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    SEC Volleyball Roundup: Sunday, October 20

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


    Gamecocks Claim Four-Set Decision at Ole Miss

    OXFORD, Miss. -- Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin recorded a match-high 25 kills to help power the South Carolina volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18) victory at Ole Miss on Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center.

    With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 11-9 on the season and 3-5 in the SEC. Ole Miss falls to 11-10 overall and 1-7 in SEC play.

    South Carolina hit .308 for the match, moving its record to a perfect 6-0 when hitting better than .300 this season. Sophomores Sarah Blomgren and Darian Dozier came up big for the Gamecocks. Blomgren recorded 12 kills while hitting .455. Dozier finished with nine kills while hitting .600 with no errors. Sophomore setter Kellie McNeill added seven kills (.500), distributed 45 assists and had four block assists. Sophomore Jacqy Angermiller chipped in six kills and a match-high eight blocks, while junior Michaela Christiaansen (19) and senior Lindsey Craft (16) finished with double digits in digs.

    As a team the Gamecocks held the advantage in hitting (.308-.174), kills (63-51), assists (62-48), digs (58-48) and blocks (10-7).

    Marie-Pierre Bakima and Ty Laporte paced Ole Miss with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Setter Aubrey Edie dished out 43 assists, while Kara Morgan tallied 20 digs in the loss.

    South Carolina came out energized in the first set and built an early 4-0 lead and never allowed the Rebels to gain momentum as it hit .353 for the set while holding Ole Miss to a .161 hitting percentage. Ole Miss pulled to within 17-16 late in the set, but South Carolina went on a 5-2 run capped by a McNeil kill to build a 22-18 lead. The Rebels made one last push, trimming South Carolina’s lead to 22-20. However, the Gamecocks scored the next three points, including kills from Thévenin and Dozier, to win the set.

    The teams went back and forth in the second set. Trailing 9-8 early in the set, the Gamecocks went on a 6-1 run behind a pair of kills from Thévenin to take a 14-10 lead. Ole Miss answered with a 9-3 run to regain the lead at 19-17 on a Gamecock attack error. South Carolina cut the Rebels’ lead to one at 22-21 on a block by McNeil and Angermiller, but Ole Miss closed out the set with three straight points to even the match at one set apiece.

    The Gamecocks bounced back in the third set to take a 2-1 lead, hitting .394 for the set. Ole Miss held a 15-12 lead midway through the set, but South Carolina clawed back with an 8-3 run to take a 20-18 lead. The Rebels wouldn’t go away as they came back to take a 23-22 lead on an ace by Rachael McLamore. However, Thévenin, Dozier and Blomgren each delivered a kill down the stretch to give the Gamecocks a 25-23 win. Blomgren hit .714 for the set, producing five kills on seven attack attempts to lead the way.

    South Carolina was determined to prevent a fifth set as it played its best volleyball of the weekend in the fourth set, hitting .483. The Gamecocks stormed out to a 9-4 lead and never looked back on their way to a 25-18 win to clinch the match. Thévenin hit .615 for the set, recording 10 kills to lead the charge.

    The Gamecocks will return to action at home next weekend. South Carolina will host Tennessee on Friday at 7 p.m. for its annual Dig Pink match and will then wrap up the weekend against Auburn at 1:30 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

    Alabama Volleyball Takes Down LSU, 3-1

    Tuscaloosa, Ala. -- The Alabama volleyball wrapped up a two-win Southeastern Conference weekend with a 3-1 (27-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-15) victory over the LSU Tigers on Sunday afternoon from Foster Auditorium. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 16-5 overall and 4-3 in SEC play. The Tigers fall to 13-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play.

    Alabama had three players reach double figures in kills, as freshman outside hitter Brittany Thomas led the way with a match-high 18. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Krystal Rivers had 16 kills and a .389 hitting percentage and sophomore outside Mattie Weldy posted career-highs with 15 kills and a .522 hitting percentage, committing just three errors on 23 attempts.

    Kryssi Daniels matched her career-high as she led all players in the match with 20 digs. Sierra Wilson dished out 56 assists to average 14.00 assists per set against the Tigers, bringing her career total to 2,192 in 53 career matches played at the Capstone.

    As a team, Alabama out-hit LSU .265 to .231 and out-dug the Tigers 55-51. The SEC leader in blocks this season, LSU posted 10 against the Tide, while Alabama posted just four blocks in the match.

    LSU had two players reach double figures in kills as Cati Leak had 16 and Katie Lindelow had 11. Lindelow finished with a double-double as she had 17 digs and Haley Smith tied Lindelow for team-high honors with 17 digs as well.

