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    SEC Volleyball Today: Friday, Sept. 13

    FRIDAY VOLEYBALL RESULTS
    South Carolina 3, Utah State 1
    South Carolina 3, Liberty 0
    Missouri 3, N.C. State 0
    Missouri 3, Rice 0
    Ole Miss 3, Grambling 0
    Ole Miss 3, Stephen F. Austin 0
    Alabama 3, Nicholls State 0
    Alabama 3, Arkansas State 0
    Mississippi State 3, Niagara 0
    Mississippi State 3, Wofford 1
    Auburn 3, Oakland 0
    Pepperdine 3, Kentucky 0
    Florida 3, Georgetown 0
    Georgia 3, North Florida 1
    Arkansas 3, Tulsa 1
    Wichita State 3, Tennessee 0
    LSU 3, Miami 2
    Michigan 3, Texas A&M 2

     

    Gamecocks Top Utah State In Four Sets

    DURHAM, N.C. -- Senior Juliette Thévenin and sophomore Darian Dozier tallied 14 kills apiece, and sophomore setter Kellie McNeil recorded her second double-double of the season to help lead South Carolina to a 3-1 victory over Utah State by the scores of 16-25, 25-22, 25-20 and 25-19 on Friday in the Duke Invitational at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

    With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 4-3 on the season. Utah State drops to 5-3 with the loss.

    South Carolina outhit Utah State .174 to .145 and held a 57-45 advantage in kills. Dozier, whose kill total is a career high, led the way, hitting .407 for the match. She also recorded four blocks and four digs. McNeil finished the day with 46 assists, 11 digs, five kills and three blocks. In her first collegiate action, freshman Jacqy Angermiller hit .368 to record eight kills and was a force at the net with four blocks. Sophomore Sarah Blomgren and freshman KoKo Atoa-Williams added seven and six kills, respectively, while junior libero Michaela Christiaansen tallied a match-high 20 digs.

    Junior outside hitter Rachel Orr led the Aggies with 13 kills, while Elle Brainard and Kaitlyn VanHoff added 11 apiece. Utah State setter Erica Moscoso dished out 40 assists, and Tumua Etimani and Ashlan Rogers finished with 18 digs each.

    The Gamecocks fell behind in the first set, trailing 7-2 early on. Carolina went on a 6-3 run to trim Utah State's lead to two points, but the Aggies went on to outhit the Gamecocks .379 to .062 to win the set 25-16.

    South Carolina shook off the rough start and came out strong in the second set, building an 11-5 lead behind four blocks, including two block assists and a solo block by Blomgren and a pair of block assists from Angermiller. The Aggies answered with an 11-5 run capped by a Kaitlyn Vanhoff kill to tie the match at 16-16. After two more ties, the Gamecocks took the lead for good at 19-18 on a kill by Dozier. Angermiller finished off the set with a kill to give South Carolina a 25-22 win to even the match.

    Utah State had control of the third set early, building a 12-6 lead behind four kills by Orr. The Aggies pushed their lead to 15-8 before South Carolina began chipping away. The Gamecocks went on a 5-0 run behind a pair of kills by Thévenin to pull to within 15-13. After the Aggies went back in front by four at 17-13 on a kill by Etimani, South Carolina went on a 6-2 run to tie the match at 19-19 capped by an Atoa-Williams kill. A VanHoff kills pushed the Aggies back in front, 20-19, but the Gamecocks closed out the set on a 6-0 run to win 25-20.

    The fourth set went back and forth early, with the Gamecocks holding an 8-7 lead. However, South Carolina took control, as a kill by Atoa-Williams sparked a 5-1 run to give her squad a 13-8 advantage. The Gamecocks extended their lead to nine points at 24-15 later in the frame before the Aggies went on a 4-0 run to pull to within five. But Dozier clinched the match for South Carolina with her 14th kill.

    The Gamecocks return to action later today in a match with Liberty. First serve is set for 5 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

    Gamecocks Sweep Liberty at Duke Invitational

    DURHAM, N.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team picked up its second win on Friday at the Duke Invitational as it swept Liberty by the scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-21 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

    With the victory, the Gamecocks, who defeated Utah State earlier in the day, improve to 5-3 on the season and will play host Duke on Saturday for the tournament title. Liberty drops to 1-8 with the loss.

    After falling in three close matches a week ago, South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson was pleased with his team’s response on Friday.

    “I was very impressed with our mentality,” Swanson said. “We are looking really good in spurts. We are still not as consistent as we’d like to be, but I feel like these wins are a big confidence booster for us. Last weekend was a little rough on our confidence. It was a great start for us, and we have a really tough test tomorrow against Duke.”

    Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin led the way with her second double-double of the season, recording a match-high 16 kills and 14 digs. Freshman KoKo Atoa-Williams chipped in nine kills, while sophomore Darian Dozier and freshman Jacqy Angermiller added eight kills apiece. Dozier and Angermiller also had five and four blocks, respectively. Sophomore setter Kellie McNeil finished with 37 assists, four kills and four blocks. Senior Lindsey Craft (14), junior libero Michaela Christiaansen (12) and freshman Gabrielle Rubeis (11) all finished with double digits in digs. As a team, South Carolina outhit the Flames .254-.110.

    Senior outside hitter Lillie Happel paced the Flames with 12 kills, while Nzea Mcquitery finished with eight. Senior setter Jade Craycraft distributed 27 assists and tallied four blocks, while Becca Haraf led Liberty in digs with 10.

    The Gamecocks were zoned in early in the first set as they built a 5-1 lead, but Liberty caught fire and came back with a 14-5 run to take a 15-10 lead. Following a timeout, South Carolina refocused, and a kill by Dozier sparked a 10-1 run that gave the Gamecocks a 20-16 lead. The Gamecocks went on to win the set 25-19, outhitting the Flames .238-.091.

