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Nov. 16, 2004

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina volleyball will spend this week preparing for their 14th consecutive SEC Tournament and their meeting with the No. 1 seed Florida Gators. The USC-Florida match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start in Gainesville on Friday night. The tournament will run Nov. 19-21 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Head Coach Kim Hudson announced Tuesday that five players have been suspended and will not participate in the tournament.

Hudson has suspended junior middle blocker Lauren Ford, sophomore setter Katelyn Panzau, freshman libero Caitlin Withers and freshman middle blocker Belita Salters for violating team and University policies. Sophomore setter Iris Santos has been suspended for displaying unsportsmanlike conduct and will not travel with the team this weekend.

“Due to some unfortunate circumstances, we have had to suspend five of our student-athletes for the SEC Tournament for violating team and university policies,” said Hudson. “It disappoints me that the players have put me in this position to have to impose these types of sanctions for their lack of responsible judgment.”

The Gamecocks are 12-13 overall and finished 5-11 in the SEC this year. The Gators are ranked 10th nationally and are 23-3 and 15-1 in the SEC.