Talented Gamecocks Sweep Cats
Cats Struggle in SEC Road Opener
Columbia, SC - The South Carolina Gamecocks established themselves as one of the premier teams in the Southeastern Conference Friday night as they swept the visiting Kentucky Wildcats 3-0 (15-0, 15-10, 15-4). Supported by an enthusiastic home crowd at the Volleyball Competition Facility, the Gamecocks extended their winning streak to eight games.
USC (12-3, 3-0 SEC) dominated the entire contest, winning the first point and never looking back. "They're an extremely talented team, and they came out tonight well-prepared," said UK coach Jona Braden. "We tried to battle back, but they were just too tough and it wasn't our night. You have to give USC a lot of credit."
South Carolina (12-3, 3-0 SEC) jumped on UK early and often in game one, hitting an outstanding .889 percentage and blanking the Cats 15-0. The Gamecocks recorded 16 kills on 18 attempts, with Nadia Sefferovich leading the way with five. USC posted five aces in the game, in addition to committing no errors.
Game two provided more excitement as UK (4-9, 2-1 SEC) responded to USC's aggressive play. Melissa Kracht scored the Cats first point of the match on a kill, evening the game two score at one. Megan Weiskircher followed up the kill with an ace and UK took its first lead. The teams then traded points, with Kentucky holding an 8-7 lead at the midpoint of the game. The Gamecocks then flexed their muscle, winning eight of the next ten points and prevailing 15-10 In the match clincher, USC seemed determined to dominate action. After UK took the opening point on a kill by Weiskircher, the Gamecocks ran off 15 of the final 18 points, cruising to a 15-4 win and remaining unbeaten in SEC play.
Nadia Sefferovich and Sam Alban led a balanced USC offensive attack, both posting 11 kills. Cally Plummer added eight kills for the Gamecocks who hit an impressive .442 percentage for the match.
Liz McCaslin's streak of consecutive double-doubles for UK came to an end at four. April Barnhorst paced the Cats with seven kills. Freshman Candace Cogan tallied eight digs in the loss.
UK will travel to North Carolina State on Sunday, Oct. 1, for a non-conference game against the Wolfpack. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.