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April 14, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina showed many signs of improvement during its team practice period this spring and had huge wins during tournaments the past few weekends. In its spring finale, the Gamecocks closed out its spring schedule with a hard-fought match against Clemson, with the Tigers claiming the five-set affair 24-26, 25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 18-16.

“I am very proud of the improvement and strides we have taken as a young team this spring. When we played Clemson last fall, we lost in three sets and were not very competitive with them. (On Wednesday) we had chances to win and should have won the match, so we definitely competed at a much higher level. Our blocking and defense has improved. Our ability to make smart shots as hitters has improved, and I think our overall confidence as a team is better. It was disappointing to lose the way we did last night, but we have to take the positives out of going to five games with a much more experienced and physical Clemson team.”

Against Clemson, rising junior Juliette Thévenin had 13 kills and 12 digs for the Gamecocks, leading the way. Rising sophomore Bethanie Thomas hit .294 with 16 kills and 12 digs in the contest. Rising junior Paige Wheeler added 19 digs, while rising junior Megan Kent had four blocks. Rising redshirt sophomore Cara Howley added two aces and two blocks.

As a team, the Gamecocks hit .206 in the match. The Gamecocks had two match points in the fifth that Clemson held off before the Tigers rebounded for the win.

South Carolina will open the 2012 season at home, as the full schedule will be announced next week at