Oct. 20, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. -- Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin recorded a match-high 25 kills to help power the South Carolina volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18) victory at Ole Miss on Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 11-9 on the season and 3-5 in the SEC. Ole Miss falls to 11-10 overall and 1-7 in SEC play.
South Carolina hit .308 for the match, moving its record to a perfect 6-0 when hitting better than .300 this season. Sophomores Sarah Blomgren and Darian Dozier came up big for the Gamecocks. Blomgren recorded 12 kills while hitting .455. Dozier finished with nine kills while hitting .600 with no errors. Sophomore setter Kellie McNeill added seven kills (.500), distributed 45 assists and had four block assists. Sophomore Jacqy Angermiller chipped in six kills and a match-high eight blocks, while junior Michaela Christiaansen (19) and senior Lindsey Craft (16) finished with double digits in digs.
As a team the Gamecocks held the advantage in hitting (.308-.174), kills (63-51), assists (62-48), digs (58-48) and blocks (10-7).
Marie-Pierre Bakima and Ty Laporte paced Ole Miss with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Setter Aubrey Edie dished out 43 assists, while Kara Morgan tallied 20 digs in the loss.
South Carolina came out energized in the first set and built an early 4-0 lead and never allowed the Rebels to gain momentum as it hit .353 for the set while holding Ole Miss to a .161 hitting percentage. Ole Miss pulled to within 17-16 late in the set, but South Carolina went on a 5-2 run capped by a McNeil kill to build a 22-18 lead. The Rebels made one last push, trimming South Carolina's lead to 22-20. However, the Gamecocks scored the next three points, including kills from Thévenin and Dozier, to win the set.
The teams went back and forth in the second set. Trailing 9-8 early in the set, the Gamecocks went on a 6-1 run behind a pair of kills from Thévenin to take a 14-10 lead. Ole Miss answered with a 9-3 run to regain the lead at 19-17 on a Gamecock attack error. South Carolina cut the Rebels' lead to one at 22-21 on a block by McNeil and Angermiller, but Ole Miss closed out the set with three straight points to even the match at one set apiece.
The Gamecocks bounced back in the third set to take a 2-1 lead, hitting .394 for the set. Ole Miss held a 15-12 lead midway through the set, but South Carolina clawed back with an 8-3 run to take a 20-18 lead. The Rebels wouldn't go away as they came back to take a 23-22 lead on an ace by Rachael McLamore. However, Thévenin, Dozier and Blomgren each delivered a kill down the stretch to give the Gamecocks a 25-23 win. Blomgren hit .714 for the set, producing five kills on seven attack attempts to lead the way.
South Carolina was determined to prevent a fifth set as it played its best volleyball of the weekend in the fourth set, hitting .483. The Gamecocks stormed out to a 9-4 lead and never looked back on their way to a 25-18 win to clinch the match. Thévenin hit .615 for the set, recording 10 kills to lead the charge.
The Gamecocks will return to action at home next weekend. South Carolina will host Tennessee on Friday at 7 p.m. for its annual Dig Pink match and will then wrap up the weekend against Auburn at 1:30 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
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