BATON ROUGE, LA. - The South Carolina volleyball team not only snapped its four-match losing streak, but earned its first win at LSU in 13 years after downing the Tigers (7-12, 2-6 SEC) in four sets, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22. The Gamecocks (14-5, 2-5 SEC) hit .317 as a team for the match, and passed efficiently with an average of 17.8 digs per set to control the tempo.
1st Set: After tinkering with the lineup at Texas A&M Friday night, the Gamecocks went back to their tried and true look offensively and got out to a strong start. An early 6-1 run gave the Gamecocks the lead, and Jacqy Angermiller started with kills off her first fours swings of the match. Carolina built a 15-10 lead at the media timeout, and offensive efficiency would be the key to the team's success for the game. Six different players finished with two or more kills in the game, and Carolina hit .484 to take the early 1-0 lead with a 25-19 win.
2nd Set: The Tigers used a pair of early blocks to curb the offensive momentum from the Gamecocks, and the home side built an 8-2 lead to force a Carolina timeout. Runs would be hard to come by for the Gamecocks as they tried to chip away at the early deficit (their largest run for the set was a 4-0 spurt at the end of the set), and LSU maintained a comfortable lead. The match went to halftime tied 1-1 after a 25-20 decision.
3rd Set: Mikayla Shields helped the Gamecocks start strong in the pivotal third set. The freshman accounted for three kills in the team's first six points and Carolina held a modest lead to start the frame. LSU closed the margin quickly, and the third set would be closely contested until a key call mid-way through. The Gamecocks got an important swing point on a challenge off a 13-all tie, as a Tiger block was called an error instead and Carolina used it to carry a 15-13 lead into the media timeout.
That challenge from head coach Scott Swanson loomed large for the rest of the game. Carolina ran off an 8-1 run after the ruling to take its largest lead of the set at 21-14 and forced LSU into a final timeout. The Tigers would rally back to cut the lead to three, 24-21, but Carolina closed it out for the all-important 2-1 lead in the match.
4th Set: LSU used the blueprint that won it the second set to control the fourth game early on. The Gamecocks were able to get hands on most of the Tiger attacks in the set, but the deflections were either tooled out or could not be scooped up by the back line. LSU found itself hitting at a .517 clip and without an error through its first 14 attacks to take the early 12-6 lead. A 5-1 run for Carolina trimmed the lead to two, 13-11, but kills on four-straight possessions for the Tigers put them back ahead comfortably.
Alicia Starr helped the Gamecocks stick around, pairing a block with a kill to provide Carolina with a 4-0 run to answer LSU's. After chipping away slow but sure, the set would eventually be knotted back up at 19-all, and after a LSU hitting error the Gamecocks took their first lead in the set since 2-0, with a 21-20 advantage. Dessaa Legros put the team on match point after a pair of kills made it 24-22, and Angermiller capped the win with her eighth kill of the day.