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Aug. 9, 2014

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team began preparations for the 2014 season by opening preseason camp on Saturday at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

Entering his fourth season at the helm of the program, South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson had his squad play three-on-three to begin the day, allowing the coaching staff to get a feel for each player’s skill set. Following the three-on-three tournament, the Gamecocks also worked on blocking, defense, serve and pass, offensive tempo sets and back-row attacking and defense.

“I saw a lot of great effort and great energy,” Swanson said. “They are just excited to get back in the gym. The coaches are even more excited I think. It’s been a long spring and summer. There were a lot of quality things. We have some athletes that can get up and get over the net. Our setting is going to be spectacular this year. We are working on our ball control. I think once we shake the rust off these next couple of days we are going to be pretty happy with the product we put on the floor.”

South Carolina opened camp with 19 players on the roster, including three true freshmen, a redshirt freshman, eight sophomores, five juniors and two seniors. The Gamecocks return four starters and the libero from a year ago. Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen, junior setter Kellie McNeil, who ranked sixth in the SEC in assists per set (10.17) last season, junior middle blocker Darian Dozier, junior right side/outside hitter Sarah Blomgren and sophomore middle blocker Jacqy Angermiller played in a combined 139 matches last season. McNeil’s younger sister, Taylr McNeil, joins the squad this season as an outside hitter who was named Minnesota’s Gatorade Player of the Year and garnered several high school All-America accolades. Setter Allie Monserez, a first-team MaxPreps High School All-American, and middle blocker/outside hitter Courtney McKeag make up the rest of the freshman class.

The Gamecocks host the Gamecock Invitational on Aug. 29-30 to open the season. Carolina will play Gardner-Webb on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. and will face Jacksonville (1 p.m.) and Georgia Tech (7 p.m.) on Aug. 30. Gamecock fans will have their first chance to see the team in action on Aug. 23 in the Garnet and Black scrimmage. First serve for it is set for 3 p.m. at the VCF, with a meet and greet with the team to follow at 4:30. Admission to the scrimmage is free.

Season tickets for South Carolina’s 15 home dates are now on sale. Adult tickets are $25, and youth tickets (17 and under) are $10. For more information, contact the South Carolina ticket office at 800-4SC-FANS or visit the ticket office home page HERE.