The Gamecocks fell at home to the Auburn Tigers by a set score of 3-1 on Sunday.
South Carolina won the first set 25-20, before Auburn won the next three by scores of 29-27, 25-18 and 25-22. For the eighth time this season and second under interim head coach Dottie Hampton, the Gamecocks lost despite winning the first set.
South Carolina is now 8-8 after it wins the first set. Freshman Mikayla Robinson said the team gets timid after hitting a lot.
“I think we try to get more energy, but I feel we get very timid when we hit a lot," Robinson said.
This seems to echo what former coach Scott Swanson said after they lost to LSU on Sept. 29.
"We’re scared to see what's gonna happen next, because it's happened too many times now,” Swanson said.
The second set seems to be the deciding set for the Gamecocks. They are 9-1 after they win the second set, and 1-11 after they lose the second set. Robinson said the team may have too much confidence after a win in the first set.
“We feel we have a lot of confidence going into the second [set] I guess it is just too much,” Robinson said.
Hampton does not think there is an issue with that set in particular anymore.
“It’s not a second-set issue for us anymore ... Auburn worked really hard," she said. "I think they just kind of outworked us. They turned up their intensity just a little bit and we weren't able to match it all the way through."
With about a third of the season left, Hampton said to expect to see a lot of hard work and fight to close out the year.
The Gamecocks will play at Tennessee and at Kentucky next weekend. They will look to improve on their 10-12 overall and 3-7 SEC record.