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Sept. 6, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced the third annual AVCA High School Beach All-America Team on Tuesday, and two current Gamecock freshmen made the exclusive list. Carly Schnieder and Katie Smith earned first team recognition, making them two of just six total women on the first team.

South Carolina Beach Volleyball now has three first-team All-Americans on the roster, as the two freshmen joined junior Julia Mannisto, who was on the four-member 2014 All-America team, the first ever put out by the AVCA. This follows Schnieder and Smith’s 2015 recognition as AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans. South Carolina is the only school in the country to have three AVCA Beach All-Americans on their roster.

“This is a great recognition for Carly and Katie, they had an incredible summer competing together and we’re excited to have the opportunity to continue to develop them as members of our program,” head coach Moritz Moritz said.

Schnieder and Smith joined forces as teammates at the Ohio Valley Beach Volleyball Club and were dominant in the 18U ranks. This past summer, the two won the AAU Jr. National Beach Volleyball Championship as well as the USA Volleyball Junior Beach Volleyball Tour Championship.

The duo were not the only incoming student-athletes recognized nationally ââ’¬” Ali Denney earned a spot on MaxPreps’ 2015 High School Small Schools All-American first team for her efforts during her senior indoor season. She finished with 7.5 kills and 1.3 aces per set for the The Pine School.

The three new Gamecocks will fit right in at a program that is coming off its best season ever; South Carolina finished 2016 with a top-20 ranking in DiG Magazine, won a program-best 20 matches, defeated a top-10-ranked opponent for the first time ever, and advanced to the semifinal round of the CCSA tournament.

Carly Schnieder (Mother of Mercy/Ohio Valley BVC)
Katie Smith (Lakota HS/Ohio Valley BVC)
Brooke Burling (Progression Volleyball)
Claire Coppola (RPM Sand)
Morgan Martin (Mission Viejo/Tamarack Beach Club)
Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo/Los Angeles ICG)