    The roles were reversed to start the second set, as Liberty jumped out to an early 5-2 lead. The Gamecocks came back to tie the match at 5-5 on a kill by Atoa-Williams, one of seven ties in the set. The Flames led 12-11 midway through the set after a kill by Mcquitery. However, South Carolina responded with a 6-2 run to take a 17-14 lead capped by a McNeil ace that was untouched. Liberty pulled to within one point on four occasions the rest of the way, with the last being at 20-19, but the Gamecocks outscored the Flames 5-2 down the stretch to win the set. South Carolina outhit Liberty .333-.242 for the frame.

    South Carolina seemed to be in control of the third set as it built a 9-3 lead, but the Flames would not go down without a fight as they went on an 8-2 run to tie the match at 11-11. The Gamecocks fired back with a 9-3 run capped by a Thévenin kill that gave the team a 20-14 lead. Liberty made one last push as it pulled to within 20-19 on a Gamecock attack error. However, South Carolina outscored the Flames 5-2 the rest of the way to win the set and complete the sweep.

    The Gamecocks will wrap up play in the Duke Invitational on Saturday with a matchup against the host Blue Devils. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
     


     

    Mizzou Sweeps NC State, Moves to 9-0

    HOUSTON, Texas – The Mizzou volleyball team won its first match of the Rice Invitational over NC State, 3-0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-17), on Friday afternoon (Sept. 13) as it improved to 9-0 on the season. The win over NC State is Mizzou’s fourth this year over teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2012. Mizzou’s offense again, behind the setting of senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.), was firing on all cylinders with 47 kills in just three sets (15.67 per set). All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led Mizzou with 16 kills on .303 hitting.

    The turning point of the match came in the second set as Mizzou made a variety of hustle plays, which was evident as Mizzou had a season-high 56 digs in the three sets, to rally from down 15-8 and 24-21 to take the second frame, 27-25.

    “I was pleased with the way that we came back in the second set – it showed a lot of fight to be able to battle back,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “That doesn’t happen unless we practice hard every day and matches and sets like that are won on Tuesday and Wednesday in practice when it gets to be a grind. We made a lot of hustle plays that really tilted the momentum to our side of the net. Now we have a very good Rice team to play tonight.”

    Aside from Henning’s 16 kills, the Tigers also got a big performance from junior outside Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) who tallied 10 kills on .346 hitting. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Haw.) just missed a double-double with nine kills and 15 digs and the middle hitting duo of Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) and Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) combined for nine kills and 13 total blocks. Defensively, Mizzou limited NC State to just .109 hitting and pulled in a season-best 56 digs, led by 18 from libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.). Kreklow led Mizzou with 42 assists on 47 Tiger kills, good for 14 per set, ahead of her national-leading 12.85 average heading into the match.

    The first set began with a lot of long rallies and things stayed tight as both teams played scrappy defense until Mizzou opened up a 12-10 lead on back-to-back kills by Thater and Wilson. Neither team built more than a two-point lead until Kan tallied a kill down the line and then teamed with Thater for a stuff block in front of an NC State attack error as Mizzou opened an 18-15 lead, forcing a Wolfpack timeout.

    Following that stoppage, Mizzou won four of the next five points, with the only NC State point being a Meister service error, as Mizzou started to find its groove, opening a 22-16 lead, forcing another NC State timeout. The Tigers then closed out the set with a 25-20 win. Kreklow assisted on 14 of 16 Tiger kills in the first as Henning led the way with six kills. Mizzou had 25 digs in the first set, highlighted by nine from Meister.

    NC State jumped all over Mizzou to start the second set, opening a 15-8 lead, but the Tigers countered with a 4-0 run to cut the lead to 15-12, forcing an NC State stoppage. That ended up being part of a 7-1 run by the Tigers as they closed the gap to 16-15. NC State kept its lead until an attack error tied the set at 20-20. NC State then rallied to take a 24-21 lead, but Mizzou fended off three set points and tied the set at 24-24 after a kill from Little. Mizzou then kept its momentum and took a 27-25 set win after an NC State attack error. Henning had six kills on .308 hitting in the second while Wilson added four as Mizzou finished with 15 kills in the frame, 14 of which were assisted by Kreklow.

    The Tigers carried the momentum from set two into the third and opened an 8-5 lead and ran that advantage to 12-7 after an ace by freshman Loxley Keala (Honolulu, Haw.). Mizzou then won a wild point thanks to a diving save by Kan and opened a 14-8 lead and that was more than enough for Mizzou as it ran away with the final frame, claiming a 25-17 set win

    The Tigers will play Rice later this evening at 7:30 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.

    Mizzou Improves to 10-0 with Sweep of Rice

    HOUSTON, Texas – The Mizzou volleyball program improved to 10-0 after defeating Conference USA favorite Rice, 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-13), on Friday night (Sept. 13) in its second match of the Rice Invitational. The win was the second of the day for the Tigers who rode another dominating offensive performance to the sweep. In fact, Mizzou hit .411 in the three-setter while limiting Rice to .092 hitting. Senior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led Mizzou with 13 kills on .458 hitting in the win.

    “We knew coming in that today was going to be a tough day having to play two very good teams, but I thought our kids handled it very well,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “Rice was picked to win their league this season, so to come in here and play as well as we did says a lot about how our team prepared all week. We have an early match tomorrow against Houston Baptist, so we’ll get ready for that one.”

    Henning’s performance was aided by the setting of senior Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) who anchored a potent Mizzou offense all night as she spread 36 assists on 46 Tiger kills while guiding the team to .411 hitting, its ninth match this season hitting better than .300. Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) also posted double-digit kills with 10 on .292 hitting in the win. Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) continued her fine play as of late with seven kills on .316 hitting and Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) added six kills on just nine errorless attacks. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led Mizzou with 11 digs and Kreklow tallied her third double-double of the season while adding 10 digs to her 36 assists.

