South Carolina Wins Match in Dramatic Final Set
Oct. 22, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina was able to post a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 29-27) victory over Kentucky behind a dramatic final set that needed extra points to determine the winner Friday evening in Columbia, S.C.
With the loss Kentucky drops to 11-10 overall and 5-6 in Southeastern Conference action.
Senior Blaire Hiler led the Wildcats with 12 kills on the night. Freshman Whitney Billings totaled eight and junior Becky Pavan matched that output. Senior Lauren Rapp and junior Gretchen Giesler lead the way defensively with four blocks each. Rapp also added six kills and 10 digs to her line.
Junior Ann Armes posted three kills and a pair of digs in a set of action. Setter Christine Hartmann dished out 35 assists and added five digs. Sophomore Stephanie Klefot had a match-high 19 digs and freshman Jessi Greenberg pitched in with eight.
The home team began the third set by scoring the first three points. Kentucky pulled to with 3-2 after a Hiler kill and a block from the duo of Giesler and Rapp. South Carolina used a 9-5 run to earn a 12-7 lead and forced Kentucky to use an early timeout.
With South Carolina ahead by a 17-12 score, Kentucky used a 3-0 run to pull back to within two at 17-15. Hartmann's timely tap capped the run. Kentucky eventually clawed its way to a tie at 20-20 by forcing another mishit by the Gamecocks.
With the score tied the teams traded points back-and-forth when UK earned its first lead of the set off of an Armes' kill at 23-22. South Carolina posted consecutive kills to earn match point at 24-22, and Rapp came up with a match-saving kill down the line.
Kentucky earned set-point at 25-24, but South Carolina was able to save the set by benefiting from a service error from the Blue and White. Kentucky had another chance for set-point at 26-265 after a kill from Pavan but South Carolina once again saved the set. South Carolina then earned set point at 28-27 off of a kill and UK used its final timeout, but South Carolina claimed the match on the next play with a match-ending kill.
The Wildcats totaled 19 kill sin the dramatic final set on a .224 hitting clip. The Gamecocks scored 20 kills on a match-high .300 hitting to close out the match.
South Carolina opened the scoring in the match, but UK quickly responded with kills from Billings and Pavan. The teams swapped points back-and-forth until South Carolina broke for a four-point run to earn a 10-5 edge in the early stages of the first stanza. A kill from Giesler ended the run and UK fought back to within two at 12-10 after a pair of Rapp kills sandwiched a solo block from Billings.
An ace from Klefot allowed the Wildcats to come to within one, but the Gamecocks rattled off three straight points to push the lead back to four at 15-11 and forcing UK to use its final timeout of the frame. South Carolina stretched its lead to as much as seven points at 22-15, but UK clawed its way back to within 23-21 on a kill from Giesler. South Carolina would finish off the opening set by scoring the remaining two points to take the early 1-0 edge.
Kentucky scored 12 points on kills off of a .135 hitting clip, while South Carolina used a .184 percentage and tossed down 13 kills in the stanza. Billings, Rapp and Giesler all totaled three kills for UK in the stanza.
Billings began the scoring for the Wildcats in the second set to give UK the early 1-0 lead. South Carolina climbed back into things to tie the score at three and then immediately took a lead at 4-3 they would never relinquish. The Gamecocks earned a lead as large as six at 14-8. UK fought back and eventually tied the score at 19 after the second ace of the match from Klefot. From there the teams exchanged points until the home team earned set point at 24-22. A kill from Hiler saved set point once, but South Carolina earned a 2-0 edge on the very next point.
South Carolina posted 18 kills in the set with a .267 hitting clip. UK was led by Hiler's five hammers as UK charted 13 kills on .286 hitting.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday with a match at No. 1 Florida in Gainesville, Fla. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.
Follow along all season long with the Wildcats at UKathletics.com.