    The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match with a 27-25 victory in the first set. With the Tide trailing 21-23 late in the set, Alabama used a LSU service error and a kill by Weldy to even the score at 23-23. After Lindelow gave the Tigers set-point, UA got kills from Weldy and Thomas for a 25-24 Tide advantage. After a kill by LSU’s Madi Mahaffey evened the score, Thomas gave Bama set-point with her sixth kill, and an error by Lindelow was the final point for the Tide victory.

    LSU evened the match a one set each after winning the second set 25-20. The Tigers posted a .353 hitting percentage, while posting five blocks in the set to limit the Tide to a .136 percentage. Bama’s 14 kills came from three players, as Rivers and Laura Steiner had five kills each and Thomas added four.

    Bama responded with a 25-20 victory in the third set as the Tide out-hit the Tigers .333 to .103, and led from wire-to-wire in the set. UA held an 18-12 lead in the set. LSU got as close as four points before the Tide closed the set with a kill by Weldy for a five-point victory in the set.

    With the score tied at 9-9 in the fourth set, Alabama went on a 9-1 run to open a commanding 18-10 lead before closing out the Tigers 25-15 for the four set win. In the fourth, Bama posted a .343 hitting percentage while holding the Tigers to a .167 mark. UA got five kills from Weldy and Thomas, while Rivers posted four kills in the set.

    Next week the Crimson Tide returns to the road for SEC matches at Georgia and No. 14 Kentucky. Alabama opens the weekend against the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 25, with first serve scheduled for 6 p.m. CT from the Georgia Volleyball Arena. The weekend wraps up with a 12:30 p.m. CT match against the Kentucky Wildcats from Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky defeated the Crimson Tide, 3-1, when the teams met in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 29.

    Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaVBall on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

    Volleyball Downs Tennessee With Second-Consecutive Conference Sweep

    STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For the first time in school history, the Mississippi State volleyball team (11-9, 2-4) notched consecutive sweeps over Southeastern Conference opponents as it downed the Tennessee Volunteers (8-13, 0-7) in straight sets Sunday afternoon in the Newell-Grissom Building.

    The Bulldogs swept South Carolina (11-9, 3-5) Friday night to begin the weekend home stand.

    “I thought we played well this weekend,” Bulldog head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “Taylor (Scott) and Kimmy (Gardiner) had a pair of great games and Roxanne (McVey) played one of her best matches of the season today. It’s refreshing to see the hard work these girls put in finally pay off on the court. We’ll take these two wins and build on them as we get ready to play a very good Kentucky team on the road next Friday.”

    Picking up right where she left off Friday night, sophomore Taylor Scott posted yet another double-double with 13 kills, 13 digs and a .419 hitting percentage.

    Much like Friday night’s opening-set thriller, the Volunteers fended off MSU’s first set point before an ace from Katyln Mataya sealed the deal. State and UT traded points early in the match but a 5-1 run gave the Bulldogs a short-lived lead at 12-8 before the Vols stormed back to take a 14-13 advantage. Tennessee gained as much as a three-point cushion before the MSU closed it out at 26-24.

    State controlled much of the second set after jumping out to an early lead and UT could never regain momentum as it fell 25-17. Sophomore Alex Warren stole the show in the second frame after hitting .571 with five kills and MSU’s only hitting error of the set.

    The final set was all Mississippi State as the Bulldogs claimed a 25-16 victory.

    McVey finished the match with 23 digs, an ace and six assists. The sophomore libero currently leads the SEC in digs per set during conference matches with 5.72. She is also averaging 5.64 digs per set on the season, which matches her average from the 2012 season when she set the conference record.

    Kimmy Gardiner also recorded her second-consecutive double-double and eighth of the season, which leads all SEC freshmen. She posted 12 kills and 13 digs to go along with a block.

    Setters Suzanne Horner (22) and Mataya (15) combined for 38 of State’s 44 assists on the day.

    Next up, the Bulldogs will venture on a two-week road trip with stops at Kentucky and Georgia on Oct. 25 and 27. The following weekend, MSU will travel to Alabama and Auburn, which will mark State’s first televised match of the season on Nov. 3.

    Fans can follow the Mississippi State volleyball program on Twitter @HailStateVB, Instagram @HailStateVB and Facebook at

    No. 18 Tigers Upend No. 2 Florida, 3-1

    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Mizzou volleyball team earned its first ever win against a top-five opponent as it upended second-ranked Florida, 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18), on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 20) in front of a season-high 4,202 fans at the Hearnes Center. The win improves the Tigers to 23-0 and 7-0 in SEC play as they are alone atop the SEC standings place as the league’s only unbeaten team in conference play. Mizzou joins Colorado State as the only teams in the nation to not lose a match this season. The Tigers handed the Gators their second loss of the season and first SEC loss while snapping a 13-match SEC winning streak by the Gators.

