Gamecocks Drop Match at Kentucky in Three Sets
Nov. 4, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Despite a 12-kill performance from junior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin, South Carolina dropped a three-set decision at Kentucky (17-8, 11-4 SEC), as the Wildcats claimed the sets 25-14, 25-18, 25-18, on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky's Lauren O'Conner posted 12 kills on a .455 hitting percentage to lead her squad, while Ashley Frazier added 10 kills. Stephanie Klefot led all players with 15 digs and two aces.
Thévenin hit .417 and added two blocks in the loss for South Carolina (15-12, 3-12 SEC). Sophomore setter Lexie Pawlik had 21 assists, two kills and six digs in the outing.
A strong Kentucky offensive set led to a 25-14 Wildcat win in the first. The Wildcats hit .560 in the set, led by Alexandra Morgan's five kills. The Gamecocks held tight early, down 9-11 after a Wildcat attacking error. Kentucky took control from there, getting two-point streaks to one South Carolina point three successive times before closing the set on an 8-2 run. Thévenin had four kills without an error in the frame for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks landed four blocks in the second set, but Kentucky still prevailed 25-18. The Wildcats ran out to a 13-5 lead before the Gamecocks drew within five at 16-11 after a three-point run that ended with a block assist and kill by Thévenin. Kentucky pushed the advantage to 22-13 after a four-point stand and ended it on O'Conner's fifth kill of the frame at 25-18. Frazier also had five kills for Big Blue, while Klefot added nine digs. Freshman middle blocker Darian Dozier and Thévenin both had two blocks in the set for the Gamecocks.
Kentucky posted a 25-18 win in the third set, hitting .727 in the final frame. A 7-1 run cemented the Wildcats' win, with the stretch ending at 18-11 after two consecutive O'Conner kills. Shelby Workman put down the last two Kentucky kills to end the match. O'Conner had five kills in the frame for UK, while Thévenin posted seven without an error for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina hung close in blocks, only falling 5-4 there. Kentucky held advantages in the other stat categories.
South Carolina hosts Mississippi State and Tennessee next weekend at the Volleyball Competition Facility. Friday's match against the Bulldogs is slated for a 7 p.m. EST first serve.