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Aug. 10, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina volleyball program opened its first week of practice Monday, with high energy and enthusiasm filling the Carolina Volleyball Center. The Gamecocks are holding two-a-day sessions up through the start of classes on Aug. 18, then will get ready for the start of the season with the Garnet and Black Scrimmage on Aug. 21 at 4 p.m.

Balance and depth will be the biggest factors for the team in the preseason, with 18 players who head coach Scott Swanson and his staff feel could all contribute from the word ‘go’. Six newcomers join the roster for 2016, with five freshmen (Claire Edwards, Courtney Koehler, Savannah Murray, Mikayla Shields and Alicia Starr) and junior transfer Abreia Epps.

The newcomers will mesh with a number of key returners, most notably the team’s four returning starters and libero ââ’¬” Dessaa Legros, Koko Atoa-Williams, Jacqy Angermiller, Aubrey Ezell and Megan Kirkland. Among those returners, Legros led the team in kills, Ezell in assists and Kirkland in digs.

The regular season begins on Aug. 26 when the team travels to Charleston for the College of Charleston Invitational. The Gamecocks will face the host Cougars on that Friday, then play UT-Martin and Binghamton on Saturday. The home season begins on Sept. 2 when the rival Clemson Tigers come to the CVC for a 7 p.m. match.