Beach Volleyball Duo Named to CCSA Preseason All-Conference Team
Allen and Smith are coming off breakout 2021 seasons
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) announced its annual beach volleyball preseason all-conference team Wednesday afternoon. South Carolina put two returners on the 10-woman team, senior Jordan Smith and junior Skylar Allen. The Gamecocks, ranked No. 18 in the preseason national coaches poll, begin the 2022 season on Friday, Feb. 25 at the Stetson Spring Fling in DeLand, Fla.
Allen was one of three women to be unanimous selections to the team, thanks to a breakout 2021 season that culminated in her earning second team All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Allen finished her first full season with the team with a 22-10 overall record and 20-10 mark playing at number one. No other Gamecock individual in program history had more than 17 wins at number one entering the year and only four other Gamecocks had 20 or more career wins at the number one position prior to Allen’s accomplishment. Of her 22 wins, six came against nationally ranked opponents and 11 came against CCSA rivals.
Smith also enjoyed a career year in 2021, finishing with a 26-4 record as an individual. It was one win shy of the single-season record for the program, but her .867 win percentage shattered the previous best for the program. She went 10-2 against ranked opponents and set a single-season program record with 14 wins against CCSA opponents. Smith won 11 matches in a row with teammate Jess Vastine, the second-longest win streak ever by a Gamecock pair, but as an individual her 17-game win streak from Feb. 26 to March 21 is a program record. She spent most of the season paired with Vastine and the duo’s 17-3 record together set a single-season record for highest pair win percentage (.850).
The duo headline a young but talented Gamecock roster for the spring. Five starters graduated from the 2021 team but a large group of returners as well as a promising freshman class will be eager to kick off year nine of South Carolina beach volleyball. Day one of the Spring Fling tournament pits the Gamecocks against No. 20 FGCU at 8 a.m. ET with a showdown against the host Hatters at 2 p.m. on Friday. Day two features duals against College of Charleston at noon and Mercer at 4 p.m. on Saturday. For updates on the team all season long, follow @GamecockBeachVB on social media.