Volleyball Drops SEC Opener at Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – South Carolina dropped its conference opener at No. 16 Arkansas (11-2, 1-0) Friday night, losing in straight sets. The Gamecocks (6-4, 0-1) were unable to get the offense in sync, finishing with 18 total kills on a .018 hitting percentage. Defensively, Morgan Carter led the team with 16 digs and Campbell Paris and Ellie Ruprich shared the lead for blocks with four apiece.
1st SET: The conference’s No. 2 offense showed why in the opening game, as Arkansas tripled up the Gamecocks in kills on the way to a 25-11 win. The Razorbacks finished with a .342 hitting percentage as a team with 16 kills, but it would be their servers that keyed the victory. Along with three aces behind the service line, Arkansas also was able to keep South Carolina’s first contact from running its desired offense, limiting the Gamecocks to five kills total.
2nd SET: South Carolina’s defense was able to slow Arkansas down in the second set, but the offensive struggles continued in a 25-15 loss. The Gamecocks finished with seven errors on the attack with five kills, with a pair from Riley Whitesides leading the way.
3rd SET: The Gamecocks switched up their offensive setup in the third set, moving junior Claire Wilson into the lone setter role, and the offense backed her up with a strong start that saw the team take its first lead of the night. Arkansas used a big run mid-way through the set to take back the lead, though, and carried it to a 25-18 win that clinched the match. With the Gamecocks leading 9-7, the Razorbacks scored a 10-3 run featuring six kills and pair of blocks and would carry a multi-point lead the rest of the way.
- Arkansas is now on a five-game win streak in the series, with the last four coming in straight sets.
- The Gamecocks are now 17-16 overall in their SEC openers.
- The Razorbacks finished the match with an 8-0 advantage in service aces. The last time South Carolina finished a game without an ace was Oct. 23 of last season, at LSU.
- Oby Anadi recorded her 36th career solo block in the match, moving her into the top 10 in the program’s rally scoring era record book.
- Junior libero Morgan Carter finished with 16 digs and is now averaging six digs per set over the last three matches.
- As a team, South Carolina’s 55 digs are the most for a three-set match this season and the second-most in a three-set match during head coach Tom Mendoza’s tenure.
- Junior setter Claire Wilson finished with 11 digs with 10 assists, her third career double-double.
- South Carolina’s 18 total kills for the match are the fewest in the modern rally scoring era (since 2001). The previous low was 21 against Florida on Nov. 27, 2009.
The team now heads north to Missouri to cap the weekend with a 2 p.m. match on Sunday against the Tigers (8-4, 0-1). First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on the SEC Network+.