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South Carolina Earns 3-0 Win Over Liberty
South Carolina posted a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-21) win over Liberty on Friday at the Duke Invitational, held inside Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Gamecocks (5-3) won both of their matches on Friday, and will meet host Duke tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. The Lady Flames fall to 1-8 after dropping each of their last five matches. Liberty brings its time in Durham to an end tomorrow, taking on defending WAC regular-season champion Utah State at 11:30 a.m.
South Carolina scored 48 kills, hitting .254, while Liberty hit .110 in recording 35 kills. The Gamecocks held a slight edge in blocks, 10-9.5, and outdug the Lady Flames, 62-48. Liberty registered four aces, compared to one for South Carolina.
Lady Flames senior Lillie Happel recorded a team-high 12 kills, while freshman Nzea McQuitery scored a career-high eight kills in addition to four blocks. Redshirt senior Kendle Rollins posted five blocks, moving her into fifth place all-time at Liberty with 342 career blocks. Becca Haraf, a senior, led Liberty with a season-high 10 digs, and senior Jade Craycraft tallied 27 assists, nine digs and four blocks.
South Carolina senior Juliette Thévenin recorded 16 kills and 14 digs, sharing match-high digs honors with fellow senior Lindsey Craft. Redshirt sophomore Kellie McNeil had 37 assists and four blocks, while sophomore Darian Dozier contributed eight kills and five blocks.
South Carolina won a back-and-forth set one, 25-19. After falling behind, 7-3, Liberty staged a 12-3 rally during which the Lady Flames posted five blocks. The Gamecocks responded by scoring 10 out of the next 11 points, gaining the lead at 20-16 after back-to-back blocks. Susan Babcock drew the Lady Flames to within three, 20-17, with a kill before the Gamecocks pulled away, 25-19.
The Lady Flames held a 5.5-5.0 edge in blocks during set one, but the Gamecocks hit .238, compared to .091 for Liberty.
McQuitery scored back-to-back kills in set two, giving Liberty a 12-11 lead. South Carolina then went on a 6-2 run, prompting a Liberty timeout. Craycraft and McQuitery teamed up for a block, and then a Rollins solo stuff made it 17-16, Gamecocks. Rally points ensued, bringing the score to 20-19. South Carolina then finished off set two, 25-21, with Thévenin scoring the clinching kill.
Happel and South Carolina's Jacqy Angermiller both scored five kills during the middle stanza. The Gamecocks outhit Liberty, .333-.242 in set two.
Liberty erased an early six-point deficit in the third set, with Craycraft tallying three kills during a 6-0 run which tied it at 11-11. South Carolina stopped the rally with a block by McNeil and Dozier, sparking a 9-3 rally which set the score at 20-14. After a Gamecocks service error, Liberty pulled to within one, 20-19, scoring four points while Haley Jeffcoat served. Koko Atoa-Williams scored a kill out of a Gamecock timeout, and two late South Carolina blocks helped seal the set and match, 25-21.
Thévenin finished with six kills in the final frame, while Happel answered with five kills. South Carolina led in attack percentage, .205-.040.