FAIRFAX, Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team fell in its opening match of The Mason Inn Patriot Invitational to South Carolina 3-0 (15-25, 18-25, 19-25), Saturday at George Mason.
The Mountaineers (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) converted less than 50 percent of their sideouts while the Gamecocks (5-0, 0-0 SEC) overpowered WVU in every statistical category.
West Virginia called a timeout in the first set after a 7-3 run by South Carolina and attempted to close the gap, but a season-low hitting percentage of .030 held the Mountaineers back. Errors plagued the team the rest of the set as the Gamecocks converted 80 percent of their sideouts and recorded a .250 hitting percentage.
The Mountaineers started the second set strong with a service ace by junior outside hitter Arielle Allen
, but a 9-3 serving run by South Carolina put the Gamecocks back in control of the set. WVU would come back to tie the match at 16-16, but a 9-2 run by South Carolina gave the Gamecocks the second set and a 2-0 lead in the match.
After the break, South Carolina jumped out to another strong lead until a 4-0 serving run by freshman libero Anna Panagiotakopoulos
put the Mountaineers within one. A kill by Juliette Thevenin gave the Gamecocks the momentum they needed to finish the match off and take the third set 25-19.
Freshman middle blocker Caleah Wells
led WVU with nine kills, one error and a .500 hitting percentage, while freshman setter Brittany Sample
recorded her second double-double of the season with 25 assists and 15 digs.
The team will return later tonight to the George Mason Recreation and Athletic Facility where they will take on the Midshipmen of Navy at 5 p.m.