CINCINNATI, OHIO – Cincinnati (6-2) snapped a five-game win streak for South Carolina volleyball Saturday afternoon, sweeping the Gamecocks (5-2). After a record-setting night blocking in Friday’s series-opening win for Carolina, the Bearcats answered back with a 12-5 advantage in blocks while holding the Gamecock offense to a .130 hitting percentage.
1st SET: Errors plagued the Gamecock offense as Cincinnati opened the match with a 25-xx win in the first set. The Bearcats would lead by as much as eight points in the game, at 20-12, with eight of those 20 points coming off Gamecock attacking errors. The Bearcats finished with a .300 to .114 advantage in hitting percentage and more blocks (5-2) and service aces (2-0). Riley Whitesides finished with the team lead in kills for Carolina, putting away four.
2nd SET: The issues from set one emerged again early in the second, as the Gamecocks had three kills and four errors on their first 15 swings to stake the home side to a 12-6 lead. Cincinnati’s offense would be efficient on the other side of the net, hitting .406 with a 15-8 advantage in kills with just two attacking errors.
3rd SET: The Bearcat attack came back to earth in the third set, but South Carolina was not able to capitalize as Cincinnati closed the match with a 25-20 win. The home side started slow, but broke away from a 10-10 tie to build a lead it would not relinquish, scoring 13 of the next 20 points to pull away. The Bearcats had three attack errors leading up to the 10-10 score, but committed just one more the rest of the way to clinch the win.
The Gamecocks will spend next weekend on the road as well, but it will be a considerably easier commute. The team will play up in Rock Hill next Friday and Saturday for the Winthrop Invitational. South Carolina faces VCU on Friday for a neutral-court matchup at 2 p.m. and then the host Eagles on Saturday at 6 p.m.