Tennessee (8-5, 1-3 SEC) lost to South Carolina (9-6, 2-1 SEC) 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at the Carolina Volleyball Center in Columbia.
Both teams battled back-and-forth in the opening set and were evenly matched. The set came down to service errors with four for Tennessee and three for South Carolina. The errors made a difference with the home side winning the close set 25-23. Mikayla Shields of the Gamecocks led the team with six kills behind 10 attacks.
Tennessee took the second set 25-17. The Vols stepped up defensively with five team blocks in the set to limit their opponents to 10 kills. Tennessee ended the set on a 7-2 run.
The third set was a thriller with 10 ties and seven lead changes. Down 23-24, Tennessee’s Breana Jeter had a kill to save match point. Junior Stephanie Spencer would then earn the Vols match point off an ace. However, South Carolina saved Tennessee’s match point and eventually won the set 27-25. The Vols’ Alyssa Andreno ended the set with a .706 hitting average and 12 kills.
South Carolina finished out the fourth and final set 25-17. The Vols were unable to regain any momentum. The Gamecocks ended the match off a kill by Mikayla Shields. Shields finished the match with 21 kills behind 44 attacks.
Sophomore Tessa Grubbs made her return to the Tennessee side after missing the match-up against No. 1 Florida on Friday night. Grubbs finished the game with eight kills behind 25 attacks.
South Carolina’s win marks their third straight win over the Volunteers, making it the first three-game win streak over Tennessee since 2001. The Volunteers are now 0-3 on the road this season with losses to No. 2 Minnesota earlier this season and Arkansas last week.
After two road games in-a-row, Tennessee will hope to bounce back on Wednesday as they host Auburn at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols are currently 7-0 in home games this season. The match will be live at 8 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.