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    SEC Volleyball Friday Roundup

    volleyBALL RESULTS
    Florida 3, LSU 1
    Tennessee 3, Auburn 2
    Texas A&M 3, Mizzou 1
    Arkansas 3, Georgia 1
    Ole Miss 3, Mississippi State 0
    South Carolina 3, Alabama 2


    Florida Clinches Share of SEC Title With Win Over LSU
     

    Gainesville, Fla. -- The No. 16 University of Florida volleyball team clinched at least a share of the 2012 Southeastern Conference championship on Friday evening, storming back from a first-set defeat to claim a 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-13) victory over the LSU Tigers. The win puts the Gators (22-4, 16-1 SEC) in the driver’s seat of the SEC race, as the Orange and Blue need just one more victory to claim the conference crown outright.
     
    Florida’s defense led the way on Friday night, as both the block and the back row kept the Gators neck-and-neck with the best digging defense in the SEC. Sophomore libero Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.) led the way for Florida with a career-high 27 digs on the night, playing arguably one of the best matches of her career. Sophomore defensive specialist Holly Pole (Ocala, Fla.) scooped 14 digs against the Tigers to go along with a match-high two service aces, both at crucial moments in the third stanza. Freshman outside hitter Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia) turned in her seventh double-double with 14 kills and 18 digs.
     
    “Obviously, LSU played very well and came out with so much energy, and digging the way we know they can,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “I thought we were very impatient. We probably showed more of the youth that is on our team that we would expect earlier on in the season than in November, but I think we were just a little bit anxious.
     
    The defense was the part that got us back into it,” Wise continued. “It started with the plays of Holly Pole. There was a series there that kept LSU from scoring any points and I thought that good defense can be contagious and Taylor Unroe played some of the best defense of her career in sets three and four. We’ve been a lot about our offense, but tonight it was the defense that won the match.”
     
    Junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) stuffed a career-high-tying seven blocks on the night and senior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) roofed six blocks against the Tigers. Both Mann and Wiggs tallied eight kills apiece. Senior middle blocker Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) had a balanced performance with 11 kills on 20 swings (.400) and four blocks on the evening. Junior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) dished out 38 assists to go along with five digs against the Tigers.
     
    The teams battled to open the frame, with a Smith-Brauneis stuff block giving the Gators a slight edge, 6-5. Back-to-back Smith kills kept the Florida lead at one, 9-8, but LSU won back-to-back long rallies and began to pull away, forcing a Florida timeout with the Gators down 11-13. Recek slammed a kill out of system to pull within one of the Tiger lead, down 17-18. Brauneis served up an ace to tie the stanza, 19-all, and Mann swiped an overpass kill to take a 20-19 lead. Out of the Tiger timeout, LSU scored five straight to get to set point, 24-20, and the Purple and Gold took the opening frame, 25-22.
     
    An ace by Unroe started things off strong for the Gators but LSU quickly jumped out to a 7-4 lead. Florida pushed back and pulled within one, down 7-8, with a Mann-Wiggs stuff block. A solo roof by Berkley Whaley (St. Petersburg, Fla.) kept things tight, down 9-10. A Wiggs kill and ensuing Smith-Whaley block tied the set at 16-all. The Gators kept charging to the end, reaching the double-decade mark after an LSU attacking error, 20-17. The Tigers pulled within one of the Gator advantage, 23-22, but an LSU service error gave set point to the Orange and Blue, 24-22. A Mann solo stuff tilted the frame in Florida’s favor, 25-22.
     
    The Gators raced out of the gate in the third frame, jumping out to a 10-1 lead thanks to strong defense at the net and in the back court. A Brauneis-Smith stuff block at 6-1 kept a large Gator lead and back-to-back kills by Recek put Florida ahead, 9-1. A Mann slam out of the middle extended the advantage to 10, 13-3. Kills by Wiggs and Recek pushed the Gator lead to a dozen, 15-3, and Florida kept rolling, as a Smith overpass kill put UF at the double-decade mark, 20-6. A Recek slam after a long rally got the Gators within two of the set, 23-11, and a Mann kill off the quick gave Florida set point, 24-11. A Tiger attacking error put the set in the Gators’ hands, 25-11.
     
