South Carolina Closes Home Slate with Four-Set Win over Georgia
Redshirt freshman Cara Howley posted a team-best 14 kills and a .333 hitting percentage in the win
S.C. – Behind a relentless defensive effort and big offensive days from
senior middle blocker Teresa Stenlund and redshirt freshman outside
hitter Cara Howley, South Carolina (14-15, 5-14 SEC) downed Georgia
(11-18, 7-12 SEC) in four sets, 15-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-15, on Sunday
afternoon at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
Howley led all
attackers with her 14 kills, while Stenlund had 12, with both hitting
over .300 to lead the Gamecocks. Stenlund also posted a team-high four
blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Juliette Thevenin added a
double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore libero Paige Wheeler
tallied 28 digs, and junior setter Taylor Bruns contributed 45 assists
and nine digs. Junior outside hitter Christina Glover posted eight
kills and 11 digs in her reserve appearance, while sophomore middle
blocker Megan Kent added eight kills and three block assists.
Luft led Georgia with 12 kills, while Elizabeth Reid and Briana Bahr
had 11 and 10, respectively. Reid also topped the Bulldogs with five
blocks. Carla Tietz had 19 digs, Allison Summers made 13 and Brittany
Northcutt 11. Kathleen Gates had 37 assists, six kills, seven digs and
Georgia took the first set behind some stellar defense
25-15. The Bulldogs held the Gamecocks to a -.031 hitting percentage,
blocking four shots in the frame. South Carolina held a 7-6 advantage
before Georgia took control. A four-point run handed the Bulldogs a
10-7 lead that they would never relinquish. They closed the set on a
six-point stand, with Gates posting two aces to start the run and two
blocks ending it. Georgia had a balanced attack, with five players
getting at least two kills. Wheeler made seven digs for the Gamecocks.
second set went South Carolina’s way from the outset. The Gamecocks
took a 7-5 lead on a three-point skein that included two Howley kills.
That lead grew to 15-11 after another three-point stand. Georgia tried
to come back late, posting a six-point string to draw within one, but
South Carolina came back to take three of the final four points to
claim the set 25-22. Kent started the sequence with her fourth kill of
the frame, and Stenlund ended it with her fourth kill of the second.
Carolina held on to take the third set, 26-24. The Gamecocks held as
large of a lead as six in the frame before Georgia fought back. A
three-point Georgia run on Elena Perri’s serve drew the Bulldogs within
three at 18-15. The Bulldogs tied things after a 5-1 run made it 23-23,
but the Gamecocks took back the advantage with a kill from Glover. A
Gamecock service error tied it again at 24-24, but Glover came back
with another kill to give South Carolina a set point again. Georgia
missed with its next attack, ending the frame at 26-24 for South
Carolina. Wheeler had nine digs in the set, while Glover, Howley and
Thevenin all had four kills in the frame, Glover without making an
The Gamecocks ran away with the fourth set, taking a
25-15 win the clincher. Three early Georgia attack errors set the
Bulldogs back, but they came back to tie it at 4-4 thanks to kills from
Luft and Gates. South Carolina took over from there with a three-point
run to gain control. The Gamecocks closed the match on a 12-4 skein,
with Howley ending the match for the second outing in a row. Howley had
five kills without an error in the fourth, while Stenlund had four
without a mistake in the frame, her final one at the VCF.
Carolina held advantages in kills, assists and digs and outhit Georgia,
.204-.182. The Bulldogs had 10 digs and five aces compared to seven and
four, respectively, for the Gamecocks.