The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: South Carolina volleyball swept by Razorbacks on senior night

<p>The players block a hit from the Arkansas Razorbacks and score. The Women’s Volleyball team goes on to lose to the Razorbacks in all 3 sets.&nbsp;</p>
The players block a hit from the Arkansas Razorbacks and score. The Women’s Volleyball team goes on to lose to the Razorbacks in all 3 sets. 

The South Carolina volleyball team lost to Arkansas in three straight sets (32-30, 25-18, 26-24) on Friday night's senior night. 

Five seniors were honored before the game, including setter Mallory Dixon, outside hitter Kyla Manning, defensive specialist Lauren Bowers, setter Courtney Weber and middle blocker Mikayla Robinson. 

The Razorbacks dominated offensively early in the first set, jumping to an 8-4 lead over the Gamecocks. South Carolina started to fight back, making it a close game after the Gamecock's stepped up on both defense and offense. 

Near the end of the close set, the Gamecocks took their first lead on set point at 25-24, but Arkansas came back with a kill and kept the set alive. 

After trading several set points between each team, the Razorbacks took the set, 32-30, after an attack error by sophomore outside hitter Riley Whitesides.

Arkansas came out hot in the second set, quickly taking a 9-2 lead. The Gamecocks were able to somewhat close the gap in scoring, but the team was unable to catch up. Arkansas won the second set 25-18.

The Razorbacks kept the advantage offensively during the second set, with seventeen kills compared to South Carolina's nine. This kept the Gamecocks from gaining any momentum, even after closing some of the scoring gap. 

The third and final set was another close one, with the score staying relatively close throughout the entire set. Near the end of the set, South Carolina was able to get the lead due to a kill from sophomore middle blocker Ellie Ruprich which made made the score 22-21.

The set was later tied at 24 following a kill from Manning, but the Razorbacks were able to take the set point after an attack error from sophomore outside hitter Kiune Fletcher.

A service ace from junior Razorback outside hitter Maggie Cartwright sealed the 3-0 win for Arkansas. 

Despite losing on her senior night, Manning had 18 kills on the night and finished the game leading in kills.

"Kyla Manning belongs in a South Carolina uniform, and she's going to go down as one of the best players to wear it," said head volleyball coach Tom Mendoza. "She's just a phenomenal volleyball player."

With this loss, South Carolina finishes its season 14-14 with an SEC record of 6-12. The Gamecocks are looking to the NCAA tournament selection show on Sunday, Nov. 28, where they hope to get a bid for the tournament. 


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