South Carolina Sweeps Eastern Kentucky in Gamecock Invitational Opener
Sept. 4, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina Gamecocks swept past Eastern Kentucky, 25-23, 25-12, 25-12, behind 14 kills on a .500 hitting percentage by senior Ivana Kujundzic in the first match of the 2009 Gamecock Invitational at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
Kujundzic just missed her fourth double-double of the year, getting nine digs. Junior Hannah Lawing's double-double streak was snapped as well, getting six kills and 10 digs. South Carolina (4-0) senior libero Sarah Cline had match-high honors in digs with 12. Senior setter Bridget Denson-Dorman had 33 assists and made five kills, eight digs and three service aces. Senior Meredith Moorhead ranked second on the team with seven kills. Lauren Snyder led Eastern Kentucky (0-4) with seven kills.
The Gamecocks slowly worked their way into the lead in the first set, taking their biggest lead at 17-13 after a pair of dumps by the setter Denson-Dorman. Eastern Kentucky got within one at 23-22 after a Kate Hendle kill, a Hannah Groudle block and a Gamecock attack error. But Kujundzic ended the Colonels' run with a kill, putting South Carolina at set point. Snyder kept the set going with a kill, but Kujundzic ended it at 25-23 with her sixth successful attack of the frame. EKU actually outhit the Gamecocks, .333-.270, in the first, but they had five less kills.
South Carolina played much more focused ball from the start of the second, peeling off a five-point run to make it 7-2. Denson-Dorman landed a pair of aces, while Kujundzic had two kills in the stretch. When Denson-Dorman rotated back into serve position at 16-11, she helped the squad to another extended stretch, this one nine points to make it 24-11. Kujundzic had three kills in the first four points of the stretch, while sophomore Tory Anderson, Moorhead and Lawing all had kills in the run. The set ended after the squads traded hitting errors. South Carolina had 24 digs in the set, with Cline making six in the second alone.
The third set started much like the second ended, with the Gamecocks putting together a nine-point run after giving up the first point. Freshman Teresa Stenlund had an ace, while Denson-Dorman and Anderson both had solo blocks during the skein. South Carolina's lead grew to 17-6 after a five-point run, helped by Stenlund's two kills. The Gamecocks ended the set at 25-12 when freshman setter Taylor Bruns posted her first kill, swinging off a Cline pass. The Gamecocks held the Colonels to a -.111 hitting percentage in the third.
South Carolina led Eastern Kentucky in every statistic, including doubling them in kills, 44-22, and outhitting the Colonels, .304-.087.
In the second match of the tournament, UNC Greensboro came back from two sets down to take a 3-2 victory over Coastal Carolina, 14-25, 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-11. Catherine Hanners had 20 kills to lead the Spartans.