The road offered some hope for the Gamecocks as they stopped Tennessee State on Saturday after a Friday loss to Belmont.
The first game against the Belmont Bruins proved to be difficult for the Gamecocks as they fell behind several times and were unable to come back.
The first set saw two-tied scores before the Bruins took a lead that JSU could never quite match. The second set was much like the first. Despite the impressive runs that JSU took in order to catch up, the Bruins went on to win the set. The Gamecocks hoped to avoid the sweep in the final set and it showed in their efforts. The third set had 12 ties, 10 lead changes and over 50 points scored en route to the Bruins’ eventual victory.
The Gamecocks may have lost the match, but it was a still a decent day. Their overall attack percentage was .128, but the second set saw .225, which was well over the Bruins’ .191 for the same set. Nicole Merget had 11 kills on the day, while Samantha Bohne and Emily Rutherford both had digs in the doubles with 18 and 14, respectively. Scarlet Gable had the lead in kills for the Bruins with 14 and Arianna Person had 15 digs on defense.
The finals for the match were 19-25, 22-25 and 28-30.
It took five sets to overpower Tennessee State, but the Gamecocks managed to pull away with a hard fought victory. JSU was down early against the Tigers in set one, but it didn’t take long before they closed the gap and claimed the set. After another slow start and a long battle of back-and-forth scores, the Gamecocks finally closed the second set with a win. However, it was all TSU in the third and fourth sets in which they avoided the sweep and set the stage for a fifth set after they won by 25 and 26, respectively. The final set was all JSU and mistakes on Tennessee State’s end allowed the Gamecocks to win by 10.
This game was great for the Gamecocks on offense as they hit .178 overall and over .200 in all sets except one. In the final set alone, the Gamecocks hit .412 overall. Four Gamecocks had kills in the doubles with Merget in the lead with 16, Rutherford was next with 15, Charis Ludtke had 12 and Allyson Zuhlke had 11. In addition Rutherford and Ludtke were the only two Gamecocks who had doubles in both kills and digs. Rutherford had 12 digs, while Ludtke had 11. Bohne led on defense with 13 digs and Jennifer Hart tied with Rutherford for another 12.
The finals for the match were 25-22, 25-23, 17-25, 16-25 and 15-5.
JSU falls to 17-14 overall and 8-6 in conference play. The Gamecocks continue on the road against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 11 in Cookeville, Tenn. They will return home to Pete Mathews for their final regular season game against Southeast Missouri on Nov. 15.