    Mizzou picked up right where it left off against NC State earlier in the day, jumping all over Rice to take a 7-2 lead in set one, forcing an Owl timeout as Wilson and freshman Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) each tallied a pair of kills in that span. Rice rallied to cut the lead to just two, but Mizzou reopened a five-point lead at 16-11. Mizzou used its block down the stretch and closed it out with a 25-16 set win. Mizzou hit .345 in the first set, highlighted by four kills from Wilson. The Tigers held Rice to .027 hitting with five total blocks in the first set.

    After a tough first set, Henning came out firing in the second and got Mizzou out to a 7-4 lead with four kills early in the frame. The Tigers kept the foot on the gas and opened a 14-6 lead after a kill from Kan on an out-of-system swing from way off the net that she drove into the middle-back part of the floor. But the story of the second set was Henning, who had seven kills in the frame as Mizzou claimed a 25-15 win, taking a 2-0 break into intermission. Mizzou hit .429 in the second and nearly went the entire set without an attack error until Kan put an out-of-system swing into the net on set point. Henning and Kan each led Mizzou with eight kills  through two sets.

    The Tigers picked up right where they left off in the third, opening an 8-3 lead and they did not look back, claiming the third, 25-13, to move to 10-0. The Tigers will play Houston Baptist tomorrow at 11 a.m. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.
     

     


     

    Rebels Wallop Tigers In Opening Match Of TCU Invitational

    FORT WORTH, Texas – Ole Miss (5-2) hit at a season-best .419 attacking percentage and cruised to a 3-0 (25-6, 25-12, 25-15) victory over Grambling State (2-8) in the opening match of the TCU Nike/Molten Invitational at the University Rec. Center on the campus of TCU.

    Ole Miss’ .419 attack percentage is its second highest in the rally scoring era, and is its highest since hitting .430 against Boise State on Aug. 31, 2002.

    “It was a good start to the tournament, and hopefully we can keep it going for this afternoon’s match,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said.

    Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair and senior outside hitter Kara Morgan each had eight kills for the Rebels. One match after tying the single-match program record with nine block assists, Clair had a team-high five block assists Friday against the Tigers. Freshman setter Aubrey Edie had a match-high 18 assists and freshman libero had seven digs.

    Ole Miss took control of the opening set from the first serve. The Rebels scored each of the first five points and 12 of the first 15 points to take a 12-3 lead. Leading 14-5, Ole Miss churned out a nine-point run to take a 22-5 lead and won the set 25-6. Ole Miss hit .588 as a team, and was led offensively by Clair and fellow sophomore middle blocker Ty Laporte, who each had four kills on four attempts.

    A balanced attack in the second set, and a pair of five-point runs, led the Rebels to a 25-12 victory. Ole Miss hit .579 as a team in the second set, and was led by a set-high five kills from Morgan. Edie paced the attack in the second set with 10 assists.

    The Rebels closed out the match in the third set with a 25-15 win. Freshman setter Laura Beaty had two service aces, two kills and nine assists in the set to lead the Rebels’ attack.

    Ole Miss will close out its Friday doubleheader at 5:00 p.m. CT against Stephen F. Austin. The Rebels will then play Houston at 12:00 p.m. CT Saturday, followed by a match against tournament-host TCU at 7:30 p.m. CT.

    Morgan Leads Rebels To Sweep Of SFA

    FORT WORTH, Texas – Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan recorded 14 kills on a .520 hitting percentage, and Ole Miss (6-2) swept Stephen F. Austin 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-15) on Friday afternoon at the TCU Nike/Molten Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

    One match after hitting .419 in a 3-0 sweep of Grambling State, the Rebel attack again hit at an efficient rate, accumulating a .425 attacking percentage. The Rebels’ attacking percentage is its highest since Aug. 31, 2002 when they hit .430 against Boise State.

    “We saw some improvement again this afternoon, which is always good,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “We’re starting to hit our offensive rhythm a little bit.”

    Morgan led the Rebels’ attack with a season-high 14 kills and just one error while also recording four assists, five digs and one service ace. It is Morgan’s highest kill total since hammering down 16 kills against Texas A&M on Nov. 23, 2012. Despite her performance, Morgan deflected the attention away from herself after the match and toward her team’s victory.

    “It really doesn’t matter about my performance,” Morgan said. “What matters is how the team played, and we came out with the win. It was huge for us coming off of last weekend losing one game and going 2-1. Coming into this tournament 2-0 already is such a good stride for us.”

    Freshman setter Aubrey Edie had a match-high 33 assists, and junior defensive specialist Cara Fisher had a team-high seven digs. Sophomore middle blockers Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte each had strong matches as well, recording five and eight kills, respectively, while each hitting over .400.

    After a back-and-forth start to the match, Ole Miss went on a 5-0 run to take an 11-6 lead in the opening set and never looked back. The Rebels led by at least four points for the remainder of the set and pushed their lead to as many as eight points on three separate occasions. Laporte led the way for the Rebels with five kills on six attempts, and Edie passed out 11 assists as Ole Miss hit at a .424 clip.

    After another tight beginning, the Rebels surged ahead in the second set with a 9-2 run that gave them a 16-9 lead and forced the Ladyjacks (6-4) into using their final timeout of the set. Ole Miss would go on to win the set by a count of 25-17, seven kills from Morgan, 11 more assists from Edie and a .323 team hitting percentage.

    Ole Miss continued its strong play against the Ladyjacks in the third set, and went on a 5-1 run to take an 11-7 lead and prompt a timeout by SFA. The Rebels then stretched their four-point lead to six at 19-13, and SFA used its final timeout. Ole Miss closed the match on a 6-2 run and won the final set 25-15.

    Ole Miss will play another doubleheader Saturday when it faces Houston at 12:00 p.m. CT and tournament-host TCU at 7:30 p.m. CT.

