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April 9, 2012

by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina volleyball team continued to show improvement in its third event of the spring, taking seven of eight sets in an event at Duke on Saturday.

The Gamecocks swept UNC Greensboro 25-17 and 25-17 before dropping the next set against Maryland 19-25. South Carolina bounced back with a 25-17 win over the Terrapins, and the team carried that momentum forward in sweeps of UNC Wilmington (25-22, 25-22) and the host Blue Devils (25-18, 25-13).

“The team played very well this past weekend at Duke, and all 10 players contributed,” commented Gamecock head coach Scott Swanson, “Lexie Pawlik ran our offense very well and located her sets consistently, which helped our hitters have a very good day. Jules (Juliette Thévenin) was a machine with an All-America type of performance, including 49 kills, only 6 errors and a .457 hitting percentage.”

Thévenin had 14 kills and hit .636 in the sweep of the UNCG Spartans, while the team combined to hit .406 in the two frames. Thévenin also posted 11 kills and 12 digs against Maryland. The rising junior outside hitter continued her rampage against UNC Wilmington, hitting .500 with nine kills in the two sets. And against Duke, she tallied 15 kills and two aces in the sweep.

Rising junior Paige Wheeler made some nice plays as well, posting seven digs against UNC Greensboro and 10 against UNC Wilmington. Rising senior setter Taylor Bruns posted three aces in the sets against Maryland. Rising juniors Megan Kent (.625 hitting percentage, five kills) and Lindsey Craft (10 digs) stood out against the Seahawks, while rising sophomores Cara Howley (two solo blocks) and Bethanie Thomas (.538 hitting percentage, seven kills, nine digs) performed well versus Duke.

The Gamecocks close out their spring non-competition schedule on Wednesday night against Clemson at the Volleyball Competition Facility. The Tigers will present one last test for Swanson’s group before they head into summer workouts.

“Our focus for the Clemson match has to be tough serving and relentless defense,” said Swanson. “Clemson is big, physical and very experienced, so we will have to bring our `A’ game and make them uncomfortable in our gym. We must play to win every point with no lapse in focus or intensity.”

First serve for Wednesday night is set for 6 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the open scrimmage.