    The Gators jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the fourth, using kills by Smith, Recek and two from Whaley to get ahead. A Pole ace kept Florida out in front, 6-1, and a Mann-Wiggs stuff block got the Gators in double figures, 10-7. Pole served up another ace out of the LSU timeout at 14-9 and a Smith overpass kill gave Florida a six-point lead, 15-9. The Gators continued to roll, using phenomenal back row defense from Madison Monserez (Orlando, Fla.), Pole and Unroe to keep rallies alive. A Mann-Wiggs block put UF at the double-decade mark, 20-11, and a Recek service ace got the Gators within three of the match, 22-13. Two Mann-Wiggs roofs in the final three points sealed the set and match victory for the Orange and Blue, 25-13.
     
    The Gators will attempt to earn the SEC title outright on Sunday as they host the South Carolina Gamecocks on Florida’s Senior Day. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. ET and the Gators will honor seniors Betsy Smith, Sundai Weston and Tangerine Wiggs before the match on Sunday. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the match to support these seniors during their final introductions.



    Tennessee Rallies to Down Auburn


    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Led by a career-high tying 20 kills from senior Leslie Cikra, five Lady Vols recorded double-digit kills as the Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball team rallied past Auburn in five sets, 23-25, 25-20, 29-31, 25-19, 15-6, on Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
     
    The win gives the Lady Vols their 20th of the campaign - marking the 21st 20-win season in program history and 10th under head coach Rob Patrick. Tennessee is now 20-6 overall and 13-4 in Southeastern Conference play. Auburn falls to 17-10 overall and 8-9 in league action. The match also marked Patrick's 500th career match at Tennessee, as he now holds a career record of 340-160.
     
    "It has gone by really fast," said Patrick on his 500th career match. "I've had an incredible administration that's supported us and makes my job easy and then some absolutely incredible players that have put in a tremendous amount of work. Those are the things that I think of when you mention 500 matches. To be at a school like Tennessee and to be here that long, and to be wanted that long really means a lot to me."
     
    "I knew Auburn was going to be this good - they're one of the hottest teams in the SEC," Patrick said. "There isn't going to be a ball that's hit that they don't touch. That's the way they play. We just had to be able to be comfortable with that - knowing that we're going to get our shot to get a kill. Our servers did a wonderful job staying with the serve and hitting the zones we were calling and finally in the fourth and fifth set we were able to be effective with it."
     
    Cikra led the charge with 20 kills and a stellar .425 attacking percentage. She put down half of her 40 swings and committed just three attack errors. Junior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson had 15 kills and 13 digs for her SEC-leading 19th double-double this season.
     
    Redshirt senior Kayla Jeter had 12 kills and 13 digs, while her classmate DeeDee Harrison added 11 putaways and six blocks, including a career-high tying three solo rejections. Sophomore Olivia Okoro tied a career high with 10 spikes and set a new career-best with a .471 attacking percentage.
     
    "Leslie did exactly what we needed her to do," Patrick said on the senior playing outside. "What I was really happy with was the errors. She made very few errors, made great swings, did the right things with the ball, played hard and put up a nice block. I couldn't be more excited for her because she's put in a lot of time and work."
     
    "I was really excited about Olivia's performance - it was very low-error hitting .471," said Patrick. "We needed a middle to get some kills for us and she did a great job in those two-hitter rotations that we were in. And also defensively she had five blocks and did a really nice job. She also served some nice balls for us so a really great all-around game. She's somebody that continues to improve and we're excited about the way she played tonight."
     
    It was the first time Tennessee had five players with double-digit kills in a single match since Dec. 2, 2011 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round matchup against Ohio State.
     
    The Big Orange's Mary Pollmiller added 59 assists and 11 digs to post Tennessee's third double-double of the match. On the defensive side, junior libero Ellen Mullins added 28 digs, while Bianca Arellano and Nikki Brice added nine and six scoops, respectively. Okoro also finished the match with five blocks.
     
    "Ellen was instrumental in us being able to play and sustain the Auburn onslaught," said Patrick. "She was able to really continue rallies and allow us to get more swings than we normally would have. The she passed a lot of balls and she did a really good job with that."
     
