Sept. 16, 2017
CLEMSON, S.C. - A fired-up South Carolina squad made quick work of rival Clemson Saturday night, sweeping the Tigers on their home floor, 255-15, 25-21, 25-17. The Gamecocks blocked 12 attacks, and hit .406, led by 10 kills from Mikayla Shields. South Carolina finishes the non-conference season at 7-5, while Clemson moves back to 5-7 for the year.
SET 1: The opening game was all about net defense. From the opening point the blocks started, and South Carolina would total nine in the set. That is more than the team had in five complete matches this season. Mikayla Robinson had a hand in six of those blocks, and Claire Edwards and Alicia Starr each pitched in three kills. Clemson had 14 attack errors and hit .-147. A 10-2 run broke an early 8-all tie, and Carolina never looked back.
SET 2: The Tigers' offense responded in the second game, but the Gamecocks still did not trail once in the set. Four straight kills from Carolina broke a 9-9 tie, with Mikayla Shields accounting for two of the four. The team would lead from that point on, Clemson was able to get within two late but back-to-back errors gave Carolina the 25-21 win going into halftime.
SET 3: As Carolina's defense had dominated the opening game, it was the offense that shined in the close-out set. All five hitters had two or more kills, and the team hit .571 on 21 swings. Clemson scored the first two points of the set, but after Carolina tied it at two the Tigers wouldn't see the lead the rest of the way. Shields added four more kills, and the Gamecock servers added four aces to extend the lead out as far as 21-13. Aubrey Ezell's second ace of the game iced the win and the sweep, 25-17.
Stat of the Match
The Gamecocks played only six player and their libero for the night, and all six starters recorded at least one block. Mikayla Robinson led the way with seven blocks, Mikayla Shields added five, and Alicia Starr and Claire Edwards each had four.
Quotable: Head Coach Scott Swanson
On the team's rebound after a loss to Texas Tech
With the non-conference season wrapped up, the team begins SEC play on the road. First up is a trip to Mississippi State for a Friday night showdown with the Bulldogs. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m.
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