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Aug. 29, 2003

Los Angeles, Calif. – The South Carolina Gamecock volleyball team gets the season underway this evening as they face No. 8 Northern Iowa in the Holiday Inn Tournament hosted by the University of Southern California. First serve is scheduled to start at 8 pm (ET) in Lyon Center. For the 2002 season, Carolina finished 22-7 while the Panthers finished 34-3 and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament.

All-SEC selection Niece Curry and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Morgan are Carolina’s two returning starters. Curry led the Gamecocks in hitting last year with a .404 percentage, while Morgan recorded 27 service aces and 41 blocks. Also returning for the Gamecocks is sophomore libero Amy Benson and sophomore middle blocker Nicole Miller. Lynae VandenHull is coming off of a redshirt season and will see action for the first time this season.

Carolina has six newcomers, including University of Wisconsin transfer, sophomore Lauren Ford. New to the roster are setters Katelyn Panzau and Lexie Thomson, outside hitters Shonda Cole and Iris Santos and middle blocker Crystal Johnson.

This will be the first meeting between the Gamecocks and the Panthers and it is the first time Carolina has ever opened against a top 10 team.

Carolina will conclude the tournament on Saturday when they face No. 1 Southern California at 3 p.m. (ET) and Ball State at 8 p.m. (ET).