Gamecocks Sweep Winthrop in College of Charleston Invite Finale
Sept. 10, 2011
by Koby Padgett
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Behind a career-high 15 kills and the second double-double of the day for freshman Hanna Forst, South Carolina (9-1) swept Winthrop (5-4), claiming set wins of 25-14, 25-20, 26-24, in both team's final match of the College of Charleston Invitational.
The outside hitter Forst added 12 digs with those 15 kills while hitting .433 in the win. Senior middle blocker Teresa Stenlund posted 13 kills and a .550 hitting percentage. Junior setter Taylor Bruns had a double-double with 34 assists and 12 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Juliette Thévenin compiled a match-best 20 digs, while sophomore libero Paige Wheeler added 13.
Brittany Blackman led the Eagles with a .529 hitting percentage and nine kills. Lauren Landsman had 11 digs, and Carherin Brusie added 10. Setter Stephanie Palmer posted seven kills, eight digs and 22 assists.
The Gamecocks took the first set, 25-14, behind stellar play from Forst. She posted eight points on six kills and two solo blocks without making an attacking error while also making five digs. Thévenin posted eight digs in the frame as well. A six-point skein separated the teams early, giving the Gamecocks a 11-4 lead. South Carolina's advantage grew to 18-7 before a five-point stand by the Eagles drew them within six. The Gamecocks answered with a five-point run before finishing the frame at 25-14 after trading kills between Carolina's Forst and Winthrop's Weed. Forst had the final three kills for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina claimed the second set, 25-20, behind some good defense. The Eagles hit just .089 in the frame, with the Gamecocks posting four blocks. A four-point run early gave the Gamecocks a lead at 9-6, one they would not relinquish. The advantage grew to 21-15 after a three-point run comprised of kills from Stenlund and redshirt freshman Cara Howley around a Bruns ace. A Winthrop attack error ended the frame.
The Gamecocks used a late stand to take the third set, 26-24. The Gamecocks fought off two set points from the Eagles, getting two kills from Forst to knot it at 24-24. A Bethanie Thomas kill gave South Carolina a chance to end it, and a deep crossing shot by Forst did just that. The set went back and forth between the two teams, with no team ever taking more than a two-point lead.
The Gamecocks won every stat category except blocks, where the two teams tied 6-6. The Gamecocks finish the non-conference portion of the schedule with nine wins, two more than the team recorded in all of 2010.
Clemson claimed the tournament title, winning the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Gamecocks. The Tigers' Alexa Rand received tournament MVP honors, while she was joined by teammates Sandra Adeleye and Hannah Brenner, South Carolina's Thévenin and Wheeler, Sloane White from the College of Charleston and Becca Toor of Winthrop.
South Carolina opens Southeastern Conference action on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Mississippi State. First serve at Newell-Grissom Building is set for 1:30 p.m. CDT.