    “Obviously this is a huge win for us and I thought we played about as well as we could have played,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “That Florida team has a very legitimate shot at winning a national championship this year, but our kids came out focused and ready to go. We served very tough and we just had a lot of people pitch in in a lot of different areas and Florida made some critical errors at key points of the match. That was a very high-level volleyball match and I couldn’t be happier for our kids.”

    In first top-25 matchup at the Hearnes Center since 2006 with the nation’s top two offenses on display, Mizzou got the best of the Gators. Coming into the match, Mizzou and Florida ranked 1-2 nationally in hitting and Mizzou finished the match hitting .303 while limiting Florida to .237 hitting, its second-lowest of the season. The Tigers are just the fourth team to hit .300 against the Gators this season, joining just Penn State, Stanford and Western Michigan. Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was tremendous in the win, spreading 45 assists and setting up open hitters throughout the match. Seven different Tigers finished with kills in the match and five players finished with double-digit point totals.

    Junior outside hitter Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) proved to be an X-factor for the Tiger offense as she led the team with 14 kills on .351 hitting to lead the offensive charge. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) was also sensational all over the floor on Sunday despite playing against a much bigger Florida front line. But as she has done all season, the freshman rose to the occasion and tallied 13 kills on .379 hitting with 12 digs, good for her third double-double of the season and third in four matches. Florida slowed two-time All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) for the first three sets, but just as All-Americans do, she turned it around in the fourth and tallied seven kills on .500 hitting in the final frame. In fact, Henning and Mizzou showed a killer-instinct in the fourth as it .471 with 17 kills and just one error in the decisive frame. Henning finished the match with 12 kills.

    Junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) added eight kills and four total blocks while freshman Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) added five kills on .444 hitting with a team-high five total blocks. The Tiger block was very good on Sunday, tallying 9.5 in the match while getting hands on a lot of Florida’s 152 attacks to give the back row a chance for a dig. The back row responded by collecting 60 digs in the match, led by 15 from junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.). Kan added 12 and Kreklow pitched in 11 while Henning just missed recording a double-double with nine digs.

    Serving was a huge story on Sunday as both teams did a good job of forcing the opposition to set the pins. The Tigers served very tough with nine aces with three from both Thater and Kan. That was paramount for the Tigers as Florida was only able to get reigning SEC Player of the Year Chloe Mann 26 attacks. The Tigers also scouted her very well as she had a season-high five attack errors as the national-leader in hitting attacked at just a .231 clip in the match.

    The 4,202 fans that took in the match on Sunday are the fifth-largest crowd in program history and the most at Hearnes Center since 2006. Mizzou returns to the road next weekend at LSU and Texas A&M. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.

    Four-Set Win Over Georgia At Barnhill Arena

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas volleyball team posted a four-set win (25-23, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23) over Georgia Sunday afternoon at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks’ offense was buoyed by a pair of 18-kill performances from senior Hayley Koop and junior Meredith Hays while senior libero Emily Helm registered 23 digs. With the win, Arkansas improves to 13-7 overall and 6-3 in Southeastern Conference play.

    “Every win in the SEC is a good win,” head coach Robert Pulliza said. “(Georgia) came ready to play us and we came ready to play ball. We were able to go up 2-0 after two really good sets. Both teams really battled back and forth. Georgia made a good run in the third set and got really good momentum going into the fourth set but our players were able to settle down. I’m proud of the way we settled in and got it done in the end.”

    Koop tied her career high Sunday with her 18 kills and posted a .412 hitting percentage. It was her seventh match of the season with double-digit kills and at least a .300 hitting percentage. Helm now has seven matches with 20 or more digs this season, four of which have come during conference play. Senior Raymariely Santos tallied her team-leading eighth double-double of the season with 27 assists and 12 digs.

    With the score tied at 18-18 in the opening set, the Razorbacks won three of the next four points to take their first lead of the game. Georgia (14-6, 4-4 SEC) responded with a four-point surge to go back ahead, 23-21. Arkansas ended the set with a four-point run of its own, capping the game with a service ace from freshman Breana Jones and a kill through the Bulldog block by Meredith Hays.

    The score was tied at 19-all in the second set when Georgia put together a three-point run to take the lead. The Razorbacks rallied to win five of the final six points to take a 2-0 match lead into intermission. Freshman Ana Sofia Jusino put down three kills in the final six points played included the game winner.

