Beach Volleyball Sweeps Saturday Duals
The Gamecocks did not drop a point in wins over ULM and Mercer
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The first home weekend of the season for South Carolina beach volleyball wrapped up with two wins on a blustery Saturday, capping the Gamecock Grand Slam tournament. The Gamecocks (7-5) did not drop a point in 5-0 wins against Louisiana Monroe and Mercer.
Freezing temperatures, rain and strong wind gusts didn’t slow the Gamecocks in the morning opener against Louisiana Monroe. The team got sweeps at the fours and fives to run out to a 2-0 lead, and Jordan Smith and Lauren Wilcock clinched the team win with a clinical 21-13, 21-8 win on court two. Abby Carroll and Jillian Gleason overcame a first-set loss on court three and won 17-21, 21-11, 15-10 for a perfect 5-0 sweep for Carolina.
While the skies cleared in the afternoon, the wind did not, but South Carolina learned from its morning win and executed well in a 5-0 sweep of Mercer. The Gamecocks held the Bears to single-digit point totals in four of the six total set of the first wave of duals, most notably a big 21-6, 21-7 sweep for Nicole Deobler and Peyton Gray at the fifth pairing. Smith and Wilcock again made quick work to clinch the team win at the twos and Carroll and Gleason wrapped up the action with another three-set victory on court three, 21-14, 16-21, 15-11.
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- With a perfect 4-0 weekend on court one, Whitley Ballard is the first Gamecock to reach 10 wins this season. The senior’s 10-2 overall record now includes at least one win at all five spots in the lineup and five wins against ranked opponents.
- Nicole Deobler made her first career start vs. Mercer, teaming with Peyton Gray on court five for a sweep of the Bears.
- Deobler is the sixth different member of the team to record their first career win so far this season.
- Jordan Smith played in her 50th career dual in the finale against Mercer. Her record through those 50 duals is 37-13. That .740 winning percentage currently is the second highest in program history among Gamecocks with 50 or more total duals played and Smith is also just five wins from entering the top 10 for career dual victories
- Dating back to 2014, South Carolina is 62-21 (.747) on its home sand of Wheeler Beach.
Head Coach Moritz Moritz on dealing with adverse weather all weekend
I think a lot of it today was the preparation factor and making sure that we had the right mindset. The great equalizer is when you play in weather like this, wind like this, you can’t take anybody lightly regardless of if they’re a top ranked team or not. We have to make sure that our approach is always decisive and confident and making sure that we attack, and I think we did a pretty good job of that this weekend. We certainly have some things to learn and some things to improve on but it’s still early in the season, so there’s a lot of positives to take away.
The Gamecocks get back on the road for week four, heading to Gulf Shores, Ala. for the March to May tournament March 18-20. Hosted by UAB, the tournament features three days of duals; Friday, March 18 vs. FAU, Saturday vs. UAB and Florida State and Sunday vs. LSU and Tulane.
No. 19 South Carolina 5, Louisiana Monroe 0
1. Skylar Allen/Whitley Ballard (SC) def. Brooks, Audrey/Blazek, Julia (ULM) 21-12, 21-19
2. Jordan Smith/Lauren Wilcock (SC) def. Moreland, Elizabeth/Hoven, Brooke (ULM) 21-13, 21-8
3. Abby Carroll/Jillian Gleason (SC) def. Gallant, Kayla/Adams, Rylin (ULM) 17-21, 21-11, 15-10
4. Hannah Mackenhausen/Kaeli Crews (SC) def. Gray, Madison/Nowak, Kaitlyn (ULM) 21-14, 21-11
5. Sophie Manson/Peyton Gray (SC) def. Bufkin, Abbey/Elder, Abigail (ULM) 21-12, 21-14
Ex. Kristen Schenck/Lizzie Thompson (SC) def. Evans, Delaney/Black, Tamsie (ULM) 21-18, 25-23
Order of finish: 5,4,2*,1,3
No. 19 South Carolina 5, Mercer 0
1. Skylar Allen/Whitley Ballard (SC) def. Lexi Polychones/Olivia Boeve (MU) 21-14, 21-7
2. Jordan Smith/Lauren Wilcock (SC) def. Sydney Benson/Nicole O’Mara (MU) 21-12, 21-9
3. Abby Carroll/Jillian Gleason (SC) def. Jordan Paddock/Reese Hood (MU) 21-14, 16-21, 15-11
4. Hannah Mackenhausen/Kaeli Crews (SC) def. Kathryn Corbett/Hana Robertson (MU) 21-5, 21-16
5. Nicole Deobler/Peyton Gray (SC) def. Jordan Morris/Emily Earwood (MU) 21-6, 21-7
Ex. Chase Teal/Sophie Bengoechea (SC) def. Gracen Bohling/Emily Leonard (MU) 21-5, 21-10
Order of finish: 5,4,2*,1,3