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Beach Volleyball Begins 2022 Campaign at the Stetson Spring Fling
Beach Volleyball  . 

Beach Volleyball Begins 2022 Campaign at the Stetson Spring Fling

The two-day tournament starts Friday with a pair of ranked opponents

DELAND, FLA. – South Carolina beach volleyball begins its spring season on the road at the Stetson Spring Fling, running Feb. 25-26. The Gamecocks earned the No. 18 spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s preseason poll and will face a pair of ranked opponents this weekend among its four total duals. Friday’s schedule will pit the team against No. 20 FGCU at 8 a.m. ET and the No. 19 host Hatters at 2 p.m. Saturday, the Gamecocks play against College of Charleston at noon and wrap up the tournament with a 4 p.m. dual against Mercer.

The 2022 season begins with a matchup against FGCU. The Eagles open the season ranked 20th in the AVCA preseason coaches poll thanks to a solid 2021 season that featured wins over Stetson, FAU, Tulane, North Florida and others for a 17-15 overall record. Leading the crop of returners is sophomore Kacie Johnson, who went 23-8 in her first season with the team that included 22 wins at No. 2. Just behind her as wins leaders are Lexie Hamilton and Maddison Parmelly, who each won 19 matches overall in 2021 and 17 together as a pair in the No. 3 position. Senior Kirstine Gardner is another Eagle to watch, having racked up 12 wins at the No. 1 position last spring.

The host Stetson Hatters are angling for another trip to the national tournament after coming just shy in 2021 behind a 19-13 overall record. The team enters the season ranked 19th nationally and bring back a good amoung of young experience from 2021. The biggest loss to the lineup is the graduation of Ana Costa and Carly Perales, who were among the very best pairs in the country last spring with a 23-9 record at No. 1. Filling the sand in their wake are a number of contributors, notably 20-game winners Gabby Bramante and Shae Henson as well as Aleksandra Stadnik (14 wins in 2021), Lauren Domel (8) and Noelle Weintraub (7). Adding to the roster depth is a six-woman class of international student-athletes – two from Canada, two from the Czech Republic, one from Latvia and another from England.

College of Charleston is entering its first season competing in the Atlantic Sun and returns a large portion of its 2021 roster. The Cougars are led by senior Sky Benjamin and sophomore Rebecca Olariu, who teamed up for 12 wins at No. 1 last season, as well as the team’s win leaders Ella Reames and Maria Zweig, who went 15-10 as a pair all season. The team’s lone significant loss from the lineup is the graduation of Ella Ridinger, who went 13-11 overall and 8-5 at No. 3 last spring.

Mercer played just 13 duals in 2021, finishing with a 6-7 overall record. It will be a brand-new look for the Bears in 2022, with 11 freshmen on the 16-women roster. Mercer lost its entire No. 1 and No. 2 pairings and will lean on returner Olivia Boeve, who went 7-6 as a junior in 2021. 


  • The team’s 23 wins are tied for the second highest total in program history, and its 12 regular-season wins against conference opponents is a single-season record. All nine of South Carolina’s losses this season came against nationally ranked opponents. The Gamecocks’ 14 total duals against ranked teams is the third-highest single-season total in program history.
  • Katie Smith and Skylar Allen were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) second-team All-America squad. The duo are the first Gamecocks in program history to earn All-America status.
  • Allen and Smith were also named the AVCA’s National Pair of the Week on April 27, coming after the pair finished with a perfect 4-0 record at the CCSA conference tournament, including wins over the top pairs for No. 3 Florida State and No. 7 TCU. 
  • Allen and Smith finished the season 16-6 together on court one, with an 8-7 record against nationally ranked opponents. Only Cadie Bates and Shannon Williams in 2019 (17) have more single-season wins in the top pairing, but Allen and Smith’s .727 win percentage is a program single-season record for playing on the top court.
  • Individually, Allen ended the season with a 20-10 record on the top court. She is the first Gamecock to win 20 matches at No. 1 in a single season; the previous high was 17.
  • Smith ends her career at South Carolina with 96 career dual wins and 99 career wins overall; both are program records.
  • Jess Vastine and Jordan Smith ended the season sharing the team lead for individual wins with Carly Schnieder. The trio finished with 26, just one shy of matching the program’s single season record.
  • Smith’s final record of 26-4 gives her a final win percentage of .867, a single-season record for the program.
  • Schnieder and Morgyn Greer finished the season with a record of 23-5 as a pair. That is the third-highest single-season win total by a Gamecock pair in program history
  • Schnieder leaves South Carolina with 92 career wins, the third-highest total in program history.

