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Beach Volleyball Splits Day One of Carolina Challenge
Beach Volleyball  . 

Beach Volleyball Splits Day One of Carolina Challenge

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gamecock beach volleyball opened its home tournament, the Carolina Challenge, Saturday. South Carolina opened with a 5-0 sweep of Tennessee Tech (3-3) but came up just a few points short in a 3-2 loss to North Florida (6-3). The team moves to 5-5 for the season.

The Gamecocks flew through their morning dual with Tennessee Tech, holding the opposition to under 14 points in all 10 sets for a 5-0 sweep. Two new pairings started the weekend together, Jolie Cranford with Peyton Yamagata on court three and Abigail Lagemann and Chase Teal on court four. Both would be solid in wins, with Cranford/Yamagata allowing just 17 points total in a 21-12, 21-5 sweep and Lagemann/Teal opening the dual with a 21-10, 21-13 sweep. Hannah Mackenhausen and Riley Whitesides clinched the team victory at 3-0 with a 21-11, 21-7 sweep on court two.

Mackenhausen and Whiteside stepped into the number one position for the evening dual with North Florida, a matchup that was tight wire-to-wire. The visitors jumped ahead in the first wave, starting with a 22-20, 23-21 thriller on court four. Sophie Bengoechea and Morgan Downs dropped their first set on court five, 22-20, but forced a third set after a 21-18 win. A 4-0 run early by UNF gave it a 6-3 lead in the game to 15. Out of a Carolina timeout, the Gamecocks won their side with four of the next five points to take back the lead at 8-7 and after trading points they would lead 13-12. UNF scored the final three points to take the 15-13 victory and a 2-0 lead in the team score.

That result would be key as the final three pairs hit the sand and the Gamecocks needing all three. South Carolina stormed out to big leads and sweeps on courts one and three, but needed to rally back after losing 21-19 in the opener on court two. Skylar Allen and Allison Coens took a big lead to start set two, but dropped the lead down the stretch and lost 21-19 again for the final point of the team dual.


  • Hannah Mackenhausen’s 105th career start, coming against North Florida, was the senior’s first in the number one pairing. Of her previous 104 appearances, 27 starts came at No. 2, 45 at No. 3, 27 at No. 4 and five at No. 5.
  • Skylar Allen’s sweep of Tennessee Tech Saturday morning was her 70th career victory. The graduate student is now the sixth member of the program to reach 70 wins.
  • South Carolina’s dual with Tennessee Tech is the first-ever meeting between the two programs. This is year two of the Golden Eagles’ beach volleyball team.
  • After dropping their lone three-set match of the day against UNF, the Gamecocks are now 4-13 in three-set matches through 10 games this season.
  • To add to the frustrations, the six sets the Gamecocks lost to the Osprey were all decided by the minimum two points. The Gamecocks are 7-19 in deuce sets this spring.
  • The loss to North Florida snaps a four-game win streak for South Carolina in the all-time series. The Osprey’s last win in the series also came on Wheeler Beach, back in 2016.
  • South Carolina is now 82-27 (.757) all time in its home sand of Wheeler Beach.

South Carolina’s final home matches of March will wrap up the Carolina Challenge on Sunday. The Gamecocks face New Orleans (5-4) at 11 a.m. and close out the tournament against Eastern Kentucky (5-4) at 5 p.m.

For continued updates on the team, follow @GamecockBeachVB on Twitter and Instagram.

South Carolina 5, Tennessee Tech 0

  1. Skylar Allen/Allison Coens (SC) def. Bella Powell/Madolyn Isringhausen (TTU) 21-10, 21-12
  2. Riley Whitesides/Hannah Mackenhausen (SC) def. MK Roberts/Skylar Boom (TTU) 21-11, 21-7
  3. Jolie Cranford/Peyton Yamagata (SC) def. Brooke Amann/Aleeya Jones (TTU) 21-12, 21-5
  4. Abigail Lagemann/Chase Teal (SC) def. Ava Schubert/McKenna Young (TTU) 21-10, 21-13
  5. Morgan Downs/Sophie Bengoechea (SC) def. Olivia Taylor/Katie DiRaimondo (TTU) 21-13, 21-9

Ex. VB Trost/Julia Waugh (SC) def. Elena Wallace/Emma Pabon (TTU) 21-10, 21-9

Order of finish: 4,5,2*,3,1 

North Florida 3, South Carolina 2

  1. Riley Whitesides/Hannah Mackenhausen (SC) def. Presley Murray/Madison Espy (UNF) 21-18, 21-15
  2. Taylor Pierce/Michaela Rezentes (UNF) def. Skylar Allen/Allison Coens (SC) 21-19, 21-19
  3. Jolie Cranford/Peyton Yamagata (SC) def. Iris Fletcher/Hallie Phelan (UNF) 21-14, 21-12
  4. Mariana Feliciano San12/Mackenzie Murphy (UNF) def. Abigail Lagemann/Chase Teal (SC) 22-20, 23-21
  5. Cameron Humphries/Hayden Wooldridge (UNF) def. Morgan Downs/Sophie Bengoechea (SC) 22-20, 18-21, 15-13

Ex. McKenzie Nichols/Evie Ziffer (SC) def. Madeline Camp/Katie Camp (UNF) 23-25, 21-14, 17-15

Order of finish: 4,5,3,1,2*