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Volleyball returns from a road trip to host two big SEC matches starting with Florida on Friday at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to match the team's uniforms and wear white to the match! Volleyball will also host Ole Miss this Sunday at 1:30 on International Fitness Day - the first 100 children will receive a free water bottle to encourage fitness. Men's Soccer will host FIU on Saturday on Youth Soccer Night with several activities for kids. Equestrian hosts their first home event of the year earlier that day taking on Oklahoma State at 1 p.m.


Fans_120907_0117.JPGSome of our enthusiastic fans at volleyball!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Carolina Calls" - 7-8 p.m. - Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista
Radio Affiliates

Friday, September 28, 2012

Volleyball vs. #13 Florida - 7 p.m.
-    WHITE OUT - everyone is encouraged to wear white to the match!
-    Free Rally Towel and Bandana giveaway

Saturday, September 29, 2012

#4 Equestrian vs. #5 Oklahoma State - 1 p.m.
-   Free admission at One Wood Farm in Blythewood
-   Team posters
-   First home event of the season!

Men's Soccer vs. FIU - 7 p.m.
-    Guard the Yard
The dorm that has the highest percentage of attendees after this season's four C-USA games will receive a grand prize at the end of the season!
-    Boy Scout Night
-    Youth Soccer Night
Cones, drills, and goals available for youth play

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Volleyball vs. Ole Miss - 1:30 p.m.
-    International Fitness Day
First 100 kids (12 and under) will receive a free water bottle in support of International Fitness Day
-    High School Night
-    Post-Match Autograph Session

Gamecocks on the road...  (all times Eastern)

Men's Soccer at SMU - Monday, 8 p.m.
Women's Soccer at Auburn - Friday, 8 p.m.
Cross Country at Charlotte Invitational - Friday, 3:30 p.m.
Men's Tennis at Chattanooga Invitational - Friday-Sunday
Women's Tennis at ITA All-American Championships - Saturday-Thursday
Football at Kentucky - Saturday, 7 p.m. TV: ESPN2
Women's Soccer at Vanderbilt - Sunday, 2 p.m.


Volleyball and Women's Soccer both open up conference play this weekend with two big matches each for both teams. Celebrate National Cream-Filled Donut Day with us during Friday's matches for both teams and check out the info below to see when you can participate in the Dorm Swarm Challenge, go on a QR Code scavenger hunt, and help show a great soccer atmosphere for national TV.

VB-12 Carolina Clash Champions.jpegSouth Carolina Volleyball won the Carolina Clash with wins over Clemson, UAB and Winthrop over the weekend to extend their unbeaten record to 11-0.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Carolina Calls" - Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista - 7-8 p.m.
Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio affiliates

Friday, September 14, 2012

Volleyball vs. Georgia - 7 p.m.
*SEC season opener. Gamecocks are 11-0 in nonconference play to start the season including a big win over Clemson last Friday.

- $1 Admission
- National Cream-filled Donut Day
- First 100 fans will receive a cream filled donut
-Show us a tweet or post about hanging out with the Gamecocks on National Cream-Filled Donut Day and receive a free t-shirt (limit one per person).
- "Dorm Swarm Challenge" - Dorm with the largest percentage of attendees will receive a pizza party with the volleyball team! Be sure to check in at the marketing table.

Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State - 7 p.m.
*SEC season opener; Freshman Courtney Angotti-Smith earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for scoring two of the Gamecocks' three goals in a shutout victory over ECU on Sunday (highlights below!)

- National Cream-Filled Donut Day
- First 100 fans will receive a cream-filled donut
- QR Code Scavenger Hunt
- Students who complete our QR Code scavenger hunt will receive a prize! Get started at the marketing table! Get a jump on the game and make sure you have a QR Code scanner app on your smartphone!
- Drawstring bag giveaway to the first 50 students

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Football vs. UAB - 7 p.m.  Tickets Available, $35 each

- Gamecock Walk in the former Farmer's Market area at approximately 4:40 p.m.  Check out video of the first Gamecock Walk of the season here.
- Visit Lexington Medical Center Gamecock Village pre-game to catch up on other games in the viewing tent, play games, get your photo with Cocky and more!
- First night time home game of 2012 and first chance to see the "Beast Board" video board under the lights!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Volleyball vs. LSU - 1:30 p.m.

- $1 Football Ticket Admission
- Bring your UAB game football ticket to Volleyball and receive $1 admission!

Women's Soccer vs. Missouri - 2:00 p.m.
- Rally Towel Giveaway
- Camper Appreciation Day
- National TV game airing on ESPNU - fill Stone Stadium and help show a great TV atmosphere!

Gamecocks on the road...
Women's Golf at Cougar Classic - Monday-Tuesday
Men's Soccer at Charlotte - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Men's Tennis at Duke Fab Four Invitational - Friday-Sunday
Women's Tennis at UVa Fall Invitational - Friday-Sunday

****Look ahead to next week and circle your calendars!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Men's Soccer vs. Clemson - 7 p.m.
- "Beat Clemson" Shirts to the first 200 fans
-  Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day with $1 cheeseburgers to the first 100 fans wearing either Garnet or a Beat Clemson t-shirt!

Gamecock Country: Where Every Day Is A Holiday

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Gamecock Country: Where Every Day Is A Holiday

Here in Gamecock Country we always have something to celebrate, whether it be our dedicated players, impressive facilities or diehard fans. This season, fans can now come out and enjoy the unique national and international holidays that coincide with our Gamecock athletic events.
Starting this fall, fans will have the chance to get in the spirit of holidays that are strange, fun and even delicious.
cream filled doughnuts.jpgWhat will you wear to the Men's Soccer game on September 17 a.k.a. National Wear Something Gaudy Day? Will you be one of the first 100 fans to win a complimentary doughnut on National Cream-Filled Donut Day? The Volleyball and Women's Soccer games will have them ready and waiting on September 14.
More details about each holiday event will be released before each game, giving fans plenty of time to tell your friends and gear up for the celebration. Stay tuned!

Holidays and Dates to get ready for:

International Literacy Day - Sep 8
National Grandparents Day - Sep 9
National Cream-Filled Donut Day - Sep 14
National Cheeseburger Day - Sep 18
International Fitness Day - Sep 30
World Smile Day - Oct 7
National Dessert Day - Oct 14
National Wear Something Gaudy Day - Oct 17


While traveling to the Washington, D.C., area to compete in the Mason Inn Patriot Invitational where they went undefeated to bring home the title, the Gamecock Volleyball team was able to fit in some fun and team bonding as well.

It all started with a special visit to the White House. A friend of John Kasik, South Carolina Associate AD/Sports Medicine, was able to help the team secure a tour giving them the opportunity to see the East Wing, including rooms with names like the blue room, the green room, and the red room, the main ballroom where the White House hosts all their big events, and more.

"We saw where every President has done a press conference. We all stood in that same spot, so it was really cool to think about throughout history how many majorly important people had been in that room, " said head coach Scott Swanson.

In addition to the White House the team visited several memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the World War II Memorial. At the WWII Memorial team members took photos in front of the pillars recognizing their home states before all gathering for a group photo in front of the South Carolina pillar:

VB-12 team in DC.jpg
The sight-seeing concluded with a sobering experience at the Holocaust Museum, where the team spent about an hour.

"I've done that with other teams before," said Swanson. "It's a good historical perspective on how things happened back then, but I think it's important for the kids to get a reality check every once in a while to see how lucky we are."

VB staff in DC.jpgWith student-athletes and staff from all over the country (and the world - junior Juliette Thevenin is from Belgium!), several of the team members had never had the opportunity to visit D.C. or had only been on field trips early in their childhood. Coach Swanson felt that even those who had been before would appreciate it more now that they are in college and have taken related classes. (Pictured left: the fearless leaders, the staff at the Lincoln Memorial)

Darian Dozier saw it as a unique opportunity to visit home. The freshman is from Sandy Spring, Maryland, not far from D.C.

"It was really fun to go and be able to show my team where I'm from. It was really good to have a lot of my family and friends come to the games because a lot of them wouldn't be able to come to South Carolina," said Dozier.

VB team bonding in DC.jpgTeam bonding at its finest- climbing trees!

Freshman Litsa Darby of Mount Pleasant, SC, had been to Washington before, but never with an experience quite like this one.

"The White House was awesome. I've never been in the White House before. When Scott told us we got to go, we were all so excited," said Darby. "And I loved getting to bond with all the girls and getting to know them. It was my first away game so that was really cool and exciting."

On the court the Gamecocks defeated West Virginia, George Mason, Niagara, and Navy to win the tournament and extend their undefeated record to 8-0. They'll put that record to the test this weekend when they take on rival Clemson on Friday at 7 p.m.

Get to Friday's match early - the first 200 fans will receive free "Beat Clemson" t-shirts!



Another match-up with Clemson highlights this week's home schedule as the Gamecocks take on the Tigers in Volleyball. Carolina is 8-0 to start the season heading into their rival match-up on Friday at 7 p.m. The first 200 fans will receive "Beat Clemson" t-shirts. Get there early as t-shirts were gone in a matter of minutes for the women's soccer game last weekend! UofSC students will also be able to earn double Student Rewards points and free Little Caesar's pizza (while supplies last). Volleyball will host two matches on Saturday while football has their home opener vs. ECU the same day. Sunday marks our National Grandparents Day celebration at women's soccer vs. ECU with fans having the opportunity to submit their photos to be shown on the video board.

VB-12 team group shot.jpeg

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Carolina Calls - Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista - 7-8 p.m.
Radio Affiliates

Friday, September 7, 2012

Volleyball vs. Clemson - 7 p.m.
-    Free "Beat Clemson" T-shirts to first 200 fans
-    Free Little Caesar's pizza to students
-    Double Student Rewards points
-    Rally Towel giveaway
-    Start of Carolina Clash tournament

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Volleyball vs. UAB - 11 a.m.
-    Rally Towel Giveaway

Volleyball vs. Winthrop - 7:30 p.m.
-    International Literacy Day
-    Read with Cocky at Halftime raffle - Young fans can enter for the chance to read a book with Cocky during the halftime break!
-    Rally Towel Giveaway

Football vs. East Carolina University - 12:21 p.m.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Women's Soccer vs. East Carolina University - 1 p.m.
-    Grandparents Day - We're celebrating National Grandparents Day by displaying photos of grandparents and grandchildren on the video board. Submit your photo via email to We will post the best ones on Facebook for everybody to share in the day!
-    Double Student Reward points

Gamecocks on the road...

Men's Soccer at USF Tournament
vs. USF - Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
vs. Florida Gulf Coast - Saturday, 5 p.m.
Men's Golf at Carpet Capital Collegiate, Dalton, GA - Friday - Sunday
Women's Golf at Cougar Classic, Hanahan, SC - Sunday - Tuesday

First Opportunity To #BeatClemson

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With the start of 2012-13 and the month of September South Carolina will have three chances to Beat Clemson (for you Twitter-inclined folks, keep tweeting with #BeatClemson for each event!)

First up to take on the Tigers this year is Women's Soccer as they host Clemson this Saturday, September 1, at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks hope their new freshmen faces can help extend their winning streak over Clemson, currently at a record four straight victories. We'll also have free Little Caesar's pizza on hand for students while supplies last.

Next week, Volleyball will host Clemson here at home in the Volleyball Competition Facility at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 7. It's the night before the football home opener vs. ECU so what better opportunity to warm up your screaming and cheering than against our upstate rival?

Men's Soccer will round out the month hosting Clemson on Tuesday, September 18, at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.

In line with the #BeatClemson theme, the first 200 fans at each event will receive a free "Beat Clemson" t-shirt. Check out a sneak peek!


It's Great To Be A Gamecock!! Be sure to circle your calendars, gather some friends, come and cheer loud for all three teams to BEAT CLEMSON!!!

Winning Weekend in Gamecock Country

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The Gamecocks were very successful in their opening weekend with almost all sports in action at home here in Gamecock Country. All playing their home openers, women's soccer, men's soccer, and volleyball went undefeated this weekend - a rare feat!

Men's Soccer earned a 1-0 victory over College of Charleston Friday night on Stephen Anderson's first career goal.

Meanwhile over at the Volleyball Competition Facility, the Volleyball team hosted two matches on Friday and two matches on Saturday in the season-opening Gamecock Invitational, collecting victories in all four contests over Temple, Akron, Eastern Tennessee State, and UNC Asheville.

The match with ETSU was the only one to go beyond three sets, but the Gamecocks outlasted them for a five-set victory.

Freshmen provided the spark in the women's soccer team's 3-0 shutout victory on Sunday, accounting for all three goals. Coryn Bajema's two first-half goals gave her three total on the weekend (after the Gamecocks 2-0 victory over Mercer on Thursday) and Stevi Parker earned her first career goal. Fellow freshman Courtney Angotti-Smith registered two assists in the game, giving the Goose Creek native a total of three assists in her first two games in a Gamecock uniform.


There are more chances to check out all three teams at home this week, including the women's soccer team taking on Clemson on Saturday at 7 p.m. - the first Gamecock squad to face the Tigers this season. Check out all this week's home events here.

**Updated 8-24-12


Students moved in to campus this weekend and several Gamecock teams open their seasons this weekend at home as 2012-13 is officially underway. Volleyball will host the Gamecock Invitational presented by Courtyard Marriott. They'll play two matches each on Friday and Saturday in the tournament. Men's Soccer and Women's Soccer each host their home openers this weekend as well. Official team posters for all three squads will be available at all their home events for free.

Season tickets for volleyball, women's soccer, and men's soccer are just $25 each for adults and $10 each for youth 17 and under. Click here to purchase online.

volleyball season tickets splash.jpg

Thursday, August 23, 2012

#24 Women's Soccer vs. Mercer - 7 p.m. 

-Home opener
*The Gamecocks had two road matches to open the season this weekend with both going to overtime. They ended in a draw with Milwaukee and a 2-1 loss to Minnesota. The home opener vs. Mercer is the first of six straight home games.

Carolina Calls - 7 p.m. - Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista

Friday, August 24, 2012

Men's Soccer vs. College of Charleston - 7 p.m.
-Season and home opener
*The Gamecocks earned victories in two exhibition games last week, 6-3 over Georgia State and 2-0 vs. Elon.
*Junior preseason All-Conference USA forward Bradlee Baladez scored both goals in the win over Elon.

Women's Volleyball vs. Temple - 12:30 p.m.
-Free pom poms!
-Home opener for the Gamecock Invitational presented by Courtyard Marriott

Women's Volleyball vs. Akron - 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Women's Volleyball vs. East Tennessee State - 3 p.m.

Women's Volleyball vs. UNC Asheville - 8 p.m.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Women's Soccer vs. Jacksonville - 1 p.m.

Written by Assistant Media Relations Director Koby Padgett

The South Carolina volleyball team decided to have some fun last week, holding a pumpkin carving/decorating competition for bragging rights and more on the team. Each player had their own pumpkin to enter, trying to win in three different categories: MVP (Most Valuable Pumpkin), Scariest and Most Creative. Then the team was divided into groups of three or four, competing in the categories Most School Spirit and Best Pumpkin.

The esteemed judging panel of the volleyball staff looked over the pumpkins set up on the deck behind the office and deliberated for a time on each category. One group-decorated pumpkin stood out from the rest and swept the team categories. The Cocky-decorated pumpkin entered by junior Brandi Byers and sophomores Lindsey Craft, Juliette Thevenin and Frankie Vain won the judges' hearts.


When it came time for the individual awards, the competition was fierce. While one three-way entrant was creative, it did not top the fully-painted and carved piece by redshirt freshman Kellie Schmidt. Her black-based work with peace signs all around claimed that prize.

The scariest pumpkin competition would have had some tough competition if the group-designed pumpkins were allowed. But only one individual truly came up with a scary design: a very toothy and menacing design from freshman Hanna Forst.

While many great pumpkins entered the competition, only one could be named the MVP. And this being the volleyball team, the pumpkin painted like one of the team's game balls took home the top prize. Juliette Thevenin put together that artwork to win the award and become the only three-time winner in one day.

The squad took most of the pumpkins back home, but one stayed out on the Park Street steps leading into the Volleyball Competition Facility. When the team came back from its weekend travels, the "headless baby" design was still sitting in place.

Check out a slideshow of all the ladies' great pumpkins:

Volleyball hosts two home matches this weekend. Friday vs. Ole Miss at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday vs. Alabama at 1:00 p.m. Promotions info

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)

This Week's Home Events: Volleyball Opens Home SEC Play

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Several South Carolina teams are in action at home this week! In our only mid-week event, Men's Soccer will take on ACC foe Wake Forest Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Equestrian starts off the weekend with their first home competition on Friday at 2:00 p.m. vs. Fresno State. Volleyball returns home this weekend for their first home SEC matches on Friday and Sunday. Friday night's 7:00 match vs. Tennessee is Student Night, featuring free pizza for the first 100 students and double Student Rewards points. The Volleyball team will also be in attendance at Gamecock Village (free tailgate directly across from the stadium off Bluff Rd) before Saturday's football game vs. Vandy. Fans can then take their football ticket stub with them to Volleyball at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday to receive $1 admission to the match with Kentucky!

Volleyball huddle - Travis Bell.jpeg
Photo by Travis Bell

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Men's Soccer vs. Wake Forest - 7:00 p.m.
- Bojangles Gift Cards for the first 150 fans
-Rally Towel Giveaway
* Braeden Troyer and Mike Mangotic were selected to this weekend's All-Tournament team for the Gamecock Classic.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Equestrian vs. Fresno State - 2:00 p.m.
-First home competition of the season
-Hosted at One Wood Farm in Blythewood
-Team posters available

Volleyball vs. Tennessee - 7:00 p.m.
-SEC home opener
-Student Night: Free pizza for the first 100 students & double Student Rewards points
-Garnet, Black, & Green Night
-Parents Weekend
-Facebook Friday- Show the coupon from the Volleyball Facebook fan page for a prize
- The Gamecocks hold the nation's top average in digs, second in kills, and third in assists per set; ranked 17th in hitting percentage (as of 9/19 @ 9am)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

#10/12 Football vs. Vanderbilt - 7:00 p.m.
-Tickets available via for $50 each
-Parents Weekend
-Gamecock Village: Volleyball autograph session

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Volleyball vs. Kentucky - 1:30 p.m.
-$1 admission with Sept. 24 Vanderbilt football ticket stub
-Public Service Appreciation Day
-Retirement & Grandparent Day
-Parents Weekend
-Post-match autographs
-Twitterific Sunday- Mention @GamecockVolley on Twitter on gameday for a prize

Hurricane irene.JPGThe travel theme continues on Spurs Up Blog this week with more Hurricane Irene-related scheduling issues (left: NASA picture on 8/27). As the powerful storm approached the east coast, the South Carolina Volleyball team found themselves headed right for the hurricane's path in Philadelphia for the Temple Invitational (which they would go on to sweep 3-0, check out the recaps here).

Before the team even left for Philly on Thursday, Director of Operations Shane Wilkinson found himself working quickly to set up contingency plans should disaster strike. The first hint of trouble was when their flight from Charlotte to Philadelphia on Thursday was delayed.

"Before even leaving on Thursday, we were prepared to make an emergency flight or make an emergency call to a bus company to drive us home if our flight was canceled," said Wilkinson. "Going to Temple, we had our original itinerary and then myself and [graduate assistant Amy Pauly] started to plan for an emergency just in case we needed to."

Once they arrived to Temple to begin play on Friday, the rumblings had begun that the tournament would have to be re-structured or several matches would have to be canceled to accommodate changing travel schedules. Stony Brook (New York) learned they would have to leave by noon on Saturday to get back home before the storm's expected arrival in New York (with a match scheduled against the Gamecocks at 5:00 p.m.) Montana was instructed by their administration to leave as early as possible. They booked an emergency flight for 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning, leaving only the Gamecocks, Stony Brook, and Temple left to play in the tournament after Friday night. The Gamecocks had already played the Grizzlies Friday night before their departure, beating them in three straight sets. 

Thumbnail image for Juliette Thevenin Temple MVP award.jpegTournament organizers ended up being able to move up all the match times. Originally scheduled to play Temple at 12:00 p.m. and Stony Brook at 5:00 p.m., the Gamecocks ended up playing back-to-back matches, facing Stony Brook at 10:00 a.m. and Temple immediately following around 12:30 p.m. The Gamecocks won both and sophomore Juliette Thevenin won tournament MVP and most valuable attacker honors en route to being named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and our AgSouth Athlete of the Week.

 "Temple was in a very tough situation to try to accommodate all three teams that had to fly or leave early to get out of there safely, but Temple did the best they could to reorganize the invitational, and a lot of it was timely how they had to make the decision," said Wilkinson. "Temple did, in my opinion, a really good job of restructuring the tournament to fit everyone's needs and desires."

Planning travel logistics for a large group can be stressful enough with transportation, hotels, meals, etc., but add in closings and cancellations and you have a potential nightmare on your hands. While the airlines canceled flights, bus companies were telling Wilkinson and Pauly they might not be allowed on the roads at all. At one point, in the midst of dozens of phone calls and conversations with the airport, our travel agent and bus companies, Wilkinson was even told there was a possibility the team wouldn't be able to leave Philadelphia before Tuesday morning!

"I struggle with people telling me it can't be done. There's a group of 22 people and everyone wants to get home. There's no way that would've worked...We just kept an eye on the Philadelphia airport log after we heard different rumors saying that the city of Philadelphia was going to shut down  at 6:00 Saturday evening with no public transportation, no airport, no nothing," explained Wilkinson. "So we kept an eye on the internet all day long and after our final match with Temple we went ahead and decided to go ahead to the airport."

The team made it out of Philly by the skin of their teeth on a 5:55 p.m. flight, just minutes before the 6:00 p.m. cut-off thinking they were in the clear. They dodged the hurricane and made their flight back to Charlotte where a bus would transport back home to Columbia, everyone in good spirits after sweeping the tournament. But, that's not the end of this travel saga.

On I-77 at about Rock Hill, an emergency light came on and about 10 seconds later, the entire bus shut down and the driver had to coast into a rest stop. The team ended up waiting another two and a half hours for a replacement bus. After such a difficult situation, some people might let the stress and frustration get the best of them, but not these girls.

"They had a dance party outside," said Wilkinson, laughing. "They made the best of it and had a Macarena dance off and played some other games outside. The TVs were still working in the bus so we were able to watch some other volleyball that was going on around the country. So it wasn't really that bad, it could've been a lot worse. It could've been raining, it could've been hot or extremely cold, but it wasn't that bad. Inconvenient, but not bad."

For Wilkinson personally, handling the situation was a lot to deal with, but the team and the staff did their best to go with the flow and stay calm.

"It was a lot, and I give a lot of credit to Amy for helping me out in those situations," said Wilkinson. "I'm more of a nervous person anyway, but I tried to remain calm in front of the girls so that they wouldn't get upset or weren't worried that something bad was going to happen. I kept telling myself, and the staff kept reminding each other, that we were eventually going to get home. It may not have been as early as we'd like, or it might have been an 11 hour bus ride, but sooner or later we were going to get home."

The Gamecocks open competition at home this weekend with the Gamecock Invitational, playing two matches on Friday and two matches on Saturday. Check out our tournament central page for more information. Season tickets are available for Gamecock Volleyball for $25 each for adults and $10 each for youth.

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Final Day! Teresa Stenlund

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For the past two plus weeks fans have been getting insight into this year's Volleyball team with a series of Q&A's in the "16 Gamecocks, 16 Days" series. We're at the final day with senior Teresa Stenlund. Catch up on the rest of the series with the links at the bottom! Volleyball kicks off their season this weekend in Philadelphia at the Temple Invitational followed by opening play at home on September 2nd with the Gamecock Invitational.

teresa stenlund.jpegWho is your favorite teammate? Why?
Olivia Ryder because she's been with me since freshman year.  Even though she's not technically on the roster this year, she's been through every hardship that I've been through and I have all the respect in the word for her.

If you could travel anywhere on the planet, where would you go?
I would go to the Canary Islands.

What was the best movie you saw this summer?
I liked Rango.

If you could be a character in any movie, who would you be?

If you could trade places with any person on the South Carolina campus, who would it be?
I don't know that I want to trade places with anybody.  I like where I'm at.

What's your best non-athletic talent?
I speak three languages: English, Spanish and Swedish and I'm learning German right now.

Which language do you scream out in joy in after a big play?

Do you have any pre-game or in-game rituals?
I usually go in the training room and mellow out before a game.

What one word would you use to describe your style of play?

What's the one thing you can't leave without on a road trip?

What's your biggest pet peeve?
Bad drivers.  Bad drivers are the worst.

Catch up on the series:

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 15, Christina Glover

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 14, Taylor Bruns

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 13, Brandi Byers

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 12, Hanna Forst

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 11, Lexie Pawlik

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 10, Bethanie Thomas

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Nine, Christina Vereb

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Eight, Cara Howley

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Seven, Kellie Schmidt

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Six, Frankie Vain

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Five, Lindsey Craft

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Four, Juliette Thevenin

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Three, Kathryn Pearce

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Two, Megan Kent

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day One, Paige Wheeler

Season tickets for Gamecock Volleyball are just $25 for adults and $10 for youth. Click here.

Gamecock Athletics joined the fun at this week's Richland 101 for Kids event at Dutch Square Center. Around 2,100 kids and adults took over the mall concourse for the free youth program designed to teach students ages 6-12 about Richland County and the greater Midlands community.

Activities included exploring fire trucks and ambulances, speaking with Riverbanks Zoo staff, visiting the county's "Bug Man" to learn about insects, watching science experiments, etc. along with several kid-oriented tables and booths, including the Gamecocks.

Volleyball student-athletes Christina Glover, Teresa Stenlund, and Cara Howley helped pass out Gamecock Silly Bands and volleyball schedule flyers. At our display table kids got a chance to spin the prize wheel for items such as football posters and schedule cards, pom poms, lanyards and more.

Check out photos from the day's festivities below:

Always great to tell kids It's Great to be a Gamecock early on!


New Additions to the Gamecock Family!

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We've had several new additions to the Gamecock Athletics Family lately and wanted to share a couple of these cuties with you.

DJ and Katherine Brown in our Office of Compliance Services welcomed a new baby on June 3rd. Harrison Floyd Brown weighed 6 lbs, 8 oz. and was 18 3/4 inches long.

Harrison Floyd Brown.png

New Volleyball head coach Scott Swanson and his wife, Erin, welcomed a baby girl, Rylee Sue Swanson, to the world on June 13th. Rylee weighed in at 7 lbs, 11 oz, and was 20 inches long. Check her out in her custom Gamecock gear! I'm sure Rylee will be one of the biggest fans to cheer on the Volleyball squad this fall.

Rylee Sue Swanson.jpg

Assistant men's basketball coach Neill Berry and his wife, Ashly, are the proud new parents of Ty Miller Berry, born May 10th weighing 7 lbs and 20 inches long. Might we see him on the court one day too?

