Gamecocks Break Slide, Take Five-Set Victory at Mississippi State
Oct. 8, 2010
by Koby Padgett
MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. - The South Carolina Gamecocks (4-12, 1-5 SEC) took the first two sets and came back to claim the fifth in a thrilling win over Mississippi State (10-7, 2-4 SEC), 25-20, 30-28, 19-25, 11-25, 15-9, in front of 354 people at the Newell-Grissom Building on Friday evening.
Freshman outside hitter Juliette Thévenin led the Gamecocks with 21 kills, tying her career best, while adding a career-high 18 digs and five blocks. Redshirt sophomore Olivia Ryder added 11 kills, while senior Megan Laughlin put down 10. Senior Hannah Lawing had 23 digs to lead South Carolina, while setters Taylor Bruns and Jordan Bradosky both posted double-doubles. Bruns had 18 assists and 11 digs, while Bradosky had 22 assists and a season-best 16 digs. Freshman Frankie Vain added five kills and five blocks. Caitlin Rance led the Bulldogs with 22 kills and 12 digs, while Ashley Newsome posted 21 kills. Both Kayla Woodard and Kellye Jordan had 25 digs, while Paris Perret compled 49 assists and 18 digs.
South Carolina claimed the first set, 25-20, behind stellar offensive play, hitting .382 in the first set. A five-point run helped the Gamecocks take the lead for good at 13-10. A five-point stand late that included two kills and a solo block from Thévenin pushed the Garnet and Black to set point, but a three-point skein from Mississippi State made it interesting. But Laughlin ended it out of the timeout with her swing that landed deep on the Bulldogs' side. Ryder went 4-for-4 on her swings, while Thévenin added four kills as well as two blocks. Junior Teresa Stenlund posted three kills on five swings without an error.
A well-played second set by both teams, South Carolina came out on top, 30-28. The Gamecocks claimed six out of seven points in one stretch to take a 12-10 lead. Two kills from Thévenin pushed the lead to three at 19-16. Another three-point stand led the Gamecocks back out to the three-point advantage after State tied up the match. Mississippi State tied it at 23-23, but a Bulldog hitting error gave South Carolina the first set point. The teams traded points there before Perret had a kill and Newsome landed an ace to get Mississippi State a chance to claim the set. But two more terminations by Thévenin put the Gamecocks back to set point. Jordan put away her first kill of the set to tie things at 28-28, but Laughlin hit one off the block ahead of Thévenin's clincher that went through the Bulldog block. The freshman had 10 kills in the set while hitting .471 and tying for the set lead with six digs and two block assists. Bradosky also had seven assists and six digs
Mississippi State took the third set, 25-19. A six-point run early by the Bulldogs was about all they needed, as Rance had three kills in the run. The Gamecocks drew within three twice, first after a four-point run that made it 14-11 then later at 16-13. But a four-point stand by State put things out of reach. Newsome ended the frame with her fourth kill, as Jordan had six of State's 21 kills in the third. Woodard posted 10 digs as well for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs ran away with the fourth set, 25-11. Two five-point strings and a four-point run pushed the home team to the win behind a .519 hitting percentage. Newsome had five kills on 10 swings in the frame. Vain posted four kills, including three consecutive early in the set.
South Carolina took four of five points to start the fifth, claiming a 5-2 lead. A five-point run that included two kills by Thévenin gave the Gamecocks a 11-5 advantage. Mississippi State got within three at 12-9 after kills by Rance and Newsome, but the Gamecocks would close it out. A tip by Ryder gave the Gamecocks the match-point opportunity, and Stenlund put away the overpass to clinch the Gamecocks' first SEC win of the year. Stenlund had three kills without an error in the final set.
South Carolina won the battle at the net with nine blocks to State's eight. The Bulldogs won the other statistical categories but got bit by 11 service errors.
South Carolina takes on Alabama at 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday afternoon in a match televised live on FOX Sports South and other FOX Sports regional channels. Check your local listings for availability.