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March 4, 2017

PAIR RESULTS: FIU DUAL

1: Smith/Zimmerman def. FIU, 21-18, 21-18

2: Culbert/Denney def. FIU, 21-15, 22-24, 15-6

3: Mannisto/Schnieder def. FIU, 21-18, 19-21, 15-12

4: FIU def. Tendrich/Williams, 21-16, 12-21, 13-15

5: FIU def. Vitt/Harrison, 18-21, 16-21

Exhib: Edelman/Skaff def. FIU, 21-19, 21-9

PAIR RESULTS: SPRING HILL DUAL

1: Smith/Zimmerman def. SHC, 21-7, 21-15

2: Culbert/Denney def. SHC, 21-17, 21-19

3: Mannisto/Schnieder def. SHC, 21-9, 21-13

4: Tendrich/Williams def. SHC, 21-12, 21-15

5: Vitt/Harrison def. SHC, 21-8, 21-12

Exhib: Edelman/Skaff def. SHC, 21-16, 21-12

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. – The South Carolina beach volleyball team opened the 2017 season on a high note, upsetting No. 11 FIU Saturday morning in a come-from-behind 3-2 effort. The Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0 CCSA) closed out the date in the afternoon with a 5-0 sweep of Spring Hill College. Carly Schnieder and Julia Mannisto provided the clinching point in both duals.

The Panthers (3-1, 1-1 CCSA) jumped out to an early lead in the morning matchup, taking the fives pair in straight sets and winning at the four in a three-setter. The Gamecocks did get the win in the exhibition matchup for the first wave of courts, with Caroline Skaff and Hannah Edelman sweeping a 21-19, 21-9 match.

Down 2-0, the Gamecocks would need to sweep the final three matches to get the win. They turned to their top pair to get the ball rolling, and the duo of Katie Smith and Katie Zimmerman delivered with a straight-set win, 21-18, 21-18 to cut the match score to 2-1.

The twos and threes had more of a battle in store for them. Adrianna Culbert and Ali Denney opened their match in the twos pair with a 21-15 win, but dropped a grinder of a second set, 24-22 that evened the match up. The two newcomers responded with a dominant performance in the third, rolling to a 15-6 win to move all eye to court three and the deciding game between the threes.

Julia Mannisto and Carly Schnieder had a similar story to Culbert and Denney, opening their matchup with a first-set win before dropping a tight game in the second. The two needed to rally late for the win, coming back from a 10-7 deficit to win 15-12 and secure the team victory.

Against Spring Hill College, the four and five pair made quick work to pick up their first wins of the season. Franky Harrison and Jade Vitt won 21-8, 21-12 in the five spot, and Macie Tendrich and Shannon Williams powered through to a 21-12, 21-15 win to close out the first wave of matches. Skaff and Edelman continued to show the team’s depth with another sweep in the exhibition match, 21-16, 21-12.

The top three all came through with sweeps of their own, with Mannisto and Schnieder clinching the match early with a 21-9, 21-13 win at number three to put South Carolina up 3-0. Smith and Zimmerman followed close behind with a 21-7, 21-15 win in the ones pair, and Culbert/Denney brought home the sweep with a 21-17, 21-19 win at number two.

Notable

  • The Gamecocks have now won three straight season openers, the last two coming on the road.
  • After dropping the first three meetings ever with FIU, South Carolina has now won two straight in the series.
  • Five newcomers dotted the starting lineup for South Carolina, highlighted by Ali Denney and Adrianna Culbert winning both matches at the two pair in their Garnet and Black debuts.

Quotable: Head Coach Moritz Moritz

On starting the season with a big win
“I think, more than anything, we were just excited to play somebody else. FIU has a history of be a really quality team, so we were just excited to compete and get out and prove what we’ve been doing and put that to the test. That’s a great statement for the momentum we want to build in to this season.”

Up Next

The team will have two Sunday matches to wrap up the UNF Beach Invitational. First is a meeting with new conference foe College of Charleston, starting at 11:30 a.m. To close the tournament, Carolina faces host North Florida at 2:30.