Gamecocks Get Win on Senior Night over Auburn in Four Sets
Junior Taylor Bruns and sophomore Juliette Thévenin both tally double-doubles, senior Teresa Stenlund with 10 kills
S.C. – In a hard-fought match on Senior Night, South Carolina (13-15,
4-14 SEC) came through with a four-set win over Auburn (10-18, 4-14
SEC), taking the sets 25-17, 25-19, 20-25, 30-28 in front of 706 fans
at the Volleyball Competition Facility on Friday.
Teresa Stenlund, South Carolina’s lone playing senior, posted 10 kills
for the Gamecocks. Junior setter Taylor Bruns and sophomore outside
hitter Juliette Thévenin both had double-doubles, as Bruns posted 42
assists and 10 digs to compliment Thévenin’s 19 kills and 15 digs.
Thévenin also led South Carolina in hitting with her .306 mark.
Sophomore libero Paige Wheeler compiled a match-best 18 digs, and
freshman outside hitter Bethanie Thomas added 11. Redshirt freshman
outside hitter Cara Howley had 11 points on eight kills and a team-best
four block assists.
Auburn’s Brittany Rhude and Chloe Rowand
both posted career bests in kills with 17 and 12, respectively. Kathia
Rud also had 16 kills. MacKenzy Harper and Sarah Bullock both made 16
digs, while Chelsea Wintzinger posted 30 assists and 11 digs.
late surge pushed the Gamecocks to a 25-17 set one win. Consecutive
Auburn blocks brought the Tigers within one at 13-12, and they tied it
at 14-14 after kills from Rud and Kelly Fidero. South Carolina
responded by taking 11 of the final 14 points to claim the win. Howley
had two kills, an ace and a block assist with Stenlund in the stretch,
which ended with six-consecutive Gamecock points on Bruns’ serve.
Thévenin had four kills and four digs in the frame.
Carolina never trailed in the second set, taking it 25-19. A trio of
three-point stands helped, the first coming on Stenlund’s serve that
made it 6-2. Wheeler’s serves made it 13-9 later, with Bruns getting a
kill in the stretch. The final stand came at the close, as Bruns landed
an ace before Howley ended the frame with her big line shot. The
Gamecock defense held the Tigers to a .171 hitting percentage, helped
by three Gamecock blocks. Thévenin again posted four kills and six digs
and added a solo block.
With 11 ties and four lead changes, the
third set stood in stark contrast to the second. No team held more than
a three-point advantage until Auburn’s last stand, where they claimed
five of the final six points for a 25-20 victory. Vesela Zapryanova had
two kills in the run, while Rowand finished it with her fifth kill of
the set. Auburn hit .400 in the frame and got five digs from Harper,
who played libero for the first time in the match.
started the fourth set strong, holding a lead for most of the frame
before Auburn fought back to tie it at 24-24. Rud and Zapryanova put
down consecutive kills that knotted it. Gamecock sophomore middle
blocker Megan Kent put down a slide to hand the advantage back to the
home team, but Rud tallied the next two kills to give Auburn a chance
to take the set. An Auburn service error tied up the match at 26-26
before Rowand once again gave the Tigers a chance to force set five.
This time, Thévenin posted a kill to knot it up at 27-27. An Auburn
attack error gave South Carolina the chance to end it, but Rowand again
extended the frame. Thévenin again put the Gamecocks to the brink, and
Howley came through with a big shot down the line to end the set at
30-28 and the match. Stenlund had seven of the Gamecocks’ kills in the
final frame, helping the team hit .340 in the fourth.
Carolina held advantages in blocks (6-4) and aces (5-5), while Auburn
outhit the Gamecocks, 292-.268, and had more kills, assists and digs.
The Tigers also recorded 13 service errors to the Gamecocks’ five and
were whistled for six handling errors, while South Carolina had none,
the true difference in the match. It is South Carolina’s first win this
season when having the lower number in kills, assists or hitting