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Nov. 7, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina beach volleyball program held its fall scrimmage Saturday morning, with the team splitting the roster into two for a Garnet versus Black showdown. It was a welcome back for the team’s nine returners, and the debut of five freshmen.

The day was preceded by a draft on Oct. 30, when the 14-woman roster was split into two. The teams featured three set pairs and one “bonus” member who could choose their own partner. For the ensuing scoring setup, the three set pairs played for one point per match, with the bonus match counting for three points. Team Black was the ultimate winner, taking the day with a 4-2 decision. Each team won twice, but Black clinched the bonus match to take home the win.

“This experience is always positive, especially for our freshmen and some of our kids who haven’t played in this format, it allows us to get them a little bit of exposure,” said head coach Moritz Moritz. “We were fortunate to have good weather and we actually had a pretty decent crowd as well, so to have the team play in front of a good crowd and have the music and scoreboards going helped to simulate a game-day environment. It was neat to see them compete.”

To start the day, Helen Recaborde and Erin Neuenfeldt from the Garnet team swept Zuzanna Reszka and Katie McCormick 2-0. The Black team would quickly even the match, with Julia Mannisto and Shannon Williams shutting out Macie Tendrich and Delaney Wood.

In the three-point bonus match, Lauren Percey tabbed Mannisto as her teammate and went 2-0 against Maddie Frome and her selection of Tendrich to clinch the win for the Black team. To close the day, Jade Vitt and Litsa Darby defeated Anna Joy Baumann and Katie Cross in favor of team Garnet.

“Julia Mannisto did a really good job of elevating the play of both her partners, I was very happy with that,” Moritz said. “Across the board, we had a couple girls that, as we were saying as a staff, were fun to watch in terms of their growth.”

Helping out the team Saturday were guest coaches Alise Svihla and Erica Nelson. Svihla serves as the team’s academic advisor and Nelson works as the Director of Life Skills & Community Outreach.

“A big thank you to Alise and Erica for serving as our guest coaches, and to Jeff Whitehead from compliance overseeing everything as our honorary commissioner,” Moritz said. “Their roles as our support staff is appreciated year-round, it was a lot of fun to have them out here today to support us.”

The team will continue training through the fall, in preparation for the regular season’s start in the Spring of 2016. It will be the team’s first season as a member of the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) and it will also be the first year that beach volleyball will be offered as a championship sport by the NCAA.