The South Carolina women’s volleyball team had their five-game win streak come to an end in Wednesday night’s matchup against Texas A&M as the Aggies won 3-1. On Thursday, the Gamecocks lost again to the Aggies, who won 3-1 for the second night in a row.
Despite the loss, the Gamecocks won some statistical battles, as the team led in kills, digs and assists on Wednesday. However, South Carolina saw their biggest struggle behind the service line, as the Aggies captured 12 aces throughout the match. Junior middle blocker Mallory Talbert led Texas A&M in aces as she was able to secure five against the Gamecocks.
The first set consisted of quick runs early on by both teams. Texas A&M pulled away towards the end of the set, winning 25-20. Hitting percentages were low for both South Carolina and A&M in the first set. The Gamecocks experienced difficulties on the attack as they collected 10 errors in the first set alone.
The court saw lots of back-and-forth action in the second set, as both the Gamecocks and the Aggies kept things competitive. The Gamecocks started strong, capturing six kills and accounting for just one error early in the set, but they again fell short and lost the set 25-22.
The Gamecocks maintained a solid lead in the third set and was able to win 25-16. South Carolina achieved their largest lead of the night at one time during the set, leading 23-10.
Graduate outside hitter Kyla Manning was the star for the Gamecocks in the Wednesday night match as she finished the game with 15 total kills and 48 attacks. Manning crossed off a big accomplishment in the matchup as she surpassed 1,000 career kills.
Going into the final set, the Aggies took back control and with a big run early on were able to capture a 25-16 win over the Gamecocks. Freshman middle blocker Claire Jeter claimed the victory for A&M as she ended the game with an aggressive kill on setter Camille Conner's team-leading 38th assist of the night.
“It’s our job to be ready when the match is played and I think we didn’t do a good enough job tonight,” head coach Tom Mendoza said.
The home team started off on the right foot when resumed action on Thursday night as South Carolina led for the entire first set, winning 25-17. The Gamecocks had 12 kills, six aces and three blocks in the opening frame.
Texas A&M comfortably won the second set 25-16 and then made it three in a row with a pair of 25-21 wins in the third and fourth. South Carolina recorded only four aces and two blocks in the three sets they lost, both totals fewer than their figures from the first set alone.
The teams finished the match even in kills with 48 apiece, but the Aggies led in hit percentage, .246 to .178, and doubled up the Gamecocks with 10 blocks to the home team's five. Manning followed up her performance in the first match with another strong outing as she led all players with 17 kills.
Texas A&M's Lauren Davis and Morgan Christon finished with 12 kills each to lead the visitors, who became the first team this season to beat South Carolina in both matches of a doubleheader and left them with their first losing streak of the year.
The Gamecocks dropped to 9-5 and will next travel to Lexington, Kentucky, on Feb. 20 and 21 as they will look to end a 14-match losing streak against the Kentucky Wildcats.