Volleyball Conquers Troy to End Home Stand
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A five-game home stand for South Carolina volleyball wrapped up with a 3-1 win over Troy (0-5) on Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks used 18 total blocks and a 10-3 advantage in service aces to hold off the Trojans. Three hitters finished with double-digit kills, led by Lauren McCutcheon’s 13.
1st SET: Troy’s offense had a strong opening game, powering it to a 25-21 win. The Trojans had 15 total kills and overcame five Gamecock blocks to still hit .357. The visitors used a 7-1 run to take a 10-7 lead early and would not relinquish the lead from there.
2nd SET: The Gamecock block remained solid in set two, and coupled with five service aces the home side evened the match with a convincing 25-16 win. Freshman Sydney Floyd opened the game with three aces in a 5-0 run to get things rolling and sophomore Alayna Johnson added two more aces later to make it an 18-10 lead. Johnson also led the offense in the second, with four kills on seven swings off the bench.
3rd SET: The final two sets would be tightly contested, but the Gamecocks would swing the momentum in a big way with a 25-23 win in the third. Troy’s block had its best set of the day, totaling six, but South Carolina was otherwise efficient on offense and totaled 14 kills. McCutcheon and Johnson each had four kills, six different Carolina hitters finished with at least one for the game. The two sides traded small runs back and forth, with the Gamecocks finally finding daylight behind a 4-1 run that broke a 19-all tie. Troy was able to cut it back to one, 24-23, but committed a service error to give the Gamecocks a 2-1 lead.
4th SET: All told, there would be 13 ties and five lead changes in the third, but South Carolina prevailed for the match victory. The right-side hitter combination of Campbell Paris and Kiune Fletcher carried the offense throughout, combining for eight kills on 15 swings to counter a Troy attack that finished with a match-high 18 kills. The Gamecocks appeared ready to lock up the win with a 23-20 lead late, but the Trojans scored five of the next six points to threaten a fifth set with a 25-24 lead. McCutcheon denied Troy set point to tie the set at 25, then Fletcher and Johnson went back-to-back with kills to seal the win.
- South Carolina’s 18 total blocks are the most for a four-set match since Sept. 7, 2019 (vs. Kansas). It ties the team’s most for a match of any length under head coach Tom Mendoza.
- Sunday was Fletcher’s first extended time on the court since tweaking her ankle in the season opener vs. Towson. The senior responded well, finishing with 10 kills, a .471 hitting percentage, six digs and five blocks.
- Freshman Campbell Paris wrapped up a solid week with her most efficient day of offense, hitting .381 on 21 attacks for 11 kills. She also added eight block assists, providing a major combination block with Ellie Ruprich all afternoon.
- Ruprich finished with 10 total blocks (two solo) to see her finish the week with 25 total blocks over the team’s three matches.
- Sydney Floyd’s five service aces are a personal best and the most by any Gamecock since Feb. 10, 2021 (Mallory Dixon, 5 vs. Texas A&M).
After five in a row at home to open the fall, the Gamecocks will now spend the next six on the road. First up is a two-game series at Cincinnati, running Sept. 8-9. The series opener against the Bearcats is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday.