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Carolina Students to Work on ESPNU Campus Connection Production of Gamecock Volleyball Wednesday

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Wednesday's match is a big one for the Gamecocks as we prepare to take on #13 Florida at 8:00 p.m. It's our Dig Pink match supporting breast cancer awareness (first 200 fans receive free pink Gamecock t-shirts) including a special Zumba for the Cure halftime performance. The match is going to be nationally televised (ESPNU, 8:00 p.m.)

In partnership with the SEC, the broadcast will also be an ESPNU Campus Connection production. Eleven University of South Carolina students are integrated into the broadcast, learning alongside the ESPNU professional staff, in a variety of roles including camera operation, play-by-play, production and more. The production is a terrific opportunity for students to receive hands-on experience during a national telecast, as well as give fans watching at home a unique game perspective.

VB-11 team huddle - Travis Bell-Sideline Carolina.jpeg


















Photo by Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina



The majority of students participating are senior Broadcast majors who got involved through their professors and the "Senior Semester" class. Senior broadcast journalism student Dustin Martin is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the pros.

"I've been selected as a camera operator for the broadcast," said Martin. "It's an incredible opportunity for me because I am hoping to make a career in sports broadcasting. ESPN is the ultimate top level sport broadcasting company so being able to work side by side with them while still in school is a very exciting thing for me."

While everyone is excited about the opportunity and getting to see firsthand what goes into a live production, there are some nerves that come with going live. As Martin also pointed out, there isn't much room for error and every role is important

"I am assigned to some technical stuff (pulling cables...) things of that nature," said senior broadcast student Ashley Kuykendall. "I feel very privileged to be a part of something like this and any role would be wonderful. As a journalism student I have gotten to do many things that other students on campus won't get to do like film football games. I'm very excited to meet the crew and be a part of ESPNU."

Junior broadcast student Jarrett McDaris, who will be working with production cuing up instant replays, says he quickly recognized the potential for gaining experience to put on his resume with working on the production.

"I'm excited about the whole experience," said McDaris. "How many people can actually say they worked for ESPN on a production, and how many of those are college students?  There are not many.  This will be a good experience that will look good on a resume that I will send to a future employer one day."

For one student, the production is an opportunity to put 16 years of volleyball experience to good use. Also the youngest student on the project, sophomore Emily McDonnell will call on her volleyball knowledge while doing play-by-play and co-anchoring.

"This means so much to me, especially being a sophomore. I love volleyball and my goal is to end up on ESPN and being able to work with them so early is the greatest feeling in the world," said McDonnell. "I'm most excited about being on camera with professionals, especially being as educated about volleyball as I am. I feel really confident that I'll be able to do well with them."

Throughout the match senior broadcast major Alex Heaton will be working on a video feature of the entire experience that will be shown on the ESPNU Campus Connection website. She's also excited about the opportunity to work on another production after working with American Idol productions this summer. She'll get behind-the-scenes footage of the students working on the production, interviews and more for her recap piece.

So whether you're at the game Wednesday night cheering on the Gamecocks or watching at home on ESPNU, be sure to keep an eye out for the great group of Carolina students helping out on the broadcast. And send them good luck!

"I am not really nervous about anything yet," said McDaris.  "I am a student that has mid-terms to study for first, so I really have not had time to be nervous.  That will likely change as soon as we go live Wednesday night."


South Carolina Volleyball takes on #13 Florida on Wednesday, October 19, at 8:00 p.m. In support of our Dig Pink breast cancer awareness match, the first 200 fans will receive free pink Gamecock t-shirts. There will also be a special Zumba for the Cure halftime performance, special photo opps with Cocky to celebrate his birthday, and for Carolina students, double Student Rewards Points and free pizza.


Full list of students participating in the ESPNU Campus Connection production:

Producer: Lauren Hinnant (Senior - Broadcast)
Camera Operation: Dustin Martin (Senior - Broadcast)
Audio Assistant: Rachel Lindsay (Senior - Broadcast)
Tape Producer: Jarrett McDaris (Junior - Broadcast)
Stage manager: Ashley Burgess (Senior - Broadcast)
Utility: Ashley Kuykendall (Senior - Broadcast)
Utility 2: Harriett Ward (Grad - Journalism)
Play-by-play: Emily McDonnell (Sophomore - Broadcast)
Sideline reporter: Amanda Palacio (Senior - Broadcast)
Field reporter: Talmidge Sherman (Senior - Broadcast)
SEC recap reporter: Alex Heaton (Senior - Broadcast)

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