Volleyball Dispatches Bulldogs in Three to Open Gamecock Invitational
Sept. 10, 2010
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina dominated the Bulldogs from South Carolina State in a three-set sweep, 25-14, 25-12, 25-8, to open the Gamecock Invitational on Friday morning.
The Gamecocks (1-6) hit .493 as a team, with three primary attackers posting percentages over .667. Freshman outside hitter Cara Howley had nine kills to lead the team, and junior middle blocker Teresa Stenlund added eight. Freshman outside hitter Juliette Thévenin was perfect on seven swings for the Gamecocks. Senior libero Hannah Lawing topped the squad with six digs. Freshman middle blocker Frankie Vain had a match-best five blocks. Sophomore setter Taylor Bruns had 28 assists, with 64 percent of her set attempts being converted into kills, and four aces. Shabree Roberson led the Bulldogs (1-8) with six kills. Setter Bria Brimmer had 19 assists and a match-best seven digs.
Vain helped the Gamecocks run out to the early 7-2 lead in the first thanks to five points during her serving. Thévenin pushed the set to the brink with six points on her service, which included two aces and a back-row kill from the freshman. Stenlund went 5-for-5 on her swings in the first, which ended at 25-14.
South Carolina State took its only lead in the match with the first point in the second, but the Gamecocks quickly took control. Vain's serve helped again, as the Gamecocks got five points while she was in the back to make it 11-4. Howley's serve worked as well, as the Gamecocks ran off six straight points to make it 17-6. Howley later finished off the set at 25-12 with her third kill of the frame, toped only by Thévenin's four.
Bruns put South Carolina up by seven before SCSU could even get a point. Bruns had three straight aces at one point plus another to cap the streak. Senior Megan Laughlin had an ace during the next Gamecock streak, this one going six points. The Bulldogs put together back-to-back points on three occasions, but the Gamecocks never let up, as sophomore Olivia Ryder teamed with Vain for a block to end the third at 25-8 and the match.
South Carolina held the Bulldogs to a .014 hitting percentage and nearly doubled up its foes in kills (40-21) and assists (39-20). The Gamecocks had 11 aces compared to none for SC State.