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Aug. 21, 2012

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by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two weeks into preseason practices, South Carolina took to the volleyball court in a different manner on Tuesday afternoon, competing in four different sports for bragging rights in a team “Olympics” competition.

Split into Garnet and Black teams, the two sides squared off first in tennis, in a different format. Using a normal volleyball setup, the teams tried to keep the ball in the air the longest. Starting in the volleyball two-handed passing setup, the Black team ran out to a large lead. Changing to a one-handed approach, the Black team held off a late charge by the Garnet group to take a 40-37 win in the event.

Next was dodgeball, and the Garnet team added some reinforcements for the rest of the day. Those reinforcements, including a spirited effort from director of operations Shane Wilkinson, saw the Garnet team win with five-person advantages in both rounds.

The Garnet squad kept the pressure on in team handball, handing the Black team a 10-3 defeat in the outing. The Black team tried to use a defensive approach, but it did not stop the attacking Garnets from taking the big win.

Wrapping up the day win, Garnet posted a huge 19-7 win in kickball on the court. A seven spot in the first inning followed by four more runs in the second, third and fourth was enough to dispatch of the Black team once and for all.

The different competitions broke up the sometimes-monotonous drills, bringing some life into the team. And it also got the Gamecocks lots of conditioning work in during the competitions. The tennis drill is one that the team has used in the past to help with pursuit and ball control.

The team hits the court officially on Friday in the Gamecock Invitational, taking on Temple, Akron, East Tennessee State and UNC Asheville in the two-day, 10-match event. The Gamecocks start at 12:30 p.m. EDT against the Temple Owls on Friday. Season tickets, $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under, are available by phone at 1-800-4SC-FANS, at the Colonial Life Arena box office or online at