South Carolina Drops Decision to No. 16 LSU in Three Set
Oct. 3, 2010
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - With a nationally-ranked opponent in town, South Carolina (3-12, 0-5 SEC) held leads around the midway point of every set but could not overcome No. 16 LSU (14-1, 5-1 SEC), as the Tigers captured a three-set win, 25-14, 25-19, 25-19, at the Volleyball Competition Facility on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Hannah Lawing played on the front row for the first time in 2010 and landed eight kills, tying with freshman Juliette Thévenin for the team high in the match while also topping the squad with seven digs. Junior middle blocker Teresa Stenlund tallied four block assists on the afternoon. Angela Bensend and Michele Williams both got into double figures in kills for LSU, with Bensend leading the way with 11. Williams added four blocks and three aces to go with her 10 kills, leading the Tigers with 15.5 points and a .769 hitting percentage. Lauren Waclawczyk had match-best honors with 11 digs.
South Carolina owned a 9-6 lead in the first before LSU turned it on to take the frame, 25-14. Bensend had six kills without an error in the frame, while Williams was perfect on four swings. Williams also added two of her aces in the set, both coming in the final seven-point stand that clinched the win. The Tigers hit .583 as a team in the first set.
Williams broke open a close second set with three consecutive kills, putting LSU ahead for good at 13-11. With setter Brittany Johnson serving, the Tigers pulled away, taking four straight points, capped by an ace that made it 21-15. A Carolina hitting error ended the second at 25-19. Williams had five kills on seven swings in the frame, while Johnson posted five digs.
The Gamecocks got out to a 5-0 lead in the third set behind the strong serve of sophomore setter Taylor Bruns. But LSU came back, finally overtaking the Gamecocks with a five-point skein on Waclawczyk's serve, as the libero had one ace during the stand that made it 15-13. Madie Jones ended the match with her kill at 25-19. South Carolina's defense held the Tigers to a match-low .261 hitting percentage, while hitting .233 themselves, mostly coming from senior Megan Laughlin's four kills in five swings.
LSU out-hit South Carolina in the match, .434 to .149, while winning every statistical category.
The Garnet and Black hit the road for a pair of matches, starting at 7 p.m. CDT on Friday, Oct. 8 at Mississippi State before a Sunday, Oct. 10 showdown at Alabama that will be televised live at 2 p.m. by FOX Sports Net South and other regional outlets.