Oct. 22, 2017
ALABAMA 3, SOUTH CAROLINA 2
TUSCALOOSA, ALA. - The South Carolina volleyball team lost in five sets at Alabama Sunday afternoon, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 22-25, 7-15. The Gamecocks are 10-10 for the year, 3-5 in the SEC. Mikayla Shields and Mikayla Robinson combined for 33 of the team’s 59 total kills for the night, and the defense set a season high for digs in a losing effort.
SET 1: Alabama broke away late to take set one, 25-19. The game would be tied early and often, eight ties in total, but the Tide took advantage of an out-of-system offense for South Carolina to end the game on an 8-1 run. Mikayla Shields had three kills and eight digs in the set, and Mikayla Robinson converted all four of her attacks into kills to lead the Gamecocks, but the team hit just .146 with five unforced hitting errors.
SET 2: South Carolina was able to clean up their offense in set two, and were able to cruise to a big win, 25-18. The Gamecocks out-hit Alabama .364 to .147, thanks in large part to Shields. The sophomore had eight kills in the set, pushing her to 11 in the match. The visitors held just a 15-13 lead at the media timeout, but three kills from Claire Edwards boosted the Gamecocks to a 20-15 to force the Tide into a quick timeout. Alabama would get no closer than four points the rest of the way, and the match was tied at 1-1.
SET 3: The Gamecocks made a big run from the start of set three, forcing the home side to burn both timeouts in what would be a 9-1 run. The Mikayla duo had a hand in seven of those points – two on blocks, five on kills, as the pair continued to pace South Carolina in both phases of the game. Alabama would push back into the game, eventually tying the set up at 22-all behind a 3-0 run that forced the Gamecocks into a timeout. The Crimson Tide took their first lead of the set at 23-22, but the Carolina closed it out with a 3-0 run, capped by Shields’ 17th block of the night.
SET 4: A 5-0 Alabama run puts it in control early, 8-5, to force a Gamecock timeout. South Carolina was unable to disrupt Alabama’s offensive flow through their service or on the block early on, and the Crimson Tide never gave back the lead in the 25-22 win. Robinson added four more kills in the set to lead South Carolina, Alicia Starr added three of her own and Callie Brown came off the bench and added a pair of kills and a block in the game.
SET 5: South Carolina’s defense came apart at the seams in the final game, as Alabama hit .556 with 11 kills to breeze to the 15-7 win. The Gamecocks had just four kills on offense. The home team broke away with a 6-0 run that put them ahead 11-4, and Carolina could not get the swings needed to rally.
Stat of the Match
Both teams struggled to terminate, with South Carolina hitting .188 and Alabama just .178. The Crimson Tide stepped up at the end, though, hitting .556 in the fifth set to earn the win at home.
The team will have a split weekend coming up, with a Friday road match at Florida and a home rematch against Auburn on Sunday. Both games will air online through WatchESPN. Sunday’s match against the Tigers will start at 1:30 p.m. ET.
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