COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball team dropped a 3-2 (27-30, 30-27, 30-28, 22-30, 10-15) decision to South Carolina on Sunday afternoon. UT fell to 12-6 and 2-4 in the SEC with the loss, while USC moved to 14-3 and 7-0 in conference play with the victory. The Gamecocks are still undefeated at home this season with a 9-0 record.
The Gamecocks held the lead for much of the first game, with their largest advantage coming at 18-11 after sophomore defensive specialist Bridget White served up her second consecutive ace. The Lady Vols, however, managed to claw their way back into the match, cutting the deficit to two, 21-19. UT eventually took the lead, 23-22, after two erratic hits by South Carolina, but the Gamecocks went on a 4-0 run to regain the upper hand, 26-23. USC hung on to win game one by a 30-27 count.
Game two was tight from the outset with neither team able to build more than a two-point advantage over the first 36 points. Trailing 19-17, UT senior outside hitter Janelle Hester notched her eighth kill of the match and then served up an ace on the next point to deadlock the game. Plummer then answered with a kill and an ace to give USC the 21-19 advantage.
But the Lady Vols rode Hester's shoulders to a 30-27 victory in game two as the Davenport, Iowa, native tallied four kills over the last 11 points.
In game four, South Carolina began to steadily increase its lead after taking a 6-5 advantage over the Lady Vols. USC grabbed a six-point advantage, 17-11, after Scott hit a ball that sailed just beyond the baseline. Trailing 20-11, Patrick called for time and afterwards, a composed Tennessee squad took the floor and cut the Gamecock lead to 20-15 after a service ace by junior defensive specialist Alex Compeau. South Carolina, however, continued to put the pressure on UT and went on to win the fourth game, 30-22, to force a decisive game five.
The Gamecocks recorded 10 kills and a mere two errors during the third game for the 15-10 South Carolina victory.
UT hosts intrastate rival Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Athletics Center for its next contest.