Alabama volleyball dropped a three-set decision to South Carolina Friday in Foster Auditorium, falling by set scores of 24-26, 26-28 and 19-25.
Alabama (13-3, 1-2 SEC) fought past the 25-point mark in the opening two sets after South Carolina (12-1, 3-0 SEC) reached set point, but the Gamecocks won each frame to build a 2-0 match lead. South Carolina scored nine unanswered to start the third set but Alabama fought back to make it a three-point game, though ultimately dropped the set. The Tide was limited to a .103 clip offensively, but out-blocked the Gamecocks at the net, 12-7.
The Tide pulled ahead 6-4 in the opening set before the Gamecocks challenged a play but the call was upheld in Alabama’s favor. The Tide held on to its two-point lead before a 4-2 run added some cushion at the media timeout, 15-11. South Carolina managed to fight back and tie it at 18-18, forcing an Alabama timeout. After five tie scores, South Carolina hit set point but Alabama tied it again at 24-24. The Gamecocks held on to score back-to-back points and take the opening set, 26-24.
Neither team was able to take a lead larger than two points early in the second set until South Carolina took a 10-7 lead off consecutive kills. The Gamecocks made it a four-point game at the halfway mark before Alabama called its first team timeout trailing 13-9. The Tide chipped away at the deficit following the timeout, eventually drawing within one after a kill from freshman Mylana Byrd as South Carolina took a timeout up 19-18. A block after the break tied it at 19-19 and the score was knotted up again in the closing stages, 23-23. Like the previous set, South Carolina reached set point first before Alabama tied it at 24-24. After the Gamecocks reached set point a second time, 25-24, the Tide called a timeout. After two more tie scores, South Carolina broke through to win, 28-26, and take a 2-0 match lead.
The Gamecocks scored five unanswered points to open the third, forcing an early Tide timeout. South Carolina continued its run, adding four more points to lead 9-0 and Alabama spent its final timeout. The Tide broke the streak on the next rally with a kill from senior Cidavia Hall, which started a 6-1 run for Alabama. South Carolina took its first timeout ahead 11-6 and its second at 21-18, but eventually held on to win 25-19 and complete the sweep.