Ty Miller Berry duo.jpg

Welcome to Gamecock Nation, Harrison, Rylee and Ty! Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock!


The Gamecock Productions crew mic'd up new Volleyball Head Coach Scott Swanson as he took his new team through practice. Check it out: 

You can also follow Gamecock Volleyball on Twitter and Facebook

Last week I took an opportunity to chat with two new coaches joining the Gamecock Athletics family this spring. John Butler is the new Special Teams Coordinator for Football and will also be helping out on the defensive side of the ball, while Scott Swanson is the new Head Coach for Women's Volleyball. Both have had to hit the ground running this spring and are quickly adjusting to life in Columbia. Coincidentally enough, both Butler and Swanson were last coaching at the University of Minnesota  and are already enjoying the warmer spring temperatures of South Carolina compared to the snowy winters of Minnesota.

Scott Swanson.jpegSwanson (left) had perhaps one of the quickest hire date to start date turnarounds for a head coach ever. He was hired on Friday, February 25th, and was in Columbia starting his new job as Head Coach the following Wednesday, March 2nd. "I would've been panicking otherwise [had it been longer], knowing what I have to do," said Swanson. So far Swanson has been able to rely on his smart phone with navigation to help him get around Columbia as he goes about getting practices started with the team and recruiting.

"Right now my priorities are to get an assistant coaching staff and a director of operations so I can start delegating some things, then for sure the recruiting part of it. Women's Volleyball is a crazy early commit process," said Swanson. "Right now having two open scholarships in 2012 makes me a little nervous but there are some kids out there who got overlooked or who aren't going to where they originally committed. We'll find them. I've got some good leads on at least three right now. There are schools who are already done with their 2013 classes. It's hard to believe but that's what is happening."

With the team off for Spring Break last week, Coach Swanson has had just this past week to train and practice with his new team before their first tournament this weekend.

"We have to get right into our style of play. We'll have to learn how to play together with the way I'm used to coaching, the way we play defense, what system we're going to run on offense, how we're going to move and communicate. It's going to be tough at first to get that going and step right out on the court and have it all be brand new, but that's what the spring is for. Luckily we have a full roster of 14 girls and we can run full six-on-six scrimmages. We can work the kinks out."

John Butler.jpegCoach Butler (left) also faced a quick turnaround, arriving to campus with about a week to prepare for the start of spring football practice. Fortunately for Butler, his longtime friend Craig Fitzgerald (a.k.a. Coach Fitz) is the Director of Football Strength & Conditioning here and has been on hand to help Butler get acclimated to his new surroundings. His friendship with Fitz (they were high school classmates in their hometown Philadelphia and worked together at Harvard) lent Butler a degree of familiarity with the South Carolina Football program already as he has visited campus before and attended the SEC Championship game. Preparing for spring was his immediate focus when he got to Columbia.

"First and foremost I've got to implement a game plan for the fifteen practices, I started working on that right away making sure it's very specific to the things we want to accomplish," said Butler. "Identifying the personnel is the biggest thing to quickly implement my schemes and make sure the players we have can execute those schemes and I'm encouraged and optimistic that they can, but you have to see who you've got. That's ultimately what spring's about, putting in your schemes and then really getting a good feel for the personnel you're going to be coaching and working with from a special teams standpoint."

Coach Butler spoke with the media yesterday after the second spring practice, watch the video here to hear more about how things have started.

In addition to special teams, Butler will focus on assisting on the defensive side of the ball (coaching the Spur position) and recruiting. "Recruiting is all year round. It's exciting recruiting to a school that is attractive and in an area where there's an abundance of players. One of the main things about coming to South Carolina is the coaches, the program but also the recruiting opportunities and the ability to go get players, which I believe we have here... Looking at the last three classes as an outsider looking in, obviously it's a place that's attracting some of the best players in the country."

If a new job and a new city weren't enough, both coaches also have recent or upcoming new additions to their families. Coach Butler and his wife, Carmen, welcomed their first child into the world just a few weeks ago while Coach Swanson and his wife, Erin, are expecting their first child in June.

Welcome to both Coach Butler and Coach Swanson and their families to Gamecock Country!

Brittany Lane

Tonight on "Inside the Roost" the guests will be new head volleyball coach Scott Swanson and new football special teams coordinator John Butler.

Swanson comes to the Gamecocks after five years as an associate head coach at Minnesota. Butler also makes the trip South after working for the Golden Gophers, having spent the past four seasons as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Minnesota.

Listen in to hear from our two new coaches. "Inside the Roost" airs from 7:00 to 8:00 PM on 107.5 FM The Game.