    The win improves Tennessee to 8-2 in five-set matches this season. The 10 five-setters ties a program-record with the 1991 season and the eight wins is not only the most in program history, but it's also more five-setters than the Lady Vols have played in 28 of the past 33 seasons.
     
    With four team blocks in the opening set, Auburn held the Lady Vols to a .105 attacking clip and handed UT its first loss in a set since losing the third at Florida (11/4). Tennessee held the early lead, but the Tigers used a 5-0 run to tie the match at 12 and would take their first lead of the match at 14-13. Later in the set, Arellano put the Lady Vols back on top with an ace at 19-17, but Auburn closed out the game on a 4-2 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-23 first-set victory.
     
    A closely contested second set consisted of 10 ties and three lead changes, but the Lady Vols were able to come out on top and tie the match with a 25-20 victory. Tennessee used a 7-1 run midway through the game and finished it on a 6-1 stretch. Mullins had seven digs in the second and Pollmiller dished out 14 helpers as the Big Orange posted a .381 attacking percentage in the second. The senior trio of Jeter, Cikra and Harrison combined for 13 kills in the set.
     
    Even tighter than the second frame, the third set consisted of 20 ties and 12 lead changes and had a combined seven set-point chances between the two sides. The teams traded points throughout the set until Auburn was able to finish out the thrilling third with a kill and block from Camila Jersonsky. The middle blocker combined on the block with teammate Chloe Rowand to win the set. Auburn's Sarah Bullock led the game with 10 kills. She finished with a match-high 24 kills.
     
    Tennessee went down early to start the fourth, but used an 8-1 and a 6-1 run to really swing the momentum. Cikra led the charge with six kills on 11 swings and only one error for a .455 hitting percentage and Robinson added four putaways. Pollmiller dished out 14 assists and led the Big Orange to a .350 attacking mark and a 25-19 win in the fourth set.
     
    UT carried the momentum into the fifth by jumping out to a 4-0 lead after consecutive service aces from Pollmiller. Auburn was able to cut the deficit to three points at 5-2, but behind Arellano's serve, the Lady Vols closed the match on a 6-1 run to defeat the Tigers 15-6 in the deciding set and seal the win.
     
    The Orange and White is back on the court at 1 p.m. on Sunday when it hosts LSU. The Lady Vols will hold Senior Day ceremonies for Cikra, Harrison, Jeter and Jasmine Brown prior to the contest.



    Texas A&M Claims SEC West


    COLLEGE STATION, Texas  - The Texas A&M volleyball team clinched at least a share of the SEC Western Division title with a 25-20, 18-25, 25-15, 25-15 win over Missouri Friday on Senior Night at Reed Arena.
    It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Aggies, who improve to 22-5 overall and 14-4 in the SEC with two matches remaining. Missouri falls to 18-10 overall and 9-8 in the SEC.
     
    A&M's five seniors, playing in their final regular season home match, led the Aggies to the victory on their special day. Alisia Kastmo tied her career high with 21 kills while hitting at a .317 clip and also tied her career high in aces with four. Tori Mellinger posted her team-leading 12th double-double of the season with 13 kills and 14 digs. Lindsey Miller also reached double figures in kills with 10 and hit .444, and Stephanie Minnerly led the Aggies in blocks with three. In addition, libero Megan Pendergast led all players with 17 digs.
     
    A&M jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the opening set and kept the lead for the remainder of the frame. The Aggies equaled their largest lead at 13-6, but the Tigers would chip away and get within 19-18 after scoring three unanswered points. Kastmo kept A&M in the lead with a kill, and Mellinger gave the Aggies a two-point cushion with a solo block.
     
    A&M held a 23-20 advantage when Mellinger hit through the seam in the block to put the Aggies at set point. Missouri standout Lisa Henning, who took 56 swings and tied Kastmo with 21 kills in the match, then hit long to give the Aggies the 25-20 win.
     
    A&M was flat in the second set, and Missouri used a 6-1 run to build a 22-16 lead. Mellinger put a kill down the Missouri block and the Tigers then hit into the net to put A&M within 22-18, but Missouri, which outhit the Aggies, .308 to .000, reeled off three consecutive points, including a triple block to close out the set and even the match.
     
