May 5, 2017
GULF SHORES, ALA. – The South Carolina beach volleyball team made history Friday on the beach of Gulf Shores, taking part in its first NCAA Championship. The team fell to defending national champion Southern California in the morning session, 4-0, and were eliminated after dropping a close 3-0 decision to Florida State in the consolation bracket.
The Gamecocks finish the 2017 with a 23-11 record, setting a record for most victories in a single season.
Against the Women of Troy, the team fought tough at the twos and fives but were taken down by the number-one seed. Ali Denney and Shannon Williams were going to a third set at the second flight before the match was ended by the clinching point on court three.
In its fourth meeting of the season with Florida State, South Carolina fell behind 2-0 early after losses in the top two courts, but were able to push the threes, fours and fives to a third set and keep the comeback hopes alive. Carly Schnieder and Julia Mannisto were leading in their third set and Franky Harrison and Jade Vitt were close in their third set as well, but the Seminoles clinched the third point with a 21-14, 17-21, 15-13 win in the threes pairing.
The Gamecocks will lose just three of the starting ten student-athletes to graduation this summer, and bring back a core of four freshmen starters. South Carolina has two pairs traveling to California next weekend for the USA Volleyball Collegiate Championships ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” Adrianna Culbert and Katie Smith, and Katie Zimmerman and Macie Tendrich. The two teams will compete in a field of 24 other college pairs on Hermosa Beach Pier May 11-13 for a chance at making Team USA’s Collegiate National team.