    Arkansas lost the third game and faced a 16-12 deficit in the fourth but won seven of the next 10 points to pull even at 19-all after a UGA attack error. The set was tied at each point after that until the 23-23 mark. The Razorback outside hitters tallied the final two points of the match with consecutive kills from Hays and Koop, respectively. Defensively, Helm collected nine of her 23 digs in the fourth set.

    For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.

    Auburn Downs Texas A&M 3-1 for Third-Straight Win

    AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn won its third-straight volleyball match on Sunday afternoon, making it a weekend sweep in SEC play with a 3-1 win (25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17) over Texas A&M at Auburn Arena.

    It was the first win by Auburn (12-7, 3-4 SEC) over Texas A&M (10-8, 2-5) in the fifth all-time meeting between the two teams. The win also gave the Tigers their third-straight in SEC play after the team fell short in their first four conference matches of the season.

    "I think this might have been our best overall game of the year when you look at the balance in our offense," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "I thought we did a great job of adjusting from Friday to today with the completely different offensive system that (the Aggies) run. Their setter is really involved and we did a good job of controlling her and getting some opportunities in transistion.

    "We've talked a lot the last 2-3 weeks about that we're going to have little struggles in different areas. But someone else can step up and take the pressure off the first one and help each other out. If we're out of system, then we can be aggressive out of system and earn some points. Setters can help if we're struggling with passing. I think it's a matter of everyone being settled in, doing what they can do to help, and just relying on each other. We're a good team, we've just got to let ourselves be there."

    Auburn had four players with double-digit kills in Sunday's match after having five players with 10 or more against LSU on Friday. Freshman Stephanie Campbell helped lead the way for Auburn with a career-high 13 kills while hitting .400 for the match. Going back to the last two sets against Arkansas, Campbell had a stretch of 35 kills spanning most of 14 sets without committing an attack error before that streak came to an end toward the end of today's fourth set. Campbell was also in on three blocks and had an ace and three digs as well.

    Senior Katherine Culwell matched Campbell with 13 kills on the day and picked up her eighth double-double of the season with 14 digs. She was also in on a pair of blocks and had a service ace. Kathia Rud had another strong performance with 12 kills and 12 digs, giving her 50 digs over her last three matches and her third-straight double-double.

    Camila Jersonsky had another big day with 11 kills and led the Tigers with five blocks. Chelsea Wintzinger led Auburn with 27 assists while Alyssa Ivey had 22 assists and an ace.

    The Tigers hit .242 for the match and held Texas A&M to a .135 mark. Auburn had more kills than the Aggies (65-48) and won the digs battle 75-59, but A&M had nine blocks to the Tigers' eight and one more ace than Auburn.

    Texas A&M's Angela Lowak led all hitters in the match with 14 kills, and Sierra Patrick contributed 11 kills and 6 blocks for the Aggies. Jazzmin Babers also had six blocks on the day.

    The Aggies led for much of the first set, but Auburn took the lead for good at 14-13 and never trailed again. A&M was able to fight off three set point attempts at 24-20, but a kill from Culwell put the opener away, 25-23, to give Auburn the lead. Culwell and Campbell each had four kills in the opening set and the Tigers hit .286.

    A sloppy, error-plagued second set saw Texas A&M jump out to a big early lead, increasing that advantage to as much as seven points at 18-11. But a big run by the Tigers - helped out by four blocks from Jersonsky along the way - allowed Auburn to tie the game at 19-all, then again at 21-all. But the Aggies were able to score four of the final five points of game two to knot the match at one set apiece with a 25-22 win. Both teams had an equal number of kills and errors in set two, hitting a flat .000 in the frame. Six of A&M's errors came on Auburn blocks.

    The Tigers came out on fire after the break, jumping out to a 10-4 lead in set three and never looking back on their way to a 25-19 win. Auburn hit .310 in the third with 19 kills against just six errors, with Campbell putting five balls to the floor and Emily Klitzke and Rud contributing four apiece. And the fourth set was more of the same as Auburn out-hit the Aggies .389 to .179 in the fourth; Auburn had just four errors along with 18 kills as they cruised to a 25-17 win to close out the match.

    With both matches televised by SportSouth, another streak came to an end this weekend for Auburn. The Tigers had lost 10 consecutive matches on TV in a stretch spanning the last three seasons, but with today's win and Friday's victory over LSU, Auburn is now on a two-match TV winning streak.

    The Tigers will hit the road next weekend for a pair of matches against SEC Eastern Division foes. Auburn will face second-ranked Florida at 6 p.m. CT next Friday in Gainesville, then travel to Columbia, S.C. for a match against South Carolina at 12:30 p.m. CT Sunday. will have a live audio broadcast of both matches.