    The Aggies regrouped during the break and jumped out to a 16-7 lead to begin the third set. Missouri, which was outhit, .464 to .194 in the set, got within 17-12 but could get no closer as the Aggies began to put the set out of reach. A&M held a 22-15 advantage when Mellinger put down and kill and Minnerly teamed with setter Allie Sawatzky for a block to put the Aggies at set point. Minnerly followed with a kill on the slide attack to clinch the win and give A&M a 2-1 lead in the match.
     
    A&M used a 5-0 run to jump out to an 8-4 lead in the fourth set, but Missouri would counter with a 6-1 rally to regain the lead at 10-9. A&M responded with a 7-0 run, which included three kills apiece by Kastmo and Mellinger, to put the Aggies ahead, 16-10. A&M later held a 20-12 lead when Missouri scored two points. After a kill by Miller ended the Tigers' run, Kastmo stepped to the service line and served three consecutive aces to put the Aggies at match point. Missouri was able to put Kastmo's fourth serve into play and later connected on a kill to stay alive, but their hopes of a comeback were dashed when they served long on the final play.
     
    A&M outhit Missouri .229 to .173 for the match, posting 59 kills to the Tigers' 43. Sawatzky moved into fourth in the A&M career records with 3,248 assists after dishing out 50 assists tonight to lead A&M to a 59-40 overall advantage, and the Aggies also led in aces (9-1), and digs (65-50), while Missouri, the SEC leader in blocks per set, outblocked A&M, 9.5 to 7.
     
    The Aggies conclude the regular season with a pair of road matches next week. A&M faces preseason SEC favorite Tennessee Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., and then closes out the schedule at Ole Miss, Friday at 7 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford, Miss.
     
    The 64-team NCAA Championship bracket will be announced Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. on ESPNU. 



    Razorbacks Beat UGA for 20th Win


    FAYETTEVILLE - For the first time since the 2005 season, the University of Arkansas volleyball team won its 20th match of the season with a four-set victory over Georgia (25-18, 19-25, 25-16, 25-16) Friday evening at Barnhill Arena. In the win, the Razorbacks registered a .370 hitting percentage behind four double-digit kill performances and a 52-assist night from Raymariely Santos.
     
    "I thought we played three unbelievable sets and credit to Georgia in the second set," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "You cannot just sit back against a team like that because they will take advantage of those opportunities. Credit to our team for responding after that second set and understanding that we are on a journey and that we have to take care of business."
     
    Jasmine Norton and Janeliss Torres-Lopez led all players with 15 kills each, while Amanda Anderson and Roslandy Acosta added 14 and 13 kills, respectively. In the middle, Torres-Lopez posted a .652 hitting percentage (15-0-23) and Anderson hit .600 (14-2-20). Norton completed her 14th double-double of the season with 13 digs. Libero Emily Helm had a team-high 15 digs and Monica Bollinger added 11 digs behind the block. Santos added nine digs and five kills to her effort against the Bulldogs.
     
    With the win, Arkansas (20-8, 11-6 SEC) completed the season sweep of the Bulldogs and improved to 18-9 all-time against Georgia. The team's 11 wins in Southeastern Conference play are a program high under Pulliza, surpassing the team's 10 league wins last season.
     
    After an even start between the teams, the Razorbacks used a four-point surge to take a 14-11 lead in the first set and force Georgia (13-14, 7-10 SEC) to call its first timeout of the match. The Bulldogs pulled to within two but out of a timeout, Arkansas re-established a four-point lead, 20-16, after a kill from Torres-Lopez. The home team won the last four points of the set and a kill Anderson closed out the opener in favor of the Razorbacks, 25-18. Torres-Lopez and Anderson combined for 12 kills in the first set.
     
    With the score tied early in the second set, Arkansas opened up a 12-9 lead with a quick push aided by a kill and service ace by Acosta. However, the visitors won 11 of the next 12 points to take control of the set. Bollinger stepped back to the service line to pick up two aces to get Arkansas back to within three points with Georgia leading, 20-17. The Bulldogs withstood the charge and evened the match with a 25-19 set win.
     