    “They’re both very good teams,” said Getzin about Houston and TCU. “Right now, at this time of the year, it’s really about what we’re doing on our side of the net. We’re pretty focused on cleaning up our side, and we did a great job serving. We have to keep that up for tomorrow.”
     


     

    Alabama Cruises Past Nicholls State to Open Hampton Inn Bama Bash
     

    TUSCALOOSA, ALA. - In their opening match of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, the Alabama volleyball team made quick work of the Nicholls State Colonels, posting a 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-7) victory in just 1:13 minutes. Leading the way for Alabama was Laura Steiner, who had a match-high 11 kills on 15 attempts with no hitting errors for a .733 hitting percentage.

    Alabama improves to 5-2 on the season, while NSU drops to 2-5. The Tide continues action in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash later today with a 7 p.m. CT match against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Foster Auditorium.

    The Tide posted a .514 hitting percentage in the match, posting 42 kills while committing just six attacking errors in the three sets. Alabama held Nicholls State to a .120 hitting percentage, including a -.043 mark in the third set, and recorded four blocks in the match.

    Krystal Rivers had another outstanding match for the Tide as she finished the three-set match with 10 kills on 13 attempts with one error for a .692 hitting percentage. Fellow middle blocker Katherine White added six kills on eight swings for a .750 mark, as the two middle blockers combined for 16 kills and one error on 21 attempts.

    Sierra Wilson hit .750 (3-0/4) and dished out a match-high 35 assists. Kryssi Daniels and Bria Green led the Tide with seven digs each and White posted a match-high three block assists. Brittany Thomas chipped in with seven kills, five digs and two aces and Mattie Weldy had four kills and a pair of aces.

    Bama won the opening set 25-16 as Steiner paced the Tide with five kills in the set, leading the squad to a .476 hitting percentage. Leading 13-11, Alabama went on a 9-1 run to extend its lead to 22-12, before closing out the set with a nine-point margin.

    With the score tied at 7-7 in the second set, Alabama went on a 9-2 run to open a commanding 16-10 lead, before closing the set with a 25-18 win. In the set, Rivers and Weldy led the way with four kills each.

    In the deciding set, Alabama cruised to a 25-7 win and hit .652 to close out the Colonels in straight sets. Alabama got four kills from Steiner and three kills each from Wilson, Thomas and White in the set. Alabama had 16 kills and one error on 23 attempts in the third set.

    Alabama Volleyball Defeats Arkansas State in Straight Sets

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Laura Steiner posted a match-high 12 kills and a .556 hitting percentage to lead the Alabama volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-23) win over the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Friday night in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash. With the win, Alabama improves to 2-0 in the tournament and 6-2 on the season, while Arkansas State drops to 2-7 overall and 1-1 in the event.

    Following a match-high 11 kills in the morning win over Nicholls State (3-0), Steiner capped the first day of the tournament with 12 kills on 18 attempts with two errors. Stenier was joined in double figures in kills by Brittany Thomas, as the freshman had 10 kills to go along with eight digs and a pair of aces.

    Sierra Wilson dished out 37 assists, as Krystal Rivers had eight kills and Katherine White added seven. Rivers did not have an error on 14 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage and White finished the match with a .545 hitting percentage, with one error on 11 attempts.

    Four Alabama players combined for eight aces, as Wilson had a season-high three, Thomas and Caitlin Bernardin had two and Kelsey Melito added one. Kryssi Daniels had a match-high 13 digs.

    The Tide finished the match with a .368 hitting percentage, converting 40 kills on 87 attempts with eight errors. Defensively, Alabama held ASU to a .185 hitting percentage and both teams finished the match with two blocks.  

    After the opening set was tied at 3-3, Alabama went on a 7-1 run to open a 10-4 advantage, before cruising to a 25-14 win to start the match. In the opening set, Alabama hit .385 as Steiner and Thomas led the way with four kills each.

    Six of the Tide’s eight aces came in the second set, as Alabama ran away with a 25-12 win in the middle frame. With the Tide leading 15-10, Alabama outscored the Red Wolves 10-2 to close out the set for a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

    The Red Wolves came out of the intermission with a sense of urgency and opened a 7-4 lead to start the third set. A 5-2 Alabama run was capped by a Thomas kill, giving the Tide a 9-8 lead. UA led 16-12 following a kill by Steiner, but a 3-0 run by ASU cut the Tide advantage to one. Alabama regained its four-point lead (20-16), but ASU got within one at 22-21 and 24-23, before a service error by ASU gave the Tide its final point of the set for a 25-23 victory and a straight sets win.   

    The Tide continues action in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash on Saturday at Foster Auditorium with matches against South Alabama (11:30 am) and UT-Martin (7 p.m.).
     

     




    Bulldogs Take A Pair Of Matches From Niagara And Wofford

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Friday the 13th proved to be no problem for the Mississippi State volleyball team (5-4) as is picked up a sweep against Niagara (0-7) and a 3-1 win against Wofford (2-5) during the opening day of the Bulldog Invitational.

    In the first match of the afternoon, Niagara jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first set but MSU claimed 22 of the next 27 points to take a commanding 25-13 victory. Freshman Chelsea Duhs led the way with six of her nine kills in the set.

    The second set was no different as NU managed to keep to the match tied until it reached five all. State rattled off another run – this time 6-0 – to take an 11-5 advantage. The Purple Eagles struggled to keep up and eventually fell 25-17.

    MSU could never put a run together in the third set but managed to hold momentum throughout for a 25-21 victory. Senior Dani McCree notched five of her season-high 11 kills in the set.

    Freshman Kimmy Gardiner recorded yet another double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs. Roxanne McVey also chipped in 22 digs, while Suzanne Horner added 27 assists.