As year nine of Gamecock beach volleyball gets underway, the team will have a new look to the roster. Only five of the ten starters from 2021 are back, with three of the top-10-winningest players in program history graduating. What the team may appear to lack in experience on the roster is more than made up by the experience on its coaching staff. Head coach Moritz Moritz and assistant coach RJ Abella have been together since the program’s first season back in 2014. Across all of collegiate beach volleyball, the duo is currently tied only with UCLA (Stein Metzger and Jenny Johnson Jordan) in terms of longest tenure together as a staff.

Skylar Allen was one of three women to be unanimous selections to the CCSA’s preseason all-conference 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.

Jordan Smith enjoyed a career year in 2021, finishing with a 26-4 record as an individual, and joined Allen on the preseason all-conference team. The 26 wins was one 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 team earned its first-ever ranking by the AVCA on March 6, 2017, and have not left the polls since. The Gamecocks peaked at No. 8 in the polls in 2018 and check in at No. 18 for the 2022 preseason poll release on Feb. 15, marking 50 weekly rankings in a row in the coaches poll. 

South Carolina will have a new look to its starting lineup for 2022, as half of the starting lineup and nine total Gamecocks graduated from the program from the 2021 roster. Included in the graduates are three of the top-10 career wins leaders in program history – Katie Smith (1st), Carly Schnieder (3rd) and Jess Vastine (8th). The team’s winningest returner is Jordan Smith and her 31 career wins, followed by Skylar Allen’s 27. Along with the return of sophomores Hannah Mackenhausen and Alyssa Keller – who were mainstays in the lineup as freshmen – the coaching staff has high hopes for a number of young Gamecocks who will aim to find their place in the starting lineup this spring. Preseason candidates for breakout seasons include juniors Kaeli Crews, Peyton Gray and Sophie Manson, sophomores Sammy Ansel, Sophie Bengoechea and Jillian Gleason and freshmen with accomplished club careers like Lauren Wilcock and Chase Teal.

Freshmen Chase Teal and Lauren Wilcock were named to the AVCA’s High School Beach All-American teams, announced back in September. The Gamecocks now have seven current or past honorees on the roster and have 10 total in the eight years the award has existed.

Teal, a member of the second team all america list, comes to South Carolina from Creedmoor, N.C. Her top finishes at the club level are podium finishes at the 2021 p1440 Nationals U18 (3rd) and 2021 USAV Nationals U18 (2nd), and titles at the 2020 AVP America Myrtle Beach College Open and 2018 USAV Nationals U16. As an indoor volleyball athlete, she helped her Falls Lake Academy high school team to two state championships.

Wilcock is one of eight women nationally to make the AVCA’s all american first team. The Mendham, N.J. native enjoyed plenty of success on the national club tournament circuit, highlighted by a second-place finish at the 2021 p1440 Nationals U18 and titles at the 2021 ESPL Gulf Shores Beach Wars U18 (1st) and 2020 AVP America Nationals U18 (1st). She was also recognized individually with a Young Gun award after her 2020 title with AVP Nationals. Through July 2021, she held the No. 1 ranking from p1440 Beach and a No. 2 ranking from AVP America for U18 athletes.

The duo also were recognized nationally on the eight-woman Platform 1440 All Star team.


  • South Carolina holds a 134-82 (.620) 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 45-28 (.616).
  • In matches at Wheeler Beach, Carolina is 59-20 (.747).
  • Moritz Moritz is in his ninth 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.