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Bates and Williams Earn All-Conference Accolades; Gamecocks Prepare for CCSA Tournament
Beach Volleyball  . 

Bates and Williams Earn All-Conference Accolades; Gamecocks Prepare for CCSA Tournament

The team begins postseason play on Friday with two matches in pool play

EMERSON, GA. – South Carolina beach volleyball team begins its postseason on Friday when it travels to the Rally Volleyball facility at LakePoint for the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Championship. The Gamecocks are the number four seed in the tournament, which begins with pool play on Friday and moves into bracketed duals on Saturday and Sunday. The team plays against Tulane Friday at 10:30 a.m. and No. 16 Georgia State at 4:30 p.m. to begin the weekend.

Seniors Cadie Bates and Shannon Williams earned a spot on the CCSA’s All-Conference Team on Thursday, as the league office released its annual list. The pair are one of just six total pairs to make the cut this season, and are the first Gamecocks to earn a spot in the four seasons the program has been a member of the CCSA. 
Bates and Williams have a 16-10 overall record at the number one position in the lineup, setting a program record for most wins in the top spot for a single season. The previous best was 14 wins, set in 2016 and 2018 by Williams and partners Julia Mannisto (2016) and Ali Denney (2018). The duo has marquee wins over No. 2 Southern Cal and No. 18 Georgia State on their resume, and currently sit just outside the program’s top 10 for most wins by a pair for a single season.
Individually, Williams won her 75th career match on Saturday in the team’s regular-season finale, making her the second Gamecock ever to reach the milestone. Though Bates is just in her second year with the program, she is also approaching a milestone, with 38 career wins already under her belt to put her three away from cracking South Carolina’s top 10.

Tulane enters the tournament at 16-15 overall and went 7-11 in CCSA duals during the regular season. It went 1-3 at the Palmetto Invitational in Columbia last weekend, albeit with an injury-plagued lineup that only was able to field four pairs. The Green Wave are led by top pair Eva Toruella and Kaylie McHugh, who have a 19-8 record in the number one position of the lineup. Tulane’s last win in the all-time series with Carolina came via a 3-2 upset at the 2017 CCSA tournament.

Georgia State is 16th in the latest national polls, and come into the weekend with a 21-11 overall record and have something to prove after missing its shot against South Carolina in the regular season. The Panthers built a 2-0 lead on the Gamecocks on March 16 at the Gamecock Grand Slam, but lost the top three flights to fall 3-2. Georgia State is led by Maddie Gordon and Becky Tresham, who are 20-8 overall as a pair (14-5 at the 4s, 6-3 at the 5s) and Kate Novack and Brooke Weiner at the 3s (16-6).

The team earned its first-ever ranking by the AVCA on March 6, 2017, and have not left the polls since. South Carolina stands at 13th in the April 15 poll, with wins over No. 2 Southern Cal and No. 4 LSU highlighting its 18 total victories. Six Gamecock opponents are currently ranked in the top 10, and three others are in the top 20.

In the win over Arizona State on March 31, freshmen Abby Carroll and Jordan Smith made their first career starts, joining classmate Whitley Ballard as important pieces to the lineup as the team enters the final two weekends of the regular season. Ballard leads the newcomers with a 10-5 record, with wins over Southern Cal and FGCU standing out as highlights.

Carroll was an AAU national champion in 2016 and made the 2018 AVCA High School Beach Volleyball All-America second team before coming to Carolina. She debuted at the fourth pairing in the ASU dual and also competed in the exhibition flight against Coastal Carolina on March 27.
Smith was set back by a preseason injury but was finally cleared for game action in time to face the Sun Devils on March 31. Though she would fall in her collegiate debut, she remains a key player to watch as the season hits the home stretch. She and teammate Caroline Skaff are 4-2 in exhibition matches over the last two weekends.

Senior Shannon Williams stands as the team’s active wins leader, but her 75-53 career record is even more impressive when you consider that 87 of her 128 career starts (68 percent) have come in the number one position in the lineup. As a freshman, the Ashburn, Va. native went 14-21 at the number one position in the lineup, and led the team again last season with a 14-12 record at the top. This season, Williams and partner Cadie Bates are 16-10 at the top position, with highlight wins over Southern Cal and Georgia State. Williams currently has a program-record 44 wins at number one, more than the second- and third-ranked Gamecocks combined, and became just the second member of the program to ever reach 75 overall wins after taking down Charleston last weekend.

Entering the 2018 season, only two Gamecocks in program history had reached 50 career dual wins. Now in 2019 alone, two have joined the club with another in hot pursuit. Juniors Carly Schnieder and Katie Smith reached their 50thwins earlier this season, with classmate Franky Harrison (49) on the brink of joining them. Only the program’s all-time wins leader, Macie Tendrich, was able to reach 50 wins before the end of junior year.

South Carolina welcomed its first grad transfer in 2015, when Jade Hayes came to Columbia from UCF. In the years since, the Gamecocks have one of the best track records in the country when it comes to developing indoor players for the beach game.

This season, a trio of indoor standouts are taking on significant roles in the lineup. Cadie Bates (Duke) went 20-8 in her first season in Columbia and currently is 16-10 at the number one position in the lineup. Lydia Dimke (Creighton) was limited her to just seven matches in her first season with the program due to a foot injury, but returned this season and has paired with Katie Smith to go 21-5 at the number two position. Joining the roster this year is LaurynGillis, a standout from national power Wisconsin. She played in 87 career matches with the Badgers, totaling over 1,000 career kills and 500 digs and helping the team reach the Sweet 16 in 2017, the regional final in 2016 and the regional semifinal in 2015. She has worked her way into the lineup and has nine wins so far in the number four and five positions. 

As the team winds down year six of the program, its seven graduate transfers (Hayes, Bates, Dimke, Gills, Katie Zimmerman, Adrianna Culbert and Leah Perri) have a combined career record of 184-84 (.687).


  • South Carolina holds a 104-64 all-time program record, dating back to 2014.
  • The Gamecocks joined the CCSA for volleyball in 2016, and have an all-time conference record of 32-20.
  • In home matches at Wheeler Beach, Carolina is 51-17 (.750).
  • Moritz Moritz is entering his sixth season as head coach of the Gamecocks, spanning the entire young history of the program. He earned his 100th career win against Texas A&M-Kingsville on April 6, 2019.

For updates on the CCSA tournament, follow GamecockBeachVB on Twitter.