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Aug. 14, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina volleyball team capped off its first week of practice in preparation for the 2012 schedule that begins in 10 days.

Eleven practices and one open scrimmage into the week, head coach Scott Swanson feels good about the progress his team is making in the gym.

“The team is working hard,” Swanson said on the seventh day of the practice schedule. “People are improving and learning our system. Our new players are getting comfortable with the speed of the college game. They are coming along, learning on the fly, but they are learning nonetheless.”

Senior setter Taylor Bruns thinks the team is coming together well on the court and giving lots of effort during practice.

“Instead of starting off as all these individual players, we’ve really started to connect with each other,” commented Bruns. “Our volleyball style is starting to merge together into one that defines Gamecock Volleyball.”

While the practices have required the freshmen to adjust a lot, they seem to be adapting to the training well.

“It’s been tough on our bodies,” said freshman outside hitter Jenna Allen, “but it’s been a lot of fun. It’s a lot of volleyball and a lot of work, but the drills and the scrimmaging is going well.”

On what fans may notice different on the court this fall, Swanson mentioned how his team’s strength and length has improved.

“We’re hitting the ball harder. We’ve got more athleticism at the net, so we’re slowing more balls down and blocking more balls. That will make a big difference on how well we play defense.”

The first match of the 2012 volleyball season starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Fri., Aug. 24, against Temple as part of the Gamecock Invitational presented by Courtyard Marriott. Season tickets for all 14 home dates are on sale at the Colonial Life Arena ticket office, by phone at 1-800-4SC-FANS or online at Adult season tickets are $25, while youth 17 and under get the season rate for $10.