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Aug. 13, 2002

Columbia, S.C. – On Aug. 9 the 2002 South Carolina volleyball season got underway as the Gamecocks officially began two-a-days practice. Practices will continue until Aug. 21 and consist of drills, fundamentals and overall conditioning. The Gamecocks will open their 2002 season on the road in Lansing, Mich. at the Michigan State Classic on Aug. 30. Head Coach Kim Christopher is excited about the pre-season and anticipates solid performances from both the newcomers and veterans.

“We have had a good start this pre-season. The upperclassmen came back in good shape and the freshmen have also been impressive,” said Christopher. “This group has already established a strong work ethic and we are getting good leadership from our captains Megan Hosp and Cally Plummer.”

USC returns 10 from the 2001 team, including six seniors and All-SEC selections in Plummer, Hosp, Berna Dwyer and Nadia Sefferovich. Four newcomers will don Gamecock uniforms as Nicole Miller, Lynae Vanden Hull, Sarah Morgan and Amy Benson enter their first season at Carolina. The pre-season also marks the return of Plummer, Sefferovich and Yajaira Cadet, who took off time in the spring to recover from off-season surgeries.

“I am very pleased with how Nadia and Yajaira have returned from surgery. Nadia, Yajaira and Cally missed a lot of spring training because of surgeries and you never know how responsive an athlete will be when they return,” said Christopher. “All three are doing exceptionally well.”

At the Michigan State Tournament, USC will open against Oakland University on Aug. 30. The Gamecocks will finish out the tournament on Aug. 31 by playing Georgetown and No. 15 Michigan State. Carolina’s first home match will be Sept. 6-7 when the Gamecocks host the Carolina Classic. USC will host Arizona State, Creighton and No. 12 Pacific.

“We have a very tough pre-season schedule,” said Christopher. With opening at Michigan State, hosting Arizona State, Creighton and Pacific, then playing Long Beach and San Diego, we will be challenged every week.”

In 2001, the Gamecocks went 20-6 overall and 10-4 in the SEC. Carolina finished second in the SEC Eastern Division and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.