Gamecocks Suffer Five-Set Loss to BYU
Aug. 28, 2010
by Koby Padgett
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - South Carolina watched a two-set advantage evaporate in the heat of Huff Hall, falling in five to BYU, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-12, in the team's final contest at the State Farm Illini Classic. The Gamecocks fall to 0-3 on the season, while the Cougars move to 1-2.
The Gamecocks got a double-double from sophomore Christina Glover, the first of her career, with 15 kills and 16 digs. Senior Megan Laughlin had 12 kills, while freshman Cara Howley posted 11. Senior libero Hannah Lawing posted 31 digs in the match, tying for fifth all-time in five-set affairs in Gamecock history. Freshman Lindsey Craft added 22. Sophomore setter Taylor Bruns had career highs with 40 assists and six aces while adding seven digs. Sophomore Brandi Byers led everyone with seven blocks.
A quintet of Cougars had double-digit kills, led by Christina Measom's 15. Stephanie Snow (11 kills, 13 digs) and Taeja Afalava (10 kills, 19 digs) both posted double-doubles, while Kiana Rogers had one of her own with 51 assists and 18 digs. Brook Soon added 17 digs, while Christie Carpenter and Nicole Warner had 12 and 11 kills, respectively.
A seven-point run early in the first put the Gamecocks on top, 9-2. BYU fought to back within two after a six-point run, but South Carolina lengthened the gap to five after two Laughlin kills came around a Howley winner. The Cougars got back within three at 21-18, but Glover's kill stopped that run. The teams swapped points to end the frame, the final coming on a block from Byers and Bruns. Howley hit .429 in the first, while Glover and Laughlin joined her with four kills each. Lawing added nine digs, while Glover and Craft both had six.
The Gamecocks took an 8-1 lead in the second behind a pair of aces by Bruns. Howley capped a three-point Gamecock run that stretched the lead to 17-8, but BYU charged back with a six-point run helped by two aces from Rogers. A South Carolina timeout helped stop the Cougars' momentum, as a block by Byers and Howley made it 19-14 for the Gamecocks. A kill by Craft put the Gamecocks to set point, but it would be three points until Laughlin finished the set with a kill at 25-20. Lawing posted nine digs to help hold the Cougars to a .027 hitting percentage.
Play was tighter in the third set, as neither team took a huge early lead. South Carolina used a three-point run led by two kills from junior Teresa Stenlund to take an 18-13 lead. The Cougars fought back, taking seven of nine points to make it 22-21. A BYU service error made it 23-21 for Carolina, but the Cougars came back to take the last four points for the 25-23, set-three win. Carpenter had the final two kills out of her four in the set.
The Gamecocks took six straight in the fourth to capture a 6-2 lead, but BYU rebounded with a five-point run of its own to take a 16-13 lead. South Carolina tied it at 16-16 thanks to a pair of Bruns kills, but the Cougars pushed the lead back to three on a trio of Gamecock errors. Three kills from Glover helped make it a two-point set again, but Carpenter polished off the frame at 25-22 with a cross-court winner. The Cougars hit .382 in the fourth.
It took a bit, but BYU took a 9-4 advantage in the fifth behind two kills and a block assist from Measom. The Cougar lead grew to 13-6 after a block from Snow and Warner, but it shrunk quickly. Five straight Gamecock points thanks largely to Cougar errors made it 13-11. A kill by Warner put BYU to match point, but a service error gave the Gamecocks a glimmer of hope. But that was dashed when some miscommunication at the net caused a ball to fall to the floor and give the Cougars a 15-12 win. South Carolina hit -.045 in the deciding set.
South Carolina led the digs and ace battles while tying BYU in blocks. The Cougars tallied more kills and assists and won the hitting battled, .186-.155.
South Carolina makes its 2010 debut in its home state on Friday, Sept. 3 against archrival Clemson at the Carolina Challenge, hosted by Winthrop.