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Whitesides Collects a Third SEC Freshman of the Week Honor
Women's Volleyball  . 

Whitesides Collects a Third SEC Freshman of the Week Honor

The Greenville native is the first Gamecock to win the award three times

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina volleyball’s Riley Whitesides made history on Monday, as the Greenville, S.C. native was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for a third time this season. Since joining the SEC, South Carolina has seen five different freshman Gamecocks take the honor a single time prior to the 2020-21 season, but between Whitesides and teammate Ellie Ruprich – a two-time recipient this year – South Carolina has accounted for five of the 12 possible freshman of the week awards this year.

Prior to this, the only other Gamecocks to collect three weekly honors in a single season were Shonda Cole (2006), Aubrey Ezell (2015) and Mikayla Robinson (2019). This is the sixth weekly honor in total for South Carolina, breaking a record of five set last season.

Whitesides led the offensive attack in a series sweep of Ole Miss, hitting .425 with 27 total kills in the two matches. It started with a career afternoon in the Saturday opener, when she hit .700 with 15 kills on just 20 swings in a sweep of the Rebels. It was the second-highest hitting percentage by a pin hitter in a three-set match in the program’s rally scoring era, and she also chipped in nine digs. She followed that with a team-high 12 kills on 27 swings in a four-set decision on Sunday. After a slow start to the spring, Whitesides now has double-digit kills in five consecutive matches.

The Gamecocks hit the road for the last two weekends of the 2020-21 season, looking to improve on a 12-6 record in SEC play. Only the 2002 South Carolina squad has more conference wins in a single season (with 14). First up will be a series at LSU next Saturday and Sunday. Both matches have a 2 p.m. ET first serve.