    Out of intermission, the Razorbacks jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set. Georgia fought back to within one but Arkansas reeled off three straight to secure a 10-6 lead and force a timeout from the visitors. The Razorbacks started to open their lead and with consecutive kills on the outside by Norton and Acosta, the home team took a 20-11 lead. Regaining her presence in the middle, Torres-Lopez put down the final three kills of the set.
     
    "It's awesome to see the seniors step up to the plate and turn the match around to bring it home on their senior weekend," Pulliza said. "We're not just talking about a senior night. We're talking about senior weekend and senior week, and taking advantage of every opportunity that we have to play in Barnhill Arena with the band and Razorback Nation. They embraced it when it counted today and got it done."
     
    The Bulldogs won four of the first six points of the fourth set before Arkansas responded with a run of points to go ahead 12-9 following a kill out of the middle by Anderson. Later in the set, the Razorbacks turned a two-point advantage into a 21-14 lead following a tandem block by Norton and Torres-Lopez. Arkansas closed out the match on a 9-2 run and on the team's second match point, Anderson put the ball down for the 3-1 match win. Santos directed the Razorbacks to a .643 hitting percentage in the final set.
     
    The Razorbacks close out their home schedule Sunday at Barnhill Arena against Ole Miss. First serve of the Western Division matchup is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CT). For more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also follow Arkansas volleyball through the team's sport-specific RazorbackVB Facebook and Twitter pages.



    Ole Miss Wins Rivalry Match at Mississippi State


    STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Ole Miss volleyball team hit at a season-high attacking percentage of .411, and defeated intrastate rival Mississippi State 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-14) on the road Friday night.
     
    The win gives Ole Miss (11-15, 5-12 Southeastern Conference) the season sweep over the Bulldogs (4-22, 0-17 SEC) for the second time in three years. Ole Miss defeated the Bulldogs 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-23, 25-12) on Sept. 21. Ole Miss has now won four of its last five matches against Mississippi State in Starkville.
     
    “Our team came out and executed a good game plan, and I’m really proud of the way they stay focused the whole match,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “We only had five errors on the evening. Our players have really been working hard in practice and it’s nice to see it show up in matches.”
     
    Freshman middle blocker Nakeyta Clair continued her hot play of late, finishing with a team-high 11 kills, zero errors and six total blocks. Clair has now finished with double-digit kills in three of the last five matches. Senior right side Allegra Wells finished with 10 kills and zero errors. It was the 11th match this season for Wells with double-digit kills. 
     
    Senior setter Amanda Philpot flirted with another triple-double Friday night, finishing with 28 assists, nine kills and eight digs. Philpot also tied a season-high with three service aces. Senior libero Ashley Veach had a team-high tying 10 digs for the Rebels while also passing out a career-high tying nine assists. Junior outside hitter Kara Morgan had seven kills and a team-high tying 10 digs.
     
    Ole Miss jumped out to an early lead in the first set, scoring the match’s first four points, including back-to-back service aces from Philpot. Philpot filled up the box score in the match’s opening frame, recording three kills, nine assists, two digs and three service aces. The two teams shared three ties in the first set, but the Rebels never trailed, winning the set 25-20 while finishing with an attacking percentage of .371.
     
    The Rebels stayed hot again in the second set, winning 25-21, trailing once by just a single point. Ole Miss was led in the set by strong performances from Wells and Clair. Combined, the duo had nine kills in the second game on just 12 attempts with zero errors. As a team, Ole Miss hit at a .455 clip in the second set.
     
    Ole Miss hit at a .407 clip in the third set and again never trailed, winning the set to close out the match 25-14. Philpot led the Rebels in the third game with four kills and seven assists, while freshman middle blocker Ty Laporte had back-to-back service aces. Laporte finished the match with six kills.
     
    Ole Miss will now play at Arkansas (20-8, 11-6 SEC) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT. The Rebels fell to Arkansas 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 21-25, 13-25) in their first meeting Oct. 7. In that meeting, Ole Miss came out of the gates hot, winning the first set 25-22 as Philpot passed out 13 assists and Morgan had a team-high four kills in the opening frame. Arkansas responded in the next three sets, finishing the match with three players with double-digit kill totals. Philpot finished with a team-high 35 assists, Morgan had 14 kills and Whitney Craven had a team-high 12 digs. Arkansas checks in at No. 25 in the latest NCAA RPI, and is currently second in the SEC’s Western Division.



