The Daily Gamecock

Recap: Gamecock volleyball comes back after loss in split series against No. 25 Missouri

Gamecock volleyball returned to the court after a two-week hiatus to face off against No. 25 Missouri this weekend. South Carolina got swept in straight sets on Friday but pulled off an upset on Saturday. 

Last weekend's series against Kentucky was postponed due to COVID-19 and contact tracing within the South Carolina program. 

The Gamecocks fell behind early in Friday's first set, losing by a score of 25-17. The Gamecocks struggled to hit throughout the day, finishing the first set at 5.4% and finishing the day at 15.8%.

The Gamecocks began the next set red-hot, going on a 5-0 run and taking a 7-2 lead. Missouri responded by dominating the remainder of the set, winning 25-23. Senior middle blocker Mikayla Robinson had eight of her 11 kills by then and was a bright spot on the day. 

Missouri dominated 25-15 in the third set, completing Friday's win. 

“I’m certainly glad to be back in the gym,” South Carolina head coach Tom Mendoza said. “I wish we had a different result, but it was nice to be back around the team and watch them play.” 

The Gamecocks looked to rebound on Saturday, as the team did against No. 4 Florida earlier this year. The first set was a battle. The Gamecocks had four set point opportunities and finally took the win at a score of 30-28.

Missouri pulled away to win the next set, but graduate outside hitter Kyla Manning shone in this set, finishing the day with a double-double at 19 kills and 12 digs.

“I was more confident with the swings I was taking,” Manning said postgame about her play improvment from Friday to Saturday. 

The Gamecocks won the third set 25-23. To finish out the game, South Carolina dominated the fourth set 25-18.

Freshman outside hitter Riley Whitesides finished the afternoon out strong, picking up 18 kills. Redshirt sophomore setter Courtney Weber had a double-double with 17 assists and 12 digs.

“They needed something positive,” Mendoza said postgame. “This has been about as tough of a week as I can remember coaching.” 

The Gamecocks will face Ole Miss at home next Saturday at 2 p.m.