Gamecocks Drop Home Contest to Aggies
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina lost at home for just the second time this fall, losing 3-1 to Texas A&M (12-10, 4-7 SEC) on Friday night. The Gamecocks fall back to .500 for the season at 10-10 overall and now stand at 4-6 in conference play.
1st SET: The opening game slipped through South Carolina’s fingers, with the Aggies winning 26-24 despite a 7-2 advantage in blocks for the Gamecocks. The visitors erased an early 6-3 deficit with a 7-1 run and held the advantage until late in the set. The Gamecocks reeled off three points in a row to tie the score back up at 20, then the two sides tied again at 21, 22, 23 and 24 before the Aggies got back-to-back points to finish the set off.
2nd SET: South Carolina’s offense was its own worst enemy in the second set, the Gamecocks finished with 13 errors and just eight kills as A&M went ahead 2-0 behind a 25-17 set score. Of the 13 attacking errors, only three were due to blocks by the Aggies and eight came after the Gamecocks had tied the score at 14.
3rd SET: The Gamecocks pulled themselves back up in the third and got on the board with a 25-22 win. The offense was led by Ellie Ruprich, who converted all four of her swings into kills in the third. The team found some daylight early with a 4-0 burst to break a 10-10 score, led by a pair of service aces from Claire Wilson in the run. The lead grew to six points after a block from McKenzie Moorman and Oby Anadi made it 21-15, and after withstanding a late rally from the Aggies the Gamecocks pushed the match to a fourth set.
4th SET: The offense’s issues reared its head again in the fourth, denying the team a comeback opportunity as A&M closed the match with a 25-12 score. The Aggies finished the set with five blocks, five service aces and again would force the Gamecocks into more errors (8) than kills (7). Carolina overcame an early 9-3 deficit thanks to a 6-0 run behind the service line from Riley Whitesides, but Texas A&M responded with three blocks and four aces from that point on to wrap up the game.
It will be a busy week coming up for the Gamecocks, starting Wednesday night with a road trip to Arkansas. After the return home from Fayetteville, the team will host Ole Miss for a two-game weekend series running Saturday and Sunday. Follow @GamecockVolley on Twitter for updates on the team.