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Jan. 13, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Four home tournaments and one dual match at Wheeler Beach highlight the 2016 South Carolina beach volleyball schedule, announced on Wednesday.

The Gamecocks are coming off of a 14-win season and will face six teams that competed in the 2015 AVCA Sand Volleyball National Championship, including defending national champion Southern California.

“We are excited about our schedule for this spring,” said head coach Moritz Moritz. “There are a lot of opportunities ahead of us. Although the primary focus is on daily improvement, the teams that we will compete against will challenge us to be at our best. It’s our responsibility now to prepare the best that we can for what lies ahead and to take that challenge head on.”

South Carolina will open the season March 4-5 in Tempe, Ariz. for the Sun Devil Challenge, with matches against Colorado Mesa, Florida State, New Mexico and host Arizona State. The Gamecocks will also head to Phoenix on March 6 to face Grand Canyon.

The following weekend, South Carolina will return home to host the Gamecock Challenge (March 12-13) featuring Mercer, Tulane, UAB and Costal Carolina.

The Gamecocks will hold the Carolina Classic on March 19-20, with matches against Jacksonville State, Louisiana-Monroe, Florida Atlantic and North Florida. College of Charleston will head to Wheeler Beach on March 23 to face South Carolina in a dual match.

Carolina will close out the month of March at home with the Gamecock Invitational (March 26-27). The tournament will include UAB, Carson Newman, Jacksonville and TCU.

The Gamecocks travel to Miami for the Surf and Turf Classic, hosted by Florida International, on April 1-2. Other teams competing in the event are Southern California, Stetson, Georgia State and Tulane. The season will continue at the Fiesta on the Siesta on April 9-10 where the Gamecocks have the chance to face competitors from 30 different teams from around the country in Siesta Key, Fla.

South Carolina’s regular season will wrapup at home on April 16-17 with the Palmetto Invitational. The Gamecocks will compete against UNC-Wilmington, LSU, Carson Newman and Coastal Carolina.

The first CCSA Conference Tournament will be held at LakePoint Sports Complex in Emerson, Ga. on April 22-24. The inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships will take place from May 6-8 on the Gulf Shores Public Beach in Gulf Shores, Ala.

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