Beach Volleyball Sets 2022-23 Signing Class
Six newcomers join the squad in the fall semester
COLUMBIA, S.C – Head coach Moritz Moritz announced South Carolina beach volleyball’s 2022-23 signing class on Dec. 17. The Gamecocks add six freshmen hailing from five different states who will compete for the team in the spring of 2023.
“It was a unique experience, creating and cultivating relationships based around trying to get to know somebody virtually and watch them on tape, just because we weren’t able to get out as much due to the pandemic,” Moritz said about the creation of this signing class in unusual circumstances.
“When we were finally able to get out and see this group in person this past summer, we were pleased to validate that these were people who matched with what we value as a program both as competitors and as people. One thing about this class is that they bring in a lot of versatility and athleticism. I’m excited to see how they continue to develop once we surround them with our current roster.”
Hopping on to the sand for South Carolina for the 2022-23 school year are…
Jolie Cranford | 5-9 | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Highlands Ranch HS | The Lab
- Daughter of Joseph and Ann.
- Has one sister, Daniela.
- Has SEC ties in the family, her father and uncle played baseball at Georgia. Her mother played college volleyball at Colorado Mesa.
- Is the first player from the state of Colorado to come to South Carolina for beach volleyball.
- Plans to major in biology with a career goal of becoming a pediatrician.
“I’m excited for Jolie to join our team, our first from Colorado. She plays with the determination and physicality that we believe will translate to the college level. Her play is anchored by a highly competitive motor and eagerness to continue to get better and find ways to win,” Moritz said.
Morgan Downs | 5-10 | Cary, N.C. | Green Level HS | Sinjin Beach VB Club
- Daughter of Matt and Holly.
- Has two brothers, Drew and Bryce.
- Her father played college golf at the University of Illinois.
- Plans to pursue a business major at South Carolina with the goal of becoming a realtor.
“Morgan is unassuming at first but once she steps on the court she plays with great ferocity and energy. There’s a great balance in the way that she is very controlled and deliberate and how she plays, but also can compete with a special level of emotion and spark,” Moritz said.
Sadie Nelson | 5-10 | San Antonio, Texas | San Antonio Christian HS | 210 Beach
- Daughter of Sean and Lynn.
- Has three sisters, Kaylen, Kelsey and Lindsey.
- Her father played college soccer at University of Incarnate Word
“An athlete that can take over a match before you know what hits you, Sadie is explosive quick and a lot of fun to watch. She has the quality of being reserved but definitely does not play timid at all,” Moritz said.
Virginia Blair (VB) Trost | 5-10 | Lynchburg, Va. | E.C. Glass HS | Sinjin Beach VB Club
- Daughter of Randall and Natalie.
- Has one older brother Randall Jr.
- Plans to major in International Business with a minor in Spanish at South Carolina.
“VB is a very engaging, dynamic person. That shows in her preparation and the drive she has to excel. Her game has seen tremendous growth in the last couple years and I am excited for how she will continue to pour her positive energy into pushing herself here as a Gamecock and making her program better,” Moritz said.
Anna Weitnauer | 5-9 | Marietta, Ga. | The Mount Vernon School | Southern Sand Select
- Daughter of Brent and Sheila.
- Has one sister, Kate.
- Plans to major in Retail Management at South Carolina.
“In getting to know her, Anna is reserved but direct and those characteristics translate into the way she competes. She has a special level of intensity and fire, she’s a greedy competitor and it has been fun to see her personality emerge. I’m excited to see how that fire fuels her drive to reach the highest levels at South Carolina,” Moritz said.
Presley Wright | 5-10 | Dallas, Texas | Highland Park HS | MadSand
- Daughter of Jamey and Marnie.
- Has two brothers, Jett and Cash.
- Her father played professional baseball from 1996 to 2014. Mother was a cheerleader at the University of Oklahoma.
- Plans to major in Sports Science at South Carolina, with a career goal of working in physical therapy.
“Since day one connecting with Presley, I have come to know someone that has a drive to perform at her best and everything that she does. She is an explosive athlete that is continuing to fine-tune the details of her game, but she brings her presence of carelessness to the way that she approaches learning and improving,” Moritz said.