Aug. 19, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina volleyball team had its final tune-ups of the preseason on Friday and Saturday, with a pair of scrimmages to test a roster filled with experience and talent. The Gamecocks faced Appalachian State on Friday evening in Boone, N.C. before returning to Columbia for Saturday’s Garnet and Black Scrimmage.
On Friday, the team wrapped up a three-day trip to the mountains of North Carolina with a four-set exhibition with the Mountaineers. The Gamecocks split with their hosts, 2-2, and were led offensively by 10 kills from Mikayla Shields and Mikayla Robinson. Aubrey Ezell buoyed the defense with 19 digs over the four games.
South Carolina split the roster up on Saturday for its annual intra-squad scrimmage, and saw even more positive results. The Black team had Courtney Furlong lead the way on offense, with the junior finishing with 14 kills. Shields would lead the team in total kills, totaling 16 while splitting time between the two rosters. Mikayla Robinson (14), Brooke Gostomski (13), Alicia Starr (10) and Jess Vastine (10) all finished with double-digit kills as well, as the offense’s array of weapons were on display.
Defensively, Ezell finished with 22 digs, and her libero counterpart Emma Lock finished with 18. Gostomski showed her potential as a six-rotation player after posting 13 kills and 10 digs. At the net, Robinson led the team with four total blocks, and Starr finished with two emphatic solo blocks for the Garnet squad.
- Courtney Koehler shined as the primary setter for the Garnet team, finishing with 44 assists and 10 digs.
- Mikayla Robinson had a solid night through the middle, finishing with 14 kills on 29 swings and a team-high four blocks.
- Freshmen pins Jess Vastine and Brooke Gostomski made their case for a spot in the starting lineup on opening night, with Vastine finishing with 10 kills and seven digs, and Gostomski with 13 kills and 10 digs.
- In her new role as the team’s libero, junior Aubrey Ezell finished with 22 digs over the four sets, and added in three aces on serve.
The 2017 season begins Friday, Aug. 25 with a 7 p.m. match against Mercer. The matchup is the first of three games for South Carolina in the two-day Gamecock Invitational tournament at the Carolina Volleyball Center. The team will also host Troy (Aug. 26 at 1 p.m.) and North Florida (Aug. 26 at 7 p.m.) in the opening weekend.