday night. That’s tied for a season high total.
- The defense enjoyed a 9-4 advantage in blocks for the night, and limited Missouri’s star attacker Anna Dixon to eight kills with eight errors. Dixon entered the week ranked eighth in the SEC with 3.66 kills per set.
Kyla Manning on the team’s bounce-back effort against Missouri
It was a tough one in Texas, we all knew that we could have played better. We had a lot of things that we know we didn’t leave on the court and we came here to Missouri to leave it all here for both games. It felt good to start it off this first game with the goals that we came with from Texas.
The two teams will meet again Friday night, with an 8 p.m. ET first serve. The match will air on the SEC Network.