Sep 6, 2013
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Despite a career-high 30 kills from senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin, the South Carolina volleyball team lost a hard-fought match to rival Clemson on Friday night at Jervey Gymnasium in five sets by the scores of 25-22, 20-25, 21-25, 25-20 and 9-15.
With the loss, the Gamecocks fall to 3-1 on the season. The Tigers even their record at 2-2.
Thévenin recorded her first double-double of the season as she added 10 digs to go along with her 30 kills. She also moved to sixth on the Gamecocks' career kills list with 1,193. Sophomore Darian Dozier added 11 kills while hitting .391. She also recorded six digs and five block assists. Sophomore Sarah Blomgren tallied eight kills and three block assists, while sophomore setter Kellie McNeil dished out 54 assists and chipped in 10 digs, five kills and four block assists. Junior Michaela Christiaansen finished the night with a match-high 19 digs.
As a team, South Carolina hit .241 on the night, while the Tigers finished with a .250 hitting percentage.
Senior outside hitter Moneshia Simmons led four Tigers in double figure kills with 23, while Leah Perri (13), Karis Watson (10) and Beta Dumancic (10) also had double digit kills. Setter Hannah Brenner tallied 56 assists and 19 digs in the win.
The Gamecocks came out strong early in the first set, building a 9-4 lead behind a pair of kills from freshman Dessaa Legros. South Carolina extended its lead to 12-5 before the Tigers went on an 11-4 run to tie the match at 16. The teams battled through five ties and two lead changes before the Gamecocks took the lead for good at 22-21 on a Clemson service error. Legros later clinched a 25-22 set win after putting down an overpass for a kill. As a team, South Carolina outhit Clemson .295 to .174 for the set.
Clemson built an early 4-1 lead in the second set, but the Gamecocks fought back to later tie the match at 9-9 on a kill by Blomgren. The teams went back and forth through three more ties, with the last being at 14-14 after a Tiger attack error. Clemson then closed out the set with an 11-6 run to even the match at 1-1.
The third set proved to be just as close as there were eight ties and four lead changes. The Gamecocks held a 16-14 lead late in the frame, but Clemson scored four straight points to take the lead for good on its way to a 25-21 win.
South Carolina evened the match up with its best effort of the night in the fourth set. The Gamecocks hit .410 as a team and received nine kills from Thévenin. With the score tied 6-6 early in the frame, sophomore Elizabeth Johnbull delivered a kill to spark the Gamecocks and give them a lead they would not relinquish. South Carolina built its biggest lead of the set at 20-14 after Dozier slammed the ball down in Tiger territory. Clemson was unable to pull closer than four points the rest of the way.
Clemson scored first in the fifth set and never trailed as it jumped out to a 10-4 lead. The Gamecocks were able to pull within four points at 13-9 on a Tiger attack error, but Clemson scored the next two points to win the match.
South Carolina returns to action on Saturday with two matches on the schedule. The Gamecocks will face Furman at noon and Winthrop at 4 p.m. at Jervey Gymnasium.
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