    Kaitlyn Schoeppner, Kelsey Stommes and Katlyn Mataya all made their career debuts on the afternoon.

    The Bulldogs’ pace fell off early in the second match of the day as Wofford stole the first set 25-23. MSU fell behind from the first point of the game and good never regain traction. The Terriers largest lead came at 6-3 and State managed to tie it at 16. Wofford pulled ahead for good soon thereafter.

    Mississippi State reset the tone of the match in the second set. After back-to-back points from Wofford out a timeout to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 14-13, MSU used a Duhs kill to ignite an 11-0 run and won the second set 25-13.

    State thwarted a comeback attempt by the Terriers in the third set and wasted no time in the fifth with a dominating 25-8 victory.

    Gardiner once again notched a double-double, her SEC-leading sixth-straight. Taylor Scott also recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 14 digs.

    Duhs posted a career-high 16 kills, while Horner added 44 assists. McVey also tacked on 27 digs.

    The Bulldogs return to action Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against Wofford followed by a 6:30 p.m. matchup with Niagara.

    Admission to all volleyball matches is free. Schedule posters and cards will also be available at each of this weekend’s matches.

     




    Auburn Volleyball Races Past Oakland, 3-0

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Auburn's volleyball team got one of its best offensive performances of the season and raced to a 3-0 victory (25-8, 27-25, 25-17) over Oakland on Friday afternoon in the Shamrock Invitational.

    Auburn (8-1) doubled up the Grizzlies (4-5) in kills, 50-25, and hit .384 to Oakland’s .082. Aggressive play in the service game in sets one and three allowed the Tigers to pull away early and get numerous easy, in-system kills.

    “I thought it came down to serving,” Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. “We did a really good job in the first game of taking them out of their offense; we got a really long run there with Chelsea (Wintzinger) serving. Game two, we missed quite a bit. But with those misses, we weren’t as aggressive. But we got back to being more aggressive in game three and took advantage of getting them out of system and doing some things we wanted to do offensively. We had a chance to run more free-ball offense when we were more aggressive, and a lot of that comes back to the position you put the other team in.”
     
    Camila Jersonsky had a team-best 12 kills, and Katherine Culwell picked up her fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 13 digs. Kathia Rud contributed nine kills to the effort, and Kia Bright turned in a seven-kill performance along with two solo blocks.

    Sarah Wroblicky led the defensive effort with 15 digs, and Chelsea Wintzinger contributed a match-high 27 assists along with two service aces.

    The Tigers led every statistical category in the match, including digs (46-24), blocks (4-2) and service aces (4-1). Oakland was led by right-side hitter Jessica Dood, who had nine kills on 14 attacks.

    Auburn went on an unprecedented run in the first set and sprinted to a 25-8 win, matching Auburn’s largest margin of victory in a single set in the 25-point rally scoring era. It was also the first time since the sideout scoring era ended that the Tigers had two consecutive sets in which they held an opponent to single-digits; Auburn won the third set at Jacksonville State 25-9 on Monday night. Auburn had taken a 9-7 lead early in the opening set, and then scored the next 14 straight points on Wintzinger’s serve to take a 23-7 lead. Oakland would stop the run with a kill, but the Tigers would get the next two to end the opening set on a 16-1 run, hitting .545 in the frame and holding Oakland to a minus-.143 mark.

    The second set saw Oakland find more of a rhythm while Auburn was unable to take the Grizzlies out of system as often. As a result, what was a 17-11 Auburn lead quickly vanished in a set that eventually had 11 ties and three lead changes. Oakland had two set point chances at 24-23 and 25-24, but Auburn kills both times kept the game alive. An Oakland error gave Auburn its first set point chance at 26-25, and a kill from Courtney McDonald put the game away at 27-25.

    Set three was much like the opening frame as Auburn pulled away early and finished off the sweep with a 25-17 win. The Tigers scored the first four points of the set and never trailed, leading by as many as eight points several times. Auburn got offense from all sides in the third as Jersonsky and Culwell had six kills apiece. In all, 20 of the Tigers’ 25 points came from kills in the final set.

    Auburn will play twice Saturday, taking on Loyola-Chicago at 9:30 a.m. before wrapping up the weekend against host Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m.
     




    No. 19 Kentucky Volleyball Drops 3-0 Decision to Pepperdine

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 19 University of Kentucky team suffered a 3-0 (24-26, 18-25, 23-25) loss to Pepperdine Friday evening in the Bluegrass Battle in Memorial Coliseum.

    The loss snapped Kentucky’s (5-3) five match winning streak and four straight home victories. The win marked the third sweep of the season for Pepperdine (5-2).

    The contest was the second match of the 2013 Bluegrass Battle, which featured a 3-0 victory by No. 4 Minnesota over Louisville in the opening game. The Wildcats and Golden Gophers square off tomorrow at 7 p.m., preceded by the Cardinals and Waves matchup at 5 p.m.

    “It was a disappointing performance, we didn’t come to play,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “Pepperdine had too many runs and didn’t allow us to get in a rhythm offensively, that was the difference in the match.”

    Junior Lauren O’Conner led UK with 11 kills for a team best .389 hitting clip. The outside hitter also led the squad with three blocks. Senior Whitney Billings produced seven kills and three service aces on the night, while Morgan Bergren dished out 32 assists.

    On the defensive, junior Jackie Napper had 11 digs, while Billings and freshman Anni Thomasson produced 10 apiece.

    “We just weren’t ready to go,” Skinner added. “We had the lead in game one, 16-12, and from that point on, weren’t focused, weren’t competing. Pepperdine did the right things to win the match. We didn’t play aggressive enough and Pepperdine did. To play good teams, you have to be aggressive enough, and we didn’t do that tonight.”

    Pepperdine rallied from a 16-12 deficit to claim a 26-24 opening set victory and a 1-0 lead in the match. The Waves accounted for 18 kills on .317 hitting in the stanza. UK put down 14 on a .205 clip. O’Conner led the way with a match-high six in the frame. Napper picked up six digs to lead the defensive effort for the Cats.