    Gamecocks Win Thriller in Tuscaloosa


    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A career outing from junior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin propelled South Carolina (17-13, 5-13 SEC) to a five-set victory at Alabama, taking the match 25-20, 25-12, 17-25, 20-25, 15-7 on Friday night at Foster Auditorium.
     
    Thévenin set four career bests in the match with 27 kills on 73 attempts, four solo blocks and six blocks overall. The four solo blocks also tied for the best in Gamecock history in a five-set contest. Thévenin also had 16 digs for her 11th double-double of the campaign. Freshman outside hitter Jenna Allen also posted career highs with 11 kills and 15 digs, her first double-double of the year. Senior setter Taylor Bruns made 64 assists and 15 digs and tied her season high with three block assists. Sophomore outside hitter Bethanie Thomas led all players with 25 digs, while junior libero Paige Wheeler also had 15. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Cara Howley tied a career best with five block assists.
     
    Kayla Fitterer led Alabama with 26 kills on 82 swings and posted 12 digs, while Laura Steiner added 13 kills. Cristina Arenas had 22 digs, and Kryssi Daniels added 19 with a match-best three aces. Sierra Wilson made 47 assists and 14 digs, while Kelsey Melito added 10. Kanesha Burch had five blocks.
     
    The Gamecocks started the first strong and claimed the set 25-20. A 6-0 start for South Carolina came on three blocks, two solos and an assisted block by Thévenin. Alabama drew within two at 9-7, but the Gamecocks stretched the lead back to 18-13 with a four-point stand, the last three all kills from Thévenin. Howley closed the set with a bump over that Alabama could not keep off the floor due to miscommunication. Thévenin had 10.5 points in the frame with eight kills and the opening sequence of blocks, while Allen tallied five digs.
     
    South Carolina kept the roll going in the second set, winning it 25-12. Alabama burned both timeouts by the 11-3 mark, which saw junior middle blocker Megan Kent post two kills and a block assist in the stretch. Alabama got as close as five, but the Gamecocks ripped off a five-point run that made it 20-9, capped by a Bruns dump. Allen closed the frame with her kill off the Crimson Tide block. Thomas had 10 digs in the second set, while the Gamecocks hit .412 in the frame.
     
    Alabama rebounded in the third to take the set 25-17. The Crimson Tide defense did most of the work, posting six blocks and holding the Gamecocks to a -.024 hitting percentage. A five-point stand that made it 16-8 gave Alabama its largest lead until the end, with three blocks coming in the stretch, a solo for both Andrea McQuaid and Burch as well as a combo block between the two. Fitterer ended the frame with her ninth kill in it.
     
    The Crimson Tide kept the momentum going in the fourth set and held off comeback bids by the Gamecocks to force the fifth set, 25-20. A 7-0 Alabama lead got whittled to three after a five-point Gamecock run at 12-9, with Thévenin posting three points in the stand. Alabama slowly built the lead back out to eight and got to set point before South Carolina fought back. The Gamecocks fended off four set points, but McQuaid wrapped it on the fifth with a kill down the line.
     
    South Carolina posted a 5-0 lead in the fifth behind a block assist and a kill from Thévenin. That lead grew to 8-2 after another Thévenin kill, a Howley ace and a block from Bruns and Kent, and a three-point run with two Allen kills made it 12-4. The Gamecocks finished it on Thévenin's back-row cross-court kill, the 27th of the night for the Belgian junior. The Gamecocks held Alabama to a -.083 hitting percentage in the final frame. Thévenin had five kills and Allen three in the fifth.
     
    The Gamecocks won every stat category except aces, which went to the Crimson Tide 5-2. South Carolina improved to 3-0 in five-set matches on the season, and the win pushed the Gamecocks into a guaranteed winning record for the year.
     
    South Carolina wraps up the 2012 road schedule with a 1:30 p.m. contest at No. 16 Florida on Sunday. Fans with Sun Sports on cable or satellite can watch the match live.