Gamecocks Stout in Senior Day Sweep
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina volleyball celebrated Senior Day with a decisive three-set victory over Ole Miss (10-15, 4-10 SEC) on Sunday afternoon. Lauren McCutcheon led the offense with 14 kills on a .444 hitting percentage, while senior Kiune Fletcher pushed away seven blocks to go with six kills for the Gamecocks (9-13, 3-10).
1st SET: Both teams got off to slow starts in the opening game, nine of the first 16 combined points would come off unforced errors by the two sides. Ole Miss claimed the first major run of the game, scoring eight points in a row to take a 13-8 lead. South Carolina responded with a pair of kills from Fletcher and Riley Whitesides in a run that tied the score back up at 16. It would be no more than a two-point lead for either side the rest of the way, but the Rebels earned the first set point chance at 24-23. A kill from Campbell Paris denied them then, and Fletcher denied the second opportunity at 27-26. McCutcheon closed out the 29-27 set win with back-to-back kills, giving her a team-high five.
2nd SET: South Carolina’s serving game and defense nearly won set two all on its own, as Ole Miss had as many errors (10) as kills in a 25-19 win for the Gamecocks. The home side finished with three aces behind the line – two from Morgan Carter – while Ole Miss had three errors on serve. At the net, four different Gamecocks had a hand in at least two blocks, giving the team five total. Despite the strong stats, it was Ole Miss that held a 14-10 lead early on. From there, however, the Gamecocks registered three of their five blocks along with a pair of aces to cruise down the stretch for a 2-0 set lead.
3rd SET: The offense was back in a groove in the final set, with a game-high .462 hitting percentage and a 15-10 kill advantage to win 25-19. McCutcheon closed with her best set offensively, putting away six kills without an error on nine attempts. Paris added four kills on five swings from the opposite pin, and Fletcher had a hand in all three of the team’s blocks on defense. After slow starts in sets one and two, Carolina never trailed in the third and led by as many as six points.
- After allowing Ole Miss’ trio of Julia Dyess, Sasha Ratliff and Nia Washington to combine for 51 kills and a .351 hitting percentage in the first meeting (Sept. 29), the Gamecocks held the three attackers to 20 kills and a .029 percentage on Sunday.
- Overall, the Rebels finished with a .093 hitting percentage for the match, the lowest allowed by South Carolina through 13 SEC games.
- Lauren McCutcheon’s 14 kills are the most for the junior since her career-high 21 against Miami on Sept. 1. The junior finished the home weekend with 25 total kills over the seven sets, hitting a combined .345 in the two matches.
- Kiune Fletcher led the team with seven blocks in just the three sets, her second highest total of the season and one shy of a career high.
- The Gamecock passers had a solid afternoon, allowing just three aces to Ole Miss. It’s the lowest total allowed during SEC play.
- South Carolina’s 11 blocks are the highest total for a three-set match this season.
It will be another quick turnaround, as the team will next travel to Mississippi State for a Wednesday night matchup on the SEC Network. First serve against the Bulldogs (11-11, 4-10 SEC) is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. State will be coming off a road weekend, losing at Missouri on Nov. 3 and playing at Arkansas on Nov. 5.