Gamecocks Bag a Pair of Friday Wins
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gamecock beach volleyball opened its final weekend of the regular season with a strong effort Friday, taking down two teams receiving votes in the national polls. South Carolina (17-10) defeated FGCU (14-16) and Coastal Carolina (21-10) by 3-2 scores.
In the morning opener against FGCU, the Eagles held the momentum early with first-set wins in the fourth and fifth pairings. The visitors struck first by closing out the fourth flight in straight sets, but Peyton Gray and Lizzie Thompson were able to rally back with a 21-18 win in the second set to extend their match. In the third, the two seniors dominated with a 15-8 win that evened the team score at 1-1, a vital momentum shift.
In the second wave of matches, Skylar Allen and Simone Priebe handled the top pairing for FGCU to push the team ahead 2-1, but the Eagles would now counter with a three-set comeback of their own. With a win on court two, the team score would be knotted at 2-2. Kaeli Crews and Hannah Mackenhausen were able to shake off a first-set loss on court three to provide the clinching win, a 15-11 final in their third set.
The evening matchup with Coastal Carolina would be an equally competitive affair, with the Gamecocks coming away with another 3-2 win. Much like the morning dual, it would be Gray and Thompson that gave Carolina an important boost early, the pair won 21-19, 21-16 in the fives to counter a sweep for the Chanticleers in the fourth flight.
The Gamecocks were able to wrap up the team win with sweeps on courts one and two in the second wave, with each win holding extra significance. On court one, Allen and Priebe won 21-18, 22-20 for their 18th win together this season in the top spot. That breaks the program record for a single season, previously held by Shannon Williams and Cadie Bates from 2019. The clinching point came on court three, with a 21-11, 26-24 win for Crews and Mackenhausen. Their win was the 30th for their careers as a pair, making them just the fourth tandem in program history to reach the milestone. It was also a personal milestone for Crews, who reached 40 career wins as an individual.
For continued updates on the team, follow @GamecockBeachVB on Twitter and Instagram.
The regular season wraps up on Saturday with duals against Jacksonville and College of Charleston at 1 p.m and 5, respectively. Before the opener against the Dolphins, the team will hold its senior day ceremony with Skylar Allen, Hailey Cabeceiras, Kaeli Crews, Peyton Gray, Sophie Manson, Simone Priebe and Lizzie Thompson scheduled to be recognized.
No. 16 South Carolina 3, FGCU 2
- Skylar Allen/Simone Priebe (SC) def. Maddison Parmelly/Kacie Johnson (FGCU) 21-18, 21-15
- Shelby Beisner/Trinity Rosales (FGCU) def. Allison Coens/Lauren Wilcock (SC) 17-21, 21-19, 16-14
- Kaeli Crews/Hannah Mackenhausen (SC) def. Dylan Brewer/Nicole De Oliveira (FGCU) 17-21, 21-19, 15-11
- Kaitlyn Luebbers/Lexie Hamilton (FGCU) def. Jolie Cranford/Kennedy Westendorff (SC) 24-22, 21-16
- Lizzie Thompson/Peyton Gray (SC) def. Jacqueline Carpenter/Kristina Gluc (FGCU) 14-21, 21-18, 15-8
Ex. Chase Teal/Riley Whitesides (SC) def. Lily Felts/Mia Thompson (FGCU) 21-18, 21-15
Order of finish: 4,5,1,2,3*
No. 16 South Carolina 3, Coastal Carolina 2
- Skylar Allen/Simone Priebe (SC) def. Martine Kragholm/Sarah Riedell (CCU) 21-18, 22-20
- Sarlota Svobodova/Madie Lichty (CCU) def. Allison Coens/Lauren Wilcock (SC) 26-24, 18-21, 15-13
- Kaeli Crews/Hannah Mackenhausen (SC) def. Ellie Hanford/Irena Drobnjak (CCU) 21-11, 26-24
- Madison Allred/Raychel Ehlers (CCU) def. Jolie Cranford/Kennedy Westendorff (SC) 21-17, 21-16
- Lizzie Thompson/Peyton Gray (SC) def. Elena Sanchez/Emma Gonzalez (CCU) 21-19, 21-16
Ex. VB Trost/Morgan Downs (SC) def. Sydney Schwanbeck/Riley Melton (CCU) 21-15, 21-16
Order of Finish 5,4,1,3*,2