Beach Volleyball Picks Up Top-10 Win in Final Day of Competition in California
The Gamecocks beat No. 10 Stetson, but fell to No. 8 Loyola Marymount in the weekend finale
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. – South Carolina beach volleyball scored another win over a ranked opponent Sunday morning, upsetting No. 10 Stetson, 3-2, on the beach in Santa Monica. It was the final day of competition in California for the Gamecocks (5-7), who wrapped up play with a 5-0 loss in the afternoon to host Loyola Marymount, ranked eighth in the country.
Against the Hatters, the Gamecocks got off to a hot start, winning the first set on three courts. An injury to a Stetson player on court four provided the dual’s first point for Carolina, and a dominating 21-11, 21-10 sweep from Avery Davis and Franky Harrison on court three quickly pushed the team score to 2-0. Stetson pushed back, though, forcing a third set on courts one and five and completing a sweep of the twos pairing to cut the Gamecock lead to 2-1. The Hatters evened the team score at 2-2 with a 16-21, 21-19, 15-11 win on court one, but Morgyn Greer and Jordan Smith denied them the comeback with a 21-19, 16-21, 15-11 win in the fives matchup that provided the clinching point of a 3-2 final.
The win marks back-to-back weekends with a win over a top-10 team; South Carolina has three wins over ranked opponents so far this spring.
South Carolina was unable to find the same success against the host Lions, however. Loyola Marymount controlled the dual from the jump, winning the opening set on all five courts. The Gamecocks were able to rally for a third set on courts three and four, but the eighth-ranked Lions took both of those matches for the 5-0 final score.
“For me, it’s vitally important that our team remain connected and focused on the end game,” head coach Moritz Moritz said about the weekend. “We have been trending upwards and hit some high marks this weekend. I’m proud of the fight, but we have to continue to challenge ourselves to improve. We are a team that is more than capable of just hanging with anyone in the country. We have to remember to keep swinging the axe, keep chipping away. We are going to get there.”
After a grueling start to the season that pit the team against 10 ranked opponents in the first three weekends, South Carolina will return to its home sand for the first time this season in its next event. The Gamecocks host the Carolina Challenge March 14-15 at Wheeler Beach, welcoming in North Florida, FIU, Arizona State and Mercer. The team will play at 1 and 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free for all South Carolina home matches.
No. 15 South Carolina 3, No. 10 Stetson 2
1. Ana Costa/Kyce Martins (STET) def. Jess Vastine/Carly Schnieder (SC) 16-21, 21-19, 15-11
2. S. Helland-Hansen/Carly Perales (STET) def. Skylar Allen/Katie Smith (SC) 21-17, 24-22
3. Franky Harrison/Avery Davis (SC) def. Yasmin Kuck/Shae Henson (STET) 21-11, 21-10
4. Madison Brabham/Hannah Edelman (SC) def. Madison Bobes/Kamryn Johnson (STET) 13-14, retired
5. Morgyn Greer/Jordan Smith (SC) def. Quinci Birker/Rebecca Ingram (STET) 21-19, 16-21, 15-11
Order of Finish: 4,3,2,1,5*
No. 8 LMU 5, No. 15 South Carolina 0
1. Reka Orsi Toth/Selina Marolf (LMUBVB) def. Jess Vastine/Carly Schnieder (SC) 21-14, 21-18
2. Darby Dunn/Megan Rice (LMUBVB) def. Skylar Allen/Katie Smith (SC) 21-12, 21-19
3. Madison Ligon/Lacy Haddock (LMUBVB) def. Avery Davis/Franky Harrison (SC) 21-14, 19-21, 15-5
4. Emma Doud/Savannah Slattery (LMUBVB) def. Madison Brabham/Hannah Edelman (SC) 21-16, 16-21, 18-16
5. Jessie Prichard/Cassie Chinn (LMUBVB) def. Morgyn Greer/Jordan Smith (SC) 21-15, 21-8
Order of Finish: 5,1,2*,3,4