Gamecocks Fall in Three at Georgia
Sept. 30, 2011
by Koby Padgett
ATHENS, Ga. - Despite getting 11 kills on a .588 hitting percentage from senior Teresa Stenlund, South Carolina (9-5, 0-4 SEC) could not overcome a strong Georgia (6-9, 2-3 SEC) showing, as the Bulldogs won in three sets, 25-21, 25-21, 25-21, in front of 1,062 fans at the Ramsey Center.
Stenlund was the only Gamecock with double-figure kills and led the team in hitting. Sophomore libero Paige Wheeler added a match-best 14 digs, while freshman outside hitter Bethanie Thomas added eight kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Frankie Vain and freshman Hanna Forst both had four blocks.
Georgia won thanks to an efficient offensive attack, hitting .393 in the match and over .400 in two sets. Kathleen Luft led three Bulldogs with 13 kills. Brittany Northcutt added 12 kills and 10 digs, while Ann Dylla posted 10 kills. Briana Bahr added nine kills on a .533 hitting percentage, while Elizabeth Reid had seven kills and five blocks, three of those solo.
Georgia took the first frame, 25-21, in a very offensive set. Both teams hit over .400, with Georgia's .442 besting the Gamecocks' .417. The set flipped on a four-point Bulldog run that made it 20-18. A three-point stand later put the Bulldogs to set point at 24-20, before Luft ended the frame with her kill off the Gamecock block. Stenlund had six kills in the frame, while Dylla matched her on the other side. Luft added five while Reid and Northcutt both had four each.
The Bulldogs claimed the second set, matching the first set score of 25-21. Georgia continued its hot hitting, posting a .467 mark in the second. A six-point stand early gave Georgia a 10-5 lead, but South Carolina closed it to 11-10 with a four-point stand of its own. The Bulldogs claimed four of the next five to go back ahead, 15-11, getting consecutive points from Northcutt and Reid around the Gamecock kill. The Garnet and Black got within one again after their own 4-1 stretch, but Georgia got the lead back with a kill from setter Kathleen Gates and a Reid point. The final three Bulldog points in the frame came from Dylla, who joined Northcutt and Briana Bahr with four kills each in the frame. Redshirt freshman Cara Howley led the Gamecocks with four kills in the frame.
South Carolina ran out to a 5-1 lead in the third, the last two points coming on a pair of Howley kills. The Gamecocks led by as much as five until Georgia fought back. Taking five of six in a stretch pulled the Bulldogs to within one at 17-16, with Gates getting a kill and a block assist in the sequence. A four-point stand handed Georgia a 21-19 lead. The Gamecocks fought back to tie it at 21-21, but Georgia fought back to take the final four points for the 25-21 set-three win.
Georgia won most stat categories, including a .393-.327 advantage in hitting. The two teams tied, 6.0-6.0, in blocks.
The Gamecocks play at Auburn on Sunday afternoon, with first serve scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CDT in the Student Activities Center.