Oct. 25, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina volleyball team suffered a three-set loss to Tennessee on Friday, falling by the scores of 25-19, 25-18 and 25-17 in front on 1,162 fans in its annual Dig Pink match at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
With the loss, the Gamecocks are now 11-10 on the season and 3-6 in SEC play. The Lady Vols improve to 9-13 overall and 1-7 in the conference.
South Carolina was unable to get into a rhythm offensively, as Tennessee held the Gamecocks to a season-low .072 hitting percentage. The Lady Vols hit .318 as a team and held an 8-7 advantage in blocking and a 38-32 edge in digs.
Sophomore Sarah Blomgren paced the Gamecocks with 10 kills, five digs and three block assists, while senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin added seven kills and a pair of block assists. Sophomore setter Kelli McNeil was the most efficient Gamecock offensively as she produced five kills while hitting .625 with no errors. McNeil also distributed 20 assists and added six digs. Junior libero Michaela Christiaansen collected a team-high nine digs, while sophomore middle blocker Darian Dozier finished with four blocks.
Freshman middle blocker Raina Hembry led the Lady Vols with 10 kills while hitting .667 for the match. She also tallied a team-high four block assists. Junior middle blocker Shealyn Kolosky chipped in nine kills, while sophomore setter Lexie Dempsey produced a double-double with 13 assists and 11 digs.
The Gamecocks came out strong in the first set, building a 4-2 lead behind a pair of kills by Dozier. However, Tennessee went on a 9-3 run, including three kills by Hembry, to take an 11-7 lead. South Carolina clawed back to tie the match at 15-15 on a kill by Blomgren, but Hembry answered with a kill to give the Lady Vols the lead for good as they went on to win 25-19.
South Carolina battled back and forth with the Lady Vols early in the second set, playing through eight ties in the first 18 points. Tennessee gained momentum with a 9-4 run to build a 19-14 lead. South Carolina was unable to make a rally late, as the Lady Vols claimed a 25-18 win to take a 2-0 lead.
Trailing 10-9 in the third set, Blomgren came through with a kill to tie it up, and Tennessee followed with an attack error, as the Gamecocks took an 11-10 lead. However, the Lady Vols scored four-straight points to take a 14-11 lead on their way to a 25-17 win to clinch the match.
The Gamecocks will return to action at home on Sunday against Auburn. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
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