    The visitors opened up to a 5-0 lead in the second set and never trailed en route to a 25-18 win and a 2-0 advantage into the break. The Waves accounted for 14 kills on .423 hitting, while UK managed just nine hammers on .138 hitting. O’Conner and Morgan both had three kills in the set, while Thomasson had five digs.

    The third set began as a back-and-forth battle with neither team able to shake loose for more than a two-point edge. UK eventually claimed a 23-18 advantage, but Pepperdine would go on to score the next seven points to rally for the 3-0 victory and a 25-23 set score. Pepperdine had 12 kills on .176 hitting, but capitalized on UK’s errors. The Wildcats logged 11 kills on a .056 clip with Billings charting four of those kills. Pepperdine accounted for five blocks in the stanza including the match-clinching point.

    Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 13-14. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Seattle, Wash., from the Lexington Region. This marks the second time in three seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.
     




    No. 5 Gator Volleyball Gets Sweep of Georgetown to Open Active Ankle Challenge

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 5 University of Florida volleyball team took down the Georgetown Hoyas in straight sets (25-14, 25-14, 25-10) Friday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center to open the third annual Active Ankle Challenge. Friday night was Florida's fourth sweep of the year.

    Senior Chloe Mann led Florida with 11 kills and a career-high eight blocks for 16.0 points, turning in a .588 hitting percentage. The Gators recorded 13.5 team blocks, the most in a three-set match since Oct. 5, 2012 vs. Arkansas.
     




    Northcutt Leads Georgia to 3-1 Win Over North Florida

    ATHENS, Ga. – Brittany Northcutt picked up her second double-double in as many matches, as the Georgia volleyball team earned a 3-1 (25-23, 25-27, 25-13, 25-20) win over the North Florida Ospreys on Friday evening, Sept. 13, in front of over 2,000 fans at Stegeman Coliseum in the Benson’s Hospitality Invitational. With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 6-1 on the year, while North Florida falls to 3-5.

    Northcutt finished with a team-best 12 kills to go along with 15 digs in her double-double performance. Stacey Smith added 11 kills for the Bulldogs, followed by Lauren Teknipp who registered nine. Helping spark the Georgia offense were nine service aces, including a career-best five by Kaylee Kehoe. Kehoe also led the team with 23 assists. Elena Perri finished with a team-leading five blocks, followed by Tirah Le’au who added four. Allison Summers led the Bulldogs with 18 digs.

    “We had some jitters early in the match, but I think we were able to settle in and tighten up towards the end,” Head Coach Lizzy Stemke said. “Playing in this arena and in this type of environment is exciting and helps us prepare for the rest of the season. The turnaround is quick and it’s going to take some mental toughness to put this match away because we are expecting two competitive matches here tomorrow. When you play two matches in one day, you have to be able to adjust quickly from one opponent to the next. It will be a great test for this group, but it will also give the team an opportunity to push themselves to get better.”

    Georgia took an early 3-1 lead in the first set before North Florida tied the set at three on a block by Kelly Koop. The teams tied six teams before the Ospreys edged out to a 10-8 lead. North Florida maintained a slight lead until a block by Smith and Perri tied the set at 11. The score knotted five more times before a service error, a Kehoe ace and a ball handling error allowed the Bulldogs to pull ahead by three at 19-16. North Florida made it a 21-20 set before tying it up on a service ace. The score was tied at 22 and 23 before a back-to-back service aces by Chloe Buckendahl sealed the 25-23 set one win.

    Georgia opened up to a 7-4 lead in the second set with the help of a Northcutt service ace and kills by Le’au and Teknipp. With the Bulldogs holding a 15-12 lead, a UNF kill and service ace made it a one-point set at 15-14 and forced Georgia to use a timeout. The Ospreys strung together four-straight points to take an 18-16 lead. Kills by Northcutt and Teknipp ended the run and tied the set at 18. The teams tied six more times before a pair of blocks gave North Florida the 27-25 win in the second set.

    Using the serve of Kehoe and Northcutt, Georgia was able to jump out to an 11-3 lead in the third set, forcing North Florida to use both of its timeouts. North Florida made it a four-point set at 14-10, but Georgia continued to control the set, allowing the Ospreys to score just three more points. With the Bulldogs holding a 22-13 lead, a trio of errors by North Florida allowed the Bulldogs to take the third set by a score of 25-13.

    The dominance continued into the fourth and final set, as Georgia stormed out to a 10-4 lead with the help of kills by Le’au, Smith, Jasmine Eatmon and Teknipp. North Florida fought its way back, tying the set at 12 and 13 before a kill by Buckendahl sparked a 3-0 run that gave the Bulldogs a 16-13 advantage. North Florida made it a four-point set at 20-16 on a kill by Cameron McGuire. A Kehoe service ace gave the Bulldogs match point before Smith sealed the 25-20 set four win and the 3-1 victory with a kill.

    Georgia gets back in action tomorrow, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m., when it takes on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. The Bulldogs will close out the Benson’s Hospitality Invitational at 7 p.m., when they host UNC Greensboro.
     




    Santos Gets Triple-Double In Win At Tulsa

    TULSA, Okla. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team rallied from a set down to defeat Tulsa in four sets (14-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-18) Friday evening in Tulsa. Senior setter Raymariely Santos posted her first career triple-double performance to lead the Razorbacks while junior Meredith Hays had a match-high 21 kills and senior libero Emily Helm led all players with 21 digs. With the victory, Arkansas improves to 5-2 on the season.

    Santos finished the match with a career-high 13 kills, 26 assists and 11 digs to post the program’s first triple-double since the 2004 season. She becomes just the fourth player in program history to accomplish the feat, joining the short list that includes Jennifer Haaser, Tina Rico and Ning Zhao. Hays added 13 digs to complete her second double-double of the season, and now has at least 20 kills in three consecutive matches.

