Gamecocks Drop Sunday Road Match at Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – Gamecock volleyball dropped a three-set match at Texas A&M (14-4, 6-2 SEC) on Sunday afternoon. South Carolina’s offense was slowed by the conference’s top blocking defenses, which racked up 15 denials and held the Gamecocks (7-9, 1-6 SEC) to a .102 hitting percentage.
1st SET: The opening game was all about making runs, with Texas A&M getting its key stretch late in a 25-21 win. The Aggies opened with a 7-3 lead, but Riley Whitesides served up an 8-0 run behind the service line to put the Gamecocks back on top. Lauren McCutcheon had all of her team-leading three kills in the run, but the home side answered back. After a kill from Ellie Ruprich made it a 16-15 lead for Carolina, A&M scored nine of the next 11 to set up set point at 24-18. A pair of blocks for Oby Anadi extended the set, but it would not be enough.
2nd SET: The teams switched stories early in the second, as South Carolina would open well and A&M got even with a big run. The Gamecocks pushed out to a 7-3 lead, capped by a service ace for Ruprich, but the Aggies answered with six unanswered points. Out a 10-all tie, the home side again made a run, scoring four straight, and held that lead into the 20s. South Carolina made one final push late, scoring three points in row to make it a 22-22 score, but A&M scored the final three points to take the 2-0 set lead.
3rd SET: The Gamecocks opened the third set strong, scoring five of the first six points in the game with a pair of kills and service ace from Riley Whitesides spurring the run. South Carolina pushed away again with a 4-0 run to take a 15-9 advantage into the first timeout of the set. Out of the break, though, the blocking advantage for Texas A&M keyed a big run to steal the momentum. Out of a 18-12 lead for the Gamecocks, the Aggies scored 10 points in a row – three off blocks and two off Carolina blocking errors – to shut down the comeback effort in a 25-20 win. The Aggie defense finished with seven total blocks in the set to push its total for the match to 15, the second-highest by a Gamecock opponent this season.
- South Carolina has now lost seven in a row to Texas A&M and is 1-8 on the road in the all-time series.
- One game removed from combining for 31 kills and a hitting percentage over .400 as a duo, Kiune Fletcher and Paris Campbell were limited by the Aggie defense. For the three sets, the two attackers had nine kills and 14 errors.
- The offense was led by the middles, Oby Anadi and Ellie Ruprich, who combined for zero attacking errors and 12 kills to go with six of the team’s eight blocks.
- The Aggie offense avoided libero Morgan Carter, who failed to reach double-digit digs for the first time all season.
The team will have another midweek matchup on the schedule, coming home to the Carolina Volleyball Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18 to host Alabama. After that is a bus trip to the plains for a Sunday rematch at Auburn on Oct. 22. Both games are scheduled to air on the SEC Network+.