Gamecocks Look Strong in Sweep of Temple|
Aug. 24, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Behind junior Juliette Thévenin's 12 kills, South Carolina won its opening match of the 2012 schedule against Temple 25-14, 25-15, 25-18, at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
Thévenin hit .435 on the match, adding four digs. Senior setter Taylor Bruns added a double-double with 17 assists and 10 digs. Redshirt freshman Christina Vereb, in her first match for South Carolina, added seven kills, with redshirt sophomore Cara Howley contributing five and four blocks. Freshmen Jenna Allen and Darian Dozier both recorded four block assists, who along with Vereb and fellow true freshman Maddie Frome made their debut in the Garnet and Black in the match. Junior libero Paige Wheeler tied for match-high honors with 12 digs.
Temple libero Chelsea Tupuola had 12 digs to lead the Owls. Gabriella Matautia had 10 kills and seven digs. Jennifer Iacobini had four block assists.
The Gamecocks used an early 3-0 lead to take an advantage in the first set, one they would not relinquish. A five-point run behind kills from Howley and sophomore Bethanie Thomas stretched the lead to 17-9. Temple scored a three-point run, but South Carolina answered with an 8-2 skein to claim the set, 25-14. Thévenin had seven kills in the frame.
Temple held a 9-6 lead before South Carolina stormed back to claim the set 25-15. A 7-1 stretch gave South Carolina the lead, with both Bruns and Howley getting aces in the run. Temple knotted things at 14-14, but South Carolina took 11 of the final 12 points, including 10 straight to get to set point. Vereb had three kills in the run, including the set clincher, with Thomas and Howley posting consecutive solo blocks at one point. Bruns had seven digs and a kill in the second, while the team posted five blocks in the frame.
Two four-point runs put South Carolina to a big lead in the third, and the team won the third 25-18. The Gamecocks hit .417 in the frame, led by Thévenin's four kills on four swings. Three other Gamecocks, including Frome had two kills each.
The Gamecocks won the blocking battle, 11-4, the first time the team has had double-digit blocks since Nov. 11, 2010, showing the improved athleticism head coach Scott Swanson has talked about all offseason. The Gamecocks also won every other statistical battle, most notably hitting .354 while holding the Owls to a .100 mark.
South Carolina takes on Akron at 8 p.m in the final Friday match of the 2012 Gamecock Invitational presented by Courtyard Marriott.