Gamecocks Fall in Exhibition to Slovenian National Team in Three
Aug. 29, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Against the 49th-ranked national team in the world, South Carolina held close but fell in three sets, 25-18, 25-23, 25-21, to Slovenia in front of 319 fans on Wednesday night at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
The first set was tied at 12-12 when the Slovenians took control, making a 13-6 run to claim the frame 25-18. Seven blocks made a big difference, with three of the visitors posting three blocks each in the frame. Monika Potokar had three kills on four swings without an error to lead the way in the frame.
South Carolina fought in the second set, tying the score on nine occasions. A three-point run tied the frame at 22-22, but Potokar got a kill to hand the momentum back to the Slovenians. A block put the red-clad visitors at set point, but an attack error gave the Gamecocks one last serve. An error by South Carolina ended the threat, with Slovenia winning 25-23. Marina Cvetanovic had five kills without an error in the frame to go with four digs, while South Carolina sophomore outside hitter Bethanie Thomas posted all five of her kills in the second.
In the third set, the Gamecocks fell behind early while getting valuable experience to a different set of players. But they fought back, keeping the frame close until the very end, when Slovenia took it 25-21. Redshirt freshman opposite Christina Vereb had four kills in the set, while junior Lindsey Craft had nine digs in the libero spot. Potokar finished her stellar night with five kills on five swings in the frame.
The Gamecocks made an uncharacteristic 11 service errors to go with 21 attacking errors, 12 forced on blocks by Slovenia. South Carolina did post eight blocks in the frame and tied Slovenia with five aces.
Vereb led the Gamecocks with seven kills, while Craft posted nine digs and three aces in her one set of play. Freshman middle blocker Darian Dozier compiled three block assists in the contest.
Potokar topped the visitors for the first time on the tour with 12 kills, while Cvetanovic had 11 kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Both hit over .470. Tjasa Turnsek, who had led Slovenia in kills in the previous five matches, was held to eight on a .208 hitting percentage.
South Carolina returns to action on Saturday in The Mason Inn Patriot Invitational, where it will face West Virginia, George Mason, Navy and defending MAAC champ Niagara on the weekend.