Gamecocks Complete Weekend Sweep with 3-0 Victory at Alabama
Oct. 5, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Hitting .320 as a team, the South Carolina Gamecocks swept Alabama, 25-21, 25-17, 25-19, on Sunday afternoon at the Coleman Auxiliary Volleyball Extension. The victory gives the Gamecocks their first road weekend sweep in Southeastern Conference play since 2004 and moves the team's record to 13-2 overall and 5-1 in the league. The Crimson Tide fall to 8-6 on the season and 1-4 in the SEC.
Junior outside hitter Ivana Kujundzic and sophomore middle blocker Megan Laughlin both had 11 kills. Kujundzic collected her eighth double-double of the year with 13 digs, while Laughlin led the team with a .500 hitting percentage and two aces. Redshirt senior middle blocker Belita Salters added nine kills on a .471 hitting percentage. Junior libero Sarah Cline collected 11 digs, while sophomore Hannah Lawing contributed 10 digs. Junior setter Bridget Denson-Dorman had 43 assists, five digs, one kill and one ace, while she helped the team to a .320 hitting percentage. For Alabama, Brooks Webster led the squad with 13 kills. Libero Amy Pauly had 10 digs, while Calli Johnson had a match-best four aces.
After the squads traded side outs to start the contest, the Crimson Tide went on a four-point run to take a 9-5 lead. Two Gamecock errors started the string, while a Stephanie Riley ace capped it. Alabama stretched the lead to 12-7 before the Gamecocks started to work back into the match. Alabama service and blocking errors closed the gap to four, and kills by sophomore Annie Thomas and junior Meredith Moorhead bookended a four-point swing that brought South Carolina to within one at 14-13. The Gamecocks took the advantage away from the Tide after getting seven of nine points for a 21-18 lead. Salters had two kills in the stretch, while Kujundzic had a kill and a solo block for the Garnet and Black. Alabama would get within one at 21-20 after a Pauly ace, but the Gamecocks would close out the set by capturing four of its final five points. Laughlin had two kills to go with a Kujundzic ace. Salters wrapped up the frame with a spike on an overpass, her fifth kill of the set. The Gamecocks hit .400 in the frame and made 19 digs, compared to .257 and 13 for the Crimson Tide.
South Carolina rolled through most of the second set, putting together two four-point runs and a pair of three-point strings. The lead was largest at 23-11 after a pair of Kujundzic kills. But Alabama would not go out quietly, getting six of the next seven points to make it 24-17. Johnson had consecutive aces in that stretch. But Laughlin would wrap up the frame with her sixth kill. Kujundzic added five kills in the set as well, as the Gamecocks held the Tide to a .067 hitting percentage.
The third set went back and forth until Alabama got four points in a five-point stretch to take a 10-8 lead. The Gamecocks answered immediately with a Laughlin solo block, a Denson-Dorman ace and a Kujundzic kill to take an 11-10 advantage. A Laughlin ace followed a Moorhead kill to move the lead to 14-12, while Salters and Denson-Dorman got consecutive kills to stretch it out to three at 16-13. A three-point skein by South Carolina gave the squad a 22-17 advantage, while a Thomas kill and a Laughlin ace put the Gamecocks to match point. Ashley Frazier kept the match alive for Alabama with a kill, but an attacking error for the Tide ended their comeback bid, 25-19. Salters and Moorhead both had three kills in the final frame.
The Gamecocks return home to host Tennessee in their second-annual Dig for the Cure match. Start time is set for 7 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility.