Ranked Win Highlights First Day of Beach Volleyball's Home Weekend
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina opened its home schedule with a pair of wins Friday, with a 4-1 win in the morning over Stephen F. Austin (2-8) and a dramatic finish with a 3-2 win over No. 12 Stetson (5-5). The two wins pushed the Gamecocks to a four-game win streak and a 7-4 record with two more games to play on Saturday.
The showdown with Stetson lived up to the billing, with four of the five matches going the distance. In the first wave, the Hatters won the first set of the fourth and fifth flights in commanding fashion, but the Gamecocks rallied back to force third sets on both courts. Lauren Wilcock and Jolie Cranford secured what would be a crucial early point with a 15-21, 21-11, 15-12 win on court four and the two sides split the first round of matches.
The Gamecocks again found themselves on their heels in the second wave, when Stetson again dominated the first set on courts one and two. Allison Coens and Hannah Mackenhausen helped right the ship for a moment with a 21-12, 21-14 sweep on court three to make it a 2-1 advantage and Carolina was able to rally and force third sets in the top two flights now needing just one for the team win. Stetson denied them on court two with a 15-8 win to even the score at 2-2, but Simone Priebe and Skylar Allen were able to pull away late for a 15-11 win at the top pairing to decide the dual.
In the team’s morning opener against Stephen F. Austin, the Gamecocks ran out to a quick 3-0 lead, highlighted by a three-set win for Sammy Ansel and Sadie Nelson on court five. Coens and Mackenhausen clinched the team win on court three, allowing just 22 points total to the Ladyjacks. Allen and Priebe capped the team’s scoring with a 21-19, 21-11 win on number one.
For continued updates on the team, follow @GamecockBeachVB on Twitter and Instagram.
QUOTABLE: Head Coach Moritz Moritz
On the team’s perseverance on day one of the weekend
“Today is kind of an accumulation of what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. Something we continue to reiterate to the team right now is that it’s the body of work, it’s the kids continuing to chip away little by little and to continue to have that belief and trust in each other as partners and teammates.
Stetson is an amazing team and for us to fight back the way we did was awesome tonight and we know it’s something that we need to capitalize and build on, but it’s one chapter in this story that we’re writing for the rest of this season. We know we’ve got to prepare for tomorrow and make the most of every opportunity at home.”
The Gamecocks face Tulane at 11 a.m. and UNCW at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Green Wave also defeated Stetson by a 3-2 margin on Friday and defeated UNCW, 4-1. The Seahawks went 0-2 on their first day in Columbia.
This spring, attendance at home matches at Wheeler Beah are again free and open to the general public. Please continue to follow the athletics department’s clear bag policy. Fan entrance is only permitted on the north side of the facility through the main gate and only participating teams and game-day personnel are permitted on the sand surface.
No. 19 South Carolina 4, Stephen F. Austin 1
- Skylar Allen/Simone Priebe (SC) def. Hannah Ogden/Natalie Bennett (SFA) 21-19, 21-11
- Olivia Duhon/Madison Morrow (SFA) def. Kaeli Crews/Kennedy Westendorff (SC) 17-21, 22-20, 15-13
- Allison Coens/Hannah Mackenhausen (SC) def. Madison Hall/Lizzie Denyer (SFA) 21-12, 21-10
- Jolie Cranford/Lauren Wilcock (SC) def. Kelly Johnson/Chloe Culver (SFA) 21-11, 21-15
- Sammy Ansel/Sadie Nelson (SC) def. Sophia Myers/Elaina Amador (SFA) 22-24, 21-14, 15-7
- Ex. VB Trost/Rebeca Olariu (SC) def. Rylee Erwin/Abagail Elder (SFA) 21-9, 21-14
Order of Finish: 4,5,3*,1,2
No. 19 South Carolina 3, No. 12 Stetson 2
- Skylar Allen/Simone Priebe (SC) def. Shae Henson/Karin Zolnercikova (STET) 14-21, 21-18, 15-11
- Anete Namike/Carolina Ferraris (STET) def. Kennedy Westendorff/Kaeli Crews (SC) 21-13, 16-21, 15-8
- Allison Coens/Hannah Mackenhausen (SC) def. Gabriella Bramante/Lauren Della (STET) 21-12, 21-14
- Jolie Cranford/Lauren Wilcock (SC) def. Noelle Weintraub/Audrey Gauthier (STET) 15-21, 21-11, 15-12
- Klea Sirois/Tori Clement (STET) def. Sadie Nelson/Sammy Ansel (SC) 21-13, 15-21, 15-12
- Ex. Kennedy Warren/Alina Urzua (STET) def. Lizzie Thompson/Sophie Bengoechea (SC) 16-21, 21-18, 15-9
Order of Finish: 4,5,3,2,1*