Volleyball Cats Drop SEC Opener to South Carolina, 3-0
Sept. 20, 2002
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team dropped its Southeastern Conference opener to South Carolina, 3-0, on Friday, Sept. 20 in Columbia, S.C. The Wildcats hit just .125 on the night to USC's season-high .394.
Sissy Canfield was one of just a few bright spots for Kentucky (6-4, 0-1 SEC) on the night, recording 13 kills on .400 hitting. South Carolina (7-3, 1-0 SEC) saw great play from senior Sam Alban, who also had 13 kills on a career-high .765 hitting. Kentucky recorded two team blocks to USC's eight.
After the Cats took a 1-0 lead in game one and busting through two early ties, South Carolina used a 5-0 run to take a 7-3 lead and force a Kentucky timeout. The Gamecocks extended their lead to as many as nine at 15-4, before UK came alive, chipping the advantage to four at 16-12. Another USC run, however, forced a UK timeout with the home team leading 22-13. UK used a 4-2 run to cut the lead to seven, but would come no closer as South Carolina closed out the game with five straight points, including a final service ace for the 30-18 win.
The Gamecocks continued their strong effort in game two, opening with a 6-0 run, forcing Braden to take a timeout. The Cats began to slowly get back in the game, cutting the USC lead to four at 22-18. UK lacked to power to overcome the deficit and trailed 0-2 in the match after taking the second game, 30-22.
Game three started out with a familiar tone, as USC took the first three points. Kentucky battled back, keeping within three points through much of the match. A 4-0 Gamecock run midway through, put UK down by six, 20-14, and forced a Kentucky timeout.
With the win, South Carolina evens the series with UK at 13. The Gamecocks have taken the last five matches with UK's last win coming on Nov. 19, 1999, a 3-0 win in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.
Kentucky returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 21, when it faces Oral Roberts in Columbia at 4 p.m.