Gamecocks Drop Match to Auburn in Three Sets
Oct. 17, 2010
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Despite a match-high 18 digs from senior Hannah Lawing, South Carolina (4-15, 1-8 SEC) could not overcome a relentless Auburn defensive effort, as the Tigers (15-7, 6-4 SEC) claimed a straight-set win, 25-13, 25-19, 25-16, at the Volleyball Competition Facility on Sunday afternoon.
Lawing also had four kills during one set in the rotation after starting the first two at libero. Sophomores Christina Glover and Olivia Ryder led South Carolina with six kills, while freshman Frankie Vain contributed four blocks. Freshman Megan Kent hit .250 with five kills on the afternoon, adding a pair of block assists. Auburn's Sarah Bullock landed 11 kills to top all players, while Liz Crouch added 16 digs. Lauren Mellor had seven blocks, while Morgan Johns added eight kills and five block assists.
After South Carolina took a 4-1 lead in the first set, Auburn turned it on, capturing 10 straight points en route to a 25-13 set win. Bullock had six kills without an error, as the Tigers hit .281 in the frame.
A close second set with 12 ties and six lead changes ended abruptly after Auburn took nine of the last 11 points to claim a 25-19 win. The Gamecocks held a 17-16 lead after a service ace from sophomore Taylor Bruns, but Auburn ran off five consecutive points, which included consecutive solo blocks by Katherine Culwell and Alyssa Davis. An Auburn error and a block by Ryder and sophomore Brandi Byers put the Gamecocks back within two, but Auburn got the last four points, capped by the clincher on a dump from Christina Solverson at 25-19.
The Tigers once again used big late runs to take the third set, 25-16. A four-point run on Chelsea Wintzinger's serve handed Auburn the 17-13 lead. After trading points twice, Auburn closed out the frame with a six-point skein. Three blocks came in the final stretch, as Culwell ended things with a solo stuff. Six Auburn blocks in the set led to a -.071 hitting percentage by South Carolina. Johns also had five kills on six swings in the frame.
The Tigers held a huge advantage in hitting percentage (.250-.009) over the Gamecocks, helped mostly by 15 Auburn blocks along with 50 digs, and won all the stat categories.
After the match, the Gamecocks hosted a free clinic for local youth, signing autographs and teaching around 40 kids some volleyball basics.
South Carolina continues its home stand on Friday, Oct. 22 as Kentucky rolls into town for a 7 p.m. match.