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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn drops final road match in close South Carolina loss

<p>&nbsp;Fallan Lanham is serving a volleyball against Tennessee at the Neville Arena on Oct. 21, 2022.&nbsp;</p>

 Fallan Lanham is serving a volleyball against Tennessee at the Neville Arena on Oct. 21, 2022. 

South Carolina extended its winning streak over Auburn with a 3-2 victory Wednesday in Columbia. The Gamecocks’ win extended the streak to seven straight wins over the Tigers dating back to November of 2018.

The Tigers took the court for the first time in 12 days and only the second time in the past 16 days with hopes of ending a losing streak to the Gamecocks where Auburn had only won two sets in six matches. 

The two teams started the match off trading sets. After Auburn took the third set, the Gamecocks came out early in the fourth and fifth sets and never looked back. 

The Tigers struggled to get their offense going all match, with the team hitting .166 to the Gamecocks’ .198. South Carolina also dominated with 61 kills to Auburn’s 49.

South Carolina benefited from some shaky service from the Tigers who had 15 service errors in the match. The Gamecocks used some impressive serving of their own in the win with seven aces. 

Alayna Johnson led South Carolina in kills with 17 while hitting .400 on the day. Kiune Fletcher also had herself a day with 16 kills and 40 total attacks. 

Jenna Hampton came up big for the Gamecocks defensively with 24 digs. Ellie Ruprich also had an impressive match defensively with six total blocks.

The Tigers’ defense kept them alive throughout the match. Auburn had 14 blocks with Kendal Kemp tallying 10 total blocks. 

Kemp also had a big game for Auburn on the offensive end as she totaled a career-high 12 kills on 21 attacks and finished with a .381 hitting percentage. Kemp’s 12 kills and 10 blocks helped her tally her first career double-double.

Jackie Barrett got her ninth double-double this season with 47 assists and 10 digs. Akasha Anderson had 12 kills and 10 digs to record her seventh double-double on the year. 

The Tigers’ dropped to 21-6 on the season and 10-6 in SEC play with their loss. South Carolina improved to 13-13 this season and 7-9 in conference play.

Auburn closes out the regular season with two matches at home in Neville Arena. The Tigers take on Arkansas on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 before selection Sunday, when the Tigers will learn their placement in the NCAA Tournament.

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