Gamecocks Drop Season Finale in Three to No. 1 Florida
Nov. 26, 2010
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Despite a match-best 12 kills from freshman outside hitter Juliette Thévenin, the Gamecocks (7-23, 4-16 SEC) dropped a three-set decision to top-ranked Florida, 14-25, 16-25, 12-25, on Friday night in the final regular season match in the Southeastern Conference for 2010.
South Carolina senior libero Hannah Lawing posted eight digs to lead the way for her squad for the 28th time this season. The second person in South Carolina history with 500 digs in a season, she fell three short of Diane Denton's all-time single-season record but did move into third place in the career record books. Sophomore outside hitter Christina Glover posted five kills and seven digs, second on the Gamecocks in both categories on the evening.
Callie Rivers' nine kills led the Gators (27-1, 20-0 SEC), who spread the attack around all night. Cassandra Anderson posted five kills and nine block assists, while Kelly Murphy posted seven kills without an error, 12 assists, four aces, six digs and five block assists. Kristy Jaeckel led all players with 10 digs to go with seven kills.
The Gators used a four-point run to break a 5-5 tie and pull away to a 25-14 win in the first set. Florida posted six of the team's 15 blocks in the first frame, helping hold the Gamecocks to a .000 hitting percentage in the set.
The second broke nearly the same way, as a five-point swing by the Gators broke open the set, making it 13-6 at that time. The Gamecocks made a late stand, fending off four set points before Stephanie Ferrell posted the clincher at 25-16. Thévenin had six of her kills in the second, while freshman middle blocker Frankie Vain had a hand in both Gamecock blocks.
Florida did not mess around in the third, getting out to a 9-3 lead thanks to a service ace by Rivers and two overpass kills during her serve. The Gators powered to the 25-12 win with a .593 hitting percentage in the frame, as Florida committed just one attacking error, that coming on Gamecock junior middle blocker Teresa Stenlund's lone solo stuff of the night. Both Anderson and Jaeckel had four kills on five swings, while Murphy, Ferrell and Lauren Bledsoe added three kills each.
Florida won every stat category, dominating in blocks (15.0-3.0) and hitting percentage (.416-.081). The Gators complete the first 20-0 season in SEC play since the league changed to the double round-robin format in 2006. The Gamecocks finished ninth in the SEC overall standings.