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Aug. 12, 2012

by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina volleyball team wrapped a busy Sunday with a solid scrimmage in front of a nice crowd at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

Practicing earlier in the day, the team signed autographs during Fan Appreciation Day at Colonial Life Arena. Many fans attended and got an up-close look at the team during the signing, including all seven true freshmen making their first appearance at the event.

The team walked back to the VCF to prepare for their scrimmage. A coaches clinic took place during the warmups, as head coach Scott Swanson explained the drills the team worked on and went into the staff’s philosophy on volleyball.

That led into the scrimmage, which had a crowd in the hundreds watching. And the Gamecocks put on a good show for four sets, with the Black team winning each frame. Players got lots of court time in different lineups and positions, with Swanson and staff seeing what the players would do in the various spots.

Many players put together strong days, led by freshman Sarah Blomgren. She led all hitters in percentage and showed some strong defensive skills both at the net and in the back court. Junior Juliette Thévenin had a good day hitting as well, and sophomore Bethanie Thomas played solid as she did as a rookie. Setters Taylor Bruns and Lexie Pawlik had good set percentages as well, with both looking strong when with the Black team.

Redshirt freshman Christina Vereb made her biggest impact defensively at the net, leading the way in blocks. Redshirt sophomore Cara Howley added a number of blocks as well in the middle. Junior defensive specialists Paige Wheeler and Lindsey Craft both posted double-digit digs, with both making some good saves on strong attacks.

The Gamecocks continue preparations for their season opener on Aug. 24 in the Gamecock Invitational, when Temple comes to take on South Carolina at 12:30 p.m. at the VCF. Season tickets are available at the Colonial Life Arena ticket office, by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS or by ordering online at Adult season tickets are $25, while season tickets for youth 17 and under are $10.