Tennessee volleyball falls to South Carolina 3-1

Tennessee loses to South Carolina 3-1 for the second time this season.

KNOXVILLE,TN - AUGUST 27, 2016 - Outside hitter Tessa Grubbs #17 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the match between the MTSU Blue Raiders and the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee Volleyball (11-10, 4-8 SEC) lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks (11-12, 4-7 SEC) 3-1 on Friday night inside Thompson-Boling Arena. The win marks South Carolina’s fourth straight win over Tennessee. South Carolina completed its series sweep over the Lady Vols by winning both matches this season.

The Gamecocks won the opening set 25-22. In a set that featured seven ties and five lead changes, both teams came out attacking with South Carolina finishing the set out with 16 kills and Tennessee finishing the set out with 13 kills. Ultimately, four attacking errors, three ball-handling errors and two service errors by the Vols gave South Carolina the slight advantage in the first set.

Tennessee took the second set 25-23 to even the match at 1-1. Much like the first set, the second set would be a back-and-forth battle between both teams. The set featured 15 ties and four lead changes.

Redshirt sophomore Breana Jeter delivered two kills that came at crucial times in the second set. One kill put Tennessee up 23-22 to give the Vols the last lead change in the set. The other kill came at match point to win the second set.

South Carolina would go on to take the third set 25-18. The Gamecocks opened the set on a 4-0 scoring run and led from start-to-finish. The Vols were unable to gain any momentum and were held to only nine kills. The Gamecocks were led offensively by Mikayla Shields who had 17 kills behind 30 attacks after three sets.

In the fourth set the score remained close early, but South Carolina pulled away in the end to win the set 25-21 and ultimately win the match 3-1.

Despite staying on pace with the visitors for much of the final set, Tennessee’s errors gave South Carolina free points in the end. Both freshmen Madison Coulter and Callie Williams had two service errors that came at crucial moments in the set. Coulter’s error gave South Carolina the lead at 19-17 in the set, and William’s service error gave South Carolina its final point of the match.

Similar to their first match earlier this season, South Carolina’s offense dominated Tennessee once again. Shields would finish the match with 23 kills behind 43 attacks. In addition, Claire Edwards and Mikayla Robinson combined for 22 kills.

In the loss, junior Erica Treiber and sophomore Tessa Grubbs had a strong offensive showing. Both players combined for 21 kills behind 50 attacks. Sophomore Sedona Hansen finished the match with 23 assists to help set up the Tennessee attack. In defense, junior Brooke Schumacher had 20 digs to help keep the Vols stay in play throughout the night.

Tennessee will continue its weekend with another home match on Sunday afternoon. They are set to take on Florida who defeated Tennessee in straight sets earlier in the season in Gainesville. The match will air at 1:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ on WatchESPN.