    The Razorbacks return to the Reynolds Center for two matches Saturday, the second day of the 2013 Golden Hurricane Classic. Arkansas will first face Northern Colorado at 10 a.m. (CT) before closing out its weekend with a 5 p.m. matchup against Texas State.

    After dropping the first set and trailing early in game two, the Razorbacks recovered to grab its first lead of the match at 6-5 with a service ace from Hays. The back-and-forth set was tied as late as 21-21 but Arkansas never gave up its lead. Aided by a pair of tandem blocks from Hays and sophomore Summer Morgan, the Razorbacks reeled off the final four points to clinch the game, 25-21, and pull even on the match scoreboard.

    Morgan tied her career high with six total blocks Friday against Tulsa. Offensively, the Springdale, Ark., native chipped in with seven kills with a .462 hitting percentage. Senior Hayley Koop and redshirt freshman Ana Sofia Jusino tallied nine and eight kills, respectively.

    Arkansas trailed by as many as four points in the third set, and as late as 16-12 which forced a timeout from head coach Robert Pulliza. The Razorbacks responded with four kills in a row, including a pair from Koop. The Golden Hurricane held steady and the teams traded points until the score was tied at 22-all. Tulsa went on to save one set point but on Arkansas’ second chance to clinch the game, Koop found a spot down the line to secure the set and give her team a lead in the match.

    The Razorbacks won the first three points of the fourth set and never trailed the rest of the way. Tulsa pulled even at 8-all but Arkansas won eight of the next 10 points to take a 17-11 lead after a kill from Hays. The team built a lead as high as seven and arrived at match point—24-17—on another Hays-Morgan block. The Golden Hurricane extended play with a sideout but Hays put away the final ball to clinch the win for the Razorbacks.
     




    Wichita State Tops UT, 3-0

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In the second meeting between the Wichita State Shockers and the Tennessee Lady Vols, the Shockers defeated UT (7-2) in straight sets, 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-13), on Friday at Thompson-Boling Arena to conclude the second night of the 2013 Comcast Lady Vol Classic.

    "I have to commend Wichita State," head coach Rob Patrick said. "They played a very clean, great match. They really controlled the ball well throughout the match. They have quite a few seniors and a lot of experience on the court."

    Senior Whitney Heeres , junior Carly Wishlow and freshman Ashley Mariani led the Lady Vols with seven kills apiece, while freshman Jamie Lea added four. Heeres hit at an even .300 clip. Sophomore Lexi Dempsey dished out 23 assists and added a team-leading eight digs.

    "We were struggling and I just needed to be able to be consistent and not make errors," Heeres said. "I was trying to bring energy to the court. The younger players are thinking about other things, so I wanted to bring a lot of talk so they could focus on the things they needed to focus on."

    "Whitney is a really consistent performer for us," Patrick said. "She keeps her errors at a low level. That's her job. It's not about how many kills she has, but reducing her errors and trying to put the team in a tough situation. She did that today. We needed a little more consistency all the way around, but she did a nice job."

    Wichita State (7-1) forced eight Lady Vol errors and held UT to a .103 hitting percentage in the opening game, as the Shockers went on to take a 1-0 lead with a 25-16 win. Wishlow put down four kills during the set, while Lea added three for the Lady Vols.

    The Shockers used accuracy to take a 17-7 advantage in the second stanza and went into the break with a 2-0 lead after a 25-12 victory in the set.

    Tennessee battled back in the third set, tying with Wichita State at 4-4 before the Shockers went on a 4-0 run. WSU would end the set on an 8-0 run to take the game, 25--13, and match, 3-0.

    Wichita State shutout ETSU, 3-0, in the first match on Friday. VCU defeated Austin Peay, 3-0, and ETSU had a 3-1 victory over Austin Peay.

    Comcast Lady Vol Classic action resumes on Saturday morning when VCU takes on Wichita State at 10 a.m. ETSU will play Tennessee at 12:30 p.m. followed by Wichita State and Austin Peay at 4:30 p.m. UT concludes the event at 7 p.m. against VCU.






    LSU Turns Tables at Miami

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. – On a historic night where Dani Reis became the first volleyball player inducted into LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, the Tigers turned in a gritty performance to erase a two-set deficit and collect a dramatic 3-2 victory over Miami [23-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 15-10] Friday at the Knight Sports Complex.

    With the victory, LSU (7-0) collected its second five-set victory on the young season versus a 2012 NCAA Tournament squad. It snapped an 18-match home winning streak for the Hurricanes (4-2) which dated back to the 2011 campaign.

    “Absolutely, a great night for our program,” head coach Fran Flory said. “We’re so proud of this team’s effort and so proud for Dani going into the Hall of Fame. Taking it back to Dani, I told the story of the 1990 Final Four team that was down 0-2 at Texas during the 10-minute break in between set two and three. They came back to win in a very similar environment. I ask our players to pay tribute to Dani and that team to finish this match to have our program take a step tonight. I’m really proud the players for stepped up in a big way.”

    Briana Holman garnered her second straight double-double for the Tigers. She powered home 12 kills on a crisp .476 hitting percentage and registered a career-high 14 blocks. The 14 stuffs were the most for a LSU player since former All-American Ivana Kuzmic against Houston on November 27, 2004.

    Katie Lindelow led three LSU players in double figure kills. She turned in a solid all-around effort fueled by a career-high 14 kills, eight digs and a career-best five blocks. Cati Leak added 10 kills and eight digs, while Khourtni Fears picked up six kills on a .333 hitting clip and five blocks for the Tigers.

    Once again, Malorie Pardo filled the stats sheet. She distributed 43 assists, nine digs, four blocks and three kills. The Tigers were limited to season-low .168 hitting ratio, but tallied a match-best .238 attack percentage during the winner-take-all fifth set.

