Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+
Volleyball Hosts Miami and Troy for Weekend Round Robin Tournament
Women's Volleyball  . 

Volleyball Hosts Miami and Troy for Weekend Round Robin Tournament

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina volleyball wraps up its season-opening five-game home stand this weekend when it host Miami (Fla.) (3-0) and Troy (0-3). The Gamecocks (2-1) face the Hurricanes Friday night at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network+, then welcome in the Trojans on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. with another SEC Network+ broadcast.


  • While the Gamecocks rebuild their win streak overall in the series, they did extend their home win streak over Clemson on Wednesday. The Tigers have not won in Columbia since 1994, a streak that now grows to 11 games in a row.
  • The 13 service aces are the most in a match of any length since Sept. 26, 2010 against The Citadel. The total is one behind the record for most aces in a four-set match in the modern scoring era (since 2001), ironically against Clemson on Oct. 10, 2001 (14).
  • It wasn’t just aces that made the difference behind the line, it was also errors. Clemson finished with 15, compared to nine for South Carolina. Combining points scored off aces and points scored off the other team’s errors on serve, the Gamecocks enjoyed a 28-10 advantage behind the line.
  • Riley Whitesides spearheaded the service-line assault, picking up a career-high four aces for the night. Four different Gamecocks recorded two or more aces in the match.
  • Despite adverse weather conditions, Gamecock fans still packed the gym with a total attendance of 3,293 After coming into the match ranked ninth nationally for total attendance so far this fall, the team now has seen three of the top five most well-attended matches happen in the span of six days.
  • Junior middle Oby Anadi set a personal best with four solo blocks in the match, surpassing her previous high of three set last fall. The four solo blocks puts her in a three-way tie for most in a three-set match in the modern scoring era.
  • Morgan Carter was stout as the team’s back-line anchor, leading the team with 17 digs and also adding six assists and a service ace. 

Miami enters the weekend with a 3-0 record, embarking on its first road trip of the fall. The Hurricanes blew through the competition at home to start the season, dropping two sets total in wins over FIU, Maryland and FAU. The team currently ranks in the top-15 nationally in kills per set and is hitting .305 as a team, also ranking in the top-50 for service aces per set. Five different hitters have averaged two or more kills per set to date, led by Peyman Yardimci’s 3.36 average with a hitting percentage of .400.

Troy put itself to the test in week one, traveling to Louisville to a tournament hosted by the Cardinals. The Trojans came up winless while facing Washington State, Wright State and host Louisville. Three hitters have posted two or more kills per set so far, led by sophomore Amiah Butler’s 3.33. 

Few venues feature the atmosphere of the Carolina Volleyball Center, and Gamecock fans are out in full force again to start the 2023 season. A crowd of 3,293 fans weathered the storms Wednesday night against Clemson, the total is the second-highest for a home game in program history, just behind the record of 3,458 against Clemson (8/25/2018). That came after last weekend’s total of 5,340 fans for the two-game series against Towson, which ranked South Carolina ninth nationally for total and average attendance.

The team now has seen three of the top five most well-attended matches in program history happen in the span of six days and seven of the top eight crowds have come under Coach Tom Mendoza’s tenure. In 2022, South Carolina ranked 52nd nationally in average attendance (1,134) and total attendance (15,878), despite having the smallest capacity gym of any team ranked ahead of it.  Dating back to 2014, the Gamecock volleyball program is averaging at least 1,000 fans per game every season.

The team dominated Clemson in the serve game on Wednesday night, finishing with a 13-1 advantage in service aces. Among the notable stats:

  • The Gamecocks also were low-error on serve, with nine errors compared to 15 for the Tigers. Combining aces and opponent errors, South Carolina out-scored Clemson 28-10 just in the serve game.
  • The 13 aces are the most by a Carolina team since 2010, for a match of any length. It ranks as the second-most for a four set match in the modern scoring era (since 2001), behind the record of 14 against Clemson on Oct. 10, 2001.
  • The +12 margin for service aces is the most since ___. The last time the team had a double-digit advantage in the category was Sept. 26, 2010 against The Citadel (13-3). The last time the team had an advantage higher than Wednesday night’s +12 was against Auburn on Oct. 17, 2004 (+16).
  • From just the one game, South Carolina jumped from being ranked 264th in the NCAA for aces per set to 91st.
  • For as good as the servers were, the Gamecock serve defense was equally impressive. The team’s passers were only aced once in the match, the fewest since the team’s Arkansas match on Nov. 2 of last season.
  • It is the 10th time in head coach Tom Mendoza’s tenure (since 2018) that the Gamecocks allowed one ace or fewer in a match.


  • After a year away from it, junior Morgan Carter returned to the libero position in week one and shined on the back line. She finished with a game-high 14 digs and added three assists and a service ace on Friday and averaged 3.71 digs per set over the two-game series.
  • Towson did finish the Saturday match with more kills (59-51) and blocks (10-8) than Carolina, but it was unforced errors that made the difference. The Tigers had five more service errors and twice as many unforced attacking errors (16-8) than the Gamecocks.
  • Sophomore Kimmie Thompson moved into the second setter role on Saturday and put up 20 assists, seven digs and two key service aces.
  • Whitesides notched the team’s first double-double of the year, following up four in 2022. The senior has eight total for her career.
  • Whitesides also moved up in to the top 10 for career kills and career points scored in the rally scoring era after Saturday. She currently stand at 791 and 900, respectively.
  • Senior Ellie Ruprich surpassed 1,000 career attacks over the weekend, hitting .455 with 12 total kills. She now qualifies for the career hitting percentage category in the program record book and immediately enters as the 8th-highest, with a .294 career percentage to date.
  • Friday night, the six returning attackers from 2022 who played accounted for just 22 total kills, that number jumped up to 43 for the same six on Saturday.

Two new staff members will help guide the Gamecocks for the 2023 season. Brittany Farrell joined the staff in February, most recently serving as the head coach for the indoor and beach volleyball programs at Spartanburg Methodist College after playing for South Carolina from 2018-19. After starting her collegiate volleyball career at Minnesota, Farrell (née McLean) joined the Gamecocks and finished with 58 career games played at Carolina, totaling 484 kills, 122 digs and 65 total blocks with the team making the NCAA tournament in 2018 and 2019. After graduating cum laude with a bachelor of arts from South Carolina, Farrell earned her master’s in business administration from Stetson while playing for its beach volleyball program.

In March, Mendoza announced the hiring of Madelyn Cole as the program’s director of operations. Cole spent the 2022 season as an assistant coach for Oral Roberts. Prior to that, she served as an assistant coach at Butler University, assisting with recruiting operations and on-court development with setters. In her career as a student-athlete, Cole was a two-time Big East Champion and NCAA Tournament participant at Creighton University from 2018-19, where she was a two-year starter at setter. Cole was named to the All-Big East Team in both seasons and was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2019. Her first coaching role following her playing career was in 2021, serving as a graduate assistant for Providence College. While at Providence, Cole was named a 2021 AVCA Diversity Award recipient.