Slow Starts Spoil Saturday for Beach Volleyball
The Gamecocks have one game remaining in the regular season before postseason play
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina wrapped up its final tournament of the regular season with a pair of tough losses Saturday in the Palmetto Invitational. The Gamecocks fell by a 3-2 score to both No. 20 FGCU and No. 14 Georgia State, trailing 2-0 in both duals before rallying late but coming just short of the comeback.
In the morning matchup against FGCU, the Gamecocks had a chance to split the first wave of matches but came up short with a 21-19, 17-21, 27-25 loss on court four that was compounded by the potential game-winning point for Carolina falling off the wrong side of the tape. The Eagles pressed in the second wave with first-set wins on the top three courts, but the Gamecocks battled back and forced a third set on each. Kaeli Crews and Hannah Mackenhausen on court three and Lauren Wilcock and Jordan Smith on court two each completed the comeback to tie the dual at 2-2, but FGCU won 15-13 in the third set on court one to clinch the win.
It was almost a carbon copy in the Georgia State dual, as the Panthers swept courts four and five and cruised to first-set wins on the top three courts as well. Crews/Mackenhausen and Smith/Wilcock again would answer back with decisive three-set wins, but court one fell behind early in their third set and the Panthers escaped with the win.
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- Lauren Wilcock won her 23rd match of the season in the dual against Georgia State, setting the program record for most wins by a freshman in program history. She broke a four-way tie at 22 with Aubrey Ezell (2016) and Ali Denney, Franky Harrison, Carly Schnieder and Katie Smith (2017).
- Wilcock’s partner, Jordan Smith, joined her in the 20-win club against FGCU. Smith’s record in just the last two seasons is 47-8.
- Wilcock and Smith improved their record as a pair to 18-4 overall with a 7-4 mark against ranked opponents. Those seven wins are the tied for the fourth-most in a single season in program history.
- Kaeli Crews and Hannah Mackenhausen extended their win streak as a pair to six games, they are also winners of 12 of their last 13 matches. For the season, the duo is 17-4 together, 10-2 on court three.
- South Carolina lost the first set on all five courts in each of the two duals on Saturday.
South Carolina officially ends its regular season on Wednesday, April 20 when it hosts Erskine for a one-off 6 p.m. dual with the Fleet. The Gamecocks have the following weekend off, then travel to Huntsville, Ala. for their conference tournament April 28-30.
No. 20 FGCU 3, No. 18 South Carolina 2
1. Maddison Parmelly/Kacie Johnson (FGCU) def. Skylar Allen/Whitley Ballard (SC) 21-17, 23-25, 15-13
2. Jordan Smith/Lauren Wilcock (SC) def. Jacqueline Carpenter/Lexie Hamilton (FGCU) 21-23, 21-16, 15-10
3. Hannah Mackenhausen/Kaeli Crews (SC) def. Trinity Rosales/Shelby Beisner (FGCU) 18-21, 21-14, 19-17
4. Snowy Burnam/Cortney Vanliew (FGCU) def. Abby Carroll/Alyssa Keller (SC) 21-19, 17-21, 27-25
5. Kaitlyn Luebbers/Emma Hansen (FGCU) def. Chase Teal/Jillian Gleason (SC) 21-16, 21-14
Ex. Peyton Gray/Sophie Bengoechea (SC) def. Skylar English/Mia Thompson (FGCU) 21-17, 21-16
Order of Finish: 5,4,2,3,1*
No. 14 Georgia State 3, No. 18 South Carolina 2
1. Elise Saga/Kelly Dorn (GSU) def. Skylar Allen/Whitley Ballard (SC) 21-19, 16-21, 15-10
2. Jordan Smith/Lauren Wilcock (SC) def. Maddy Delmonte/Eden Hawes (GSU) 13-21, 21-17, 15-6
3. Hannah Mackenhausen/Kaeli Crews (SC) def. Kayla Whetstone/Yasmin Kuck (GSU) 19-21, 21-15, 15-9
4. Angel Ferary/Bella Ferary (GSU) def. Abby Carroll/Alyssa Keller (SC) 21-16, 21-16
5. Chloee Kleespies/Becky Tresham (GSU) def. Sophie Manson/Kennedy Westendorff (SC) 21-15, 21-19
Ex. Lizzie Thompson/Sammy Ansel (SC) def. Tyler Lindgren/Bailey Hatchett (GSU) 21-13, 21-16
Order of finish: 4,5,2,3,1*