    In total, LSU racked up a season’s best 21 blocks and have tallied double digit blocks for the fourth time on the season. The last time the Tigers amassed 20 blocks was versus Denver on August 29, 2009.

    LSU’s back row defense was sparked by Haley Smith’s 21 digs, her second consecutive effort of over 20 scoops. Laura Whalen sprawled out for a career-best 16 digs and has reeled in 10 or more digs in five of her seven outings.

    The Hurricanes were paced by double-doubles from Blair Fuentez (43 assists, 11 digs), Alex Johnson (19 kills, 10 digs), Savanah Leaf (18 kills, 10 digs).

    “Tonight’s win showed the characteristics of this team,” Smith said. “It shows how we’ve come together, how we’ve meshed together and how we’ve play together.  We support each other on and off the court. Our bench was alive and was helping just as much as the players on the court.”

    After wiping away a two-set hole, LSU raced out to a 4-1 advantage aided by two Holman stuffs. The Tigers received three Leak kills and extended their lead to 9-4. Miami fired back with six of the next seven points and knotted the score at 10-10. LSU responded with the final five points of the match ignited by a Lindelow spike. The Tigers forced back-to-back hitting errors from the Hurricanes, while Holman and Mahaffey closed out the 15-10 victory with consecutive kills of their own.

    “Everybody had the fight and the desire to win,” Pardo said. “I think we were trying a little bit too hard during those first two sets. We had to prove to ourselves that if we get into these types of situations, we have the ability to fight out of it and win. Again, this match is going to benefit us in the long run.”

    LSU will continue its eight-match road swing with another meeting with Miami. Saturday’s first serve is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT with live audio and live stats available for free inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.
     




    Texas A&M Goes Five Against No. 7 Michigan

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M took seventh-ranked Michigan to the wire but came up short, 16-25, 26-24, 25-20, 20-25, 15-13, tonight at Reed Arena.

    Aggie senior setter Allie Sawatzky had an All-American type performance, leading all players with a career-high 16 kills and zero errors in 28 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage. She also completed her second triple double of the season, adding 38 assists and 16 digs, tying her career high.

    A&M sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak had a double-double with 12 kills and a career-high 16 digs, and sophomore outside hitter Sierra Patrick and sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan also reached double figures in kills for the Aggies with 12 and 10, respectively.

    Defensively, Aggie freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers had a career-high 13 blocks, tying for third in the all-time A&M records for a single match. Senior libero Kelsey Kinley led A&M with 19 digs, and senior Mariah Agre pitched in a career-high 16 digs.

    The teams were even in kills (64) and assists (59) for the match. A&M outhit the Wolverines, .209 to .139, outblocking Michigan, 16-9. Michigan held an 8-1 advantage in aces, with two of them coming over the course of the last three plays of the match.

    Michigan held a 12-9 lead in the first set when the Aggies went on an 8-1 run to go up 16-13. Sawatzky and Sullivan later had two kills apiece during a 6-1 rally that put A&M up, 23-15. Michigan, which was outhit, .243 to .077, posted a kill but then hit long to put the Aggies at set point. Aggie freshman Kaysie Shebeneck, who drew the first start of her young career, then teamed with Babers for a stuff block to close out the set.

    Both teams struggled offensively in the second set with Michigan outhitting A&M, .039 to .019. Shebeneck had two kills during a 4-0 run that gave the Aggies a 6-4 lead, but Michigan countered with four consecutive points to regain the lead, 8-6. The Wolverines led the reminder of the set, using another 4-0 rally to build their largest lead at 23-14. A&M, however, refused to give in. The Aggies scored three points to get within 23-14, before Michigan stopped the run with a block that put the Wolverines at set point. A&M then fought off seven set points with Lowak tallying three kills during the run that knotted the score at 24-24. The Aggies were unable to take lead, however, as Michigan put down a kill and A&M followed with an attack error to end the set and tie the match at 1-1.

    Michigan never trailed in the third frame, jumping out to a 9-3 lead to begin the set. A&M managed to get within 12-10, but was unable to get any closer. The Wolverines went on to build their largest lead at 23-16. A&M got back within 24-20 before Molly Toon put down her fifth kill of the set to give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead in the match.

    A&M used a 5-0 run in the fourth set to take a 10-6 lead. The Aggies, who outhit Michigan, .324 to .071 in the set, continued to pull away, building their largest lead at 22-15. Michigan chipped away at the lead, getting within 24-20 before Sawatzky dumped the ball over for the set-winning kill.

    Sawatzky had four kills and no errors in five attempts and set the Aggie offense to a .458 hitting percentage in the decisive fifth set, but Michigan rallied behind the effective serve of Lexi Dannemiller to get the victory. A kill by Sullivan put A&M up, 13-11, but a kill by Toon and a Dannemiller ace tied the score for the seventh time. Krystalyn Goode then put down an A&M overpass for a kill, putting Michigan at match point, and Dannemiller capped the Wolverines’ victory with her third ace of the match.

    Lexi Erwin led Michigan with 15 kills but was held to a .000 hitting percentage. Toon and Jennifer Cross had 12 kills each, and Abby Cole added 11. Libero Tiffany Morales finished with a match-high 25 digs.

    It was the first five-set match of the season for both teams. Michigan, which had dropped only one set this season entering the match, improves to 7-0. The Aggies, who entered the match riding a six-match win streak, fall to 7-2.

    The Aggies wrap up non-conference play next week as they travel to Colorado to face the Rams of Colorado State Saturday at 8 p.m. (CT) in Fort Collins and then take on Northern Colorado Sunday at 8 p.m. in Greeley.

    A&M opens Southeastern Conference play at Reed Arena, Sunday, September 29 against Georgia.