- Brittany Lane

Volleyball seniors to be honored Saturday

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Three seniors who have made great contributions to the South Carolina Volleyball program will be honored on Senior Night this Saturday, November 13th. The Gamecocks will be taking on Mississippi State at 7:00 PM with a reception following the game.

After coming to Columbia as a setter, Jordan Bradosky (left in picture below) has played a variety of roles for the Gamecocks in her four years. In the top fifteen all-time in assists, Bradosky worked as a defensive specialist for a season before returning to setter this season. Bradosky has also been a standout in the classroom, with three appearances on the SEC Academic Honor Roll to her credit.

A three-year starter at middle blocker, Megan Laughlin (middle) moved to the outside this year for her final campaign. Laughlin ranks in the top ten in solo blocks and in the top 25 in eight other categories. Laughlin was a 2007 SEC All-Freshman Selection and three-time ESPN Academic All-District Nominee, as well as a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.

Hannah Lawing (right) has been a leader all four seasons while playing different roles each season. The class leader in sets and matches played, she is in the top five all-time in digs and digs per set while also in the top twenty in attack attempts after splitting her four years between an outside hitter and a defensive specialist. She enters this weekend's matches leading the SEC in digs and in range of the single-season record for digs during the rally scoring era.

volleyball seniors.jpgCongratulations to all three seniors on their accomplishments at South Carolina! Go Gamecocks!

- Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Gamecock Volleyball SEC Home Opener

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Glover_090410_8554.jpgGamecock fans, your South Carolina volleyball team takes the court against the Ole Miss Rebels for its SEC home opener this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility, on the corner of Blossom and Assembly Streets! 

Friday, is "Facebook Friday." Print out the announcement from the University of South Carolina Volleyball fan page on Facebook and present it to the marketing table for a prize!  It's also Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys & Girls Club Night; members of both organizations are invited to the match and will receive group pricing!

Sunday, is Dollar Hot Dog Day as well as the Meet the Team promotion!  The first 100 fans in attendance can have their picture taken with the team after the match.

For tickets, call 800.4SC.FANS - Groups of 15 or more receive $1 admission! And there's still time to get season tickets, with adult season tickets costing less than $2 a match and for youth 17 and under less than a $1 a match!

Go Gamecocks!

Volleyball Facebook Friday

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Volleyball fans, don't miss your first opportunity to see your South Carolina volleyball team in action as the squad hosts the Gamecock Invitational tournament this weekend!  The Gamecocks need your support as they take on South Carolina State at 10 AM and Furman at 7 PM this Friday, then Saturday at 11 AM against Lipscomb.

Friday, Pom Poms will be given away to the first 250 fans and it's "Facebook Friday" -print out the announcement from the University of South Carolina Volleyball fan page on Facebook and present it to the marketing table for a prize!

For tickets, call 800.4SC.FANS - Groups of 15 or more receive $1 Admission! And there's still time to get season tickets, with adult season tickets costing less than $2 a match and for youth 17 and under less than a $1 a match!

Go Gamecocks!

Home Matches Televised for Free

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New for the 2010 season, home contests for both South Carolina men's and women's soccer, as well as Gamecock volleyball, will be available for FREE via  Fans can simply click on the video camera icon on the schedule page for these sports for the live video of the event.

The Gamecock women's soccer team kicks off its home season on Friday, August 27, at Stone Stadium, hosting the Courtyard College Cup.  South Carolina opens tournament action against Louisville at 7:30 p.m.

The South Carolina men's soccer team opens its season against archrival Clemson on Friday, September 3, at Stone Stadium.  The Clemson contest will not be available for live video via due to the match being broadcast nationally on FOX Soccer Channel.  Free video on for men's soccer will begin with the Sept. 17 home contest vs. Iona.

South Carolina volleyball begins its home season on September 10 vs. SC State at 10 a.m., competing in the Gamecock Invitational at the Volleyball Competition Facility. 

Volleyball Season Tickets On Sale Now

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Band&Cocky_100709_000065.jpgNow that practice is underway and eight new freshmen have joined the team, it's time to get excited for a new season of South Carolina Volleyball!  The Gamecocks will kick off their home season Friday, September 10th when they take on South Carolina State at 10 a.m. and Furman at 7 p.m. in the Gamecock Invitational.  You can even stick around following the match for a chance to meet the team and receive autographs from your favorite players!

Be a part of the action this season as your South Carolina Gamecocks match up against SEC rivals Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and Florida.  The exciting home schedule is something that you don't want to miss. Purchase your season tickets NOW for only $25 for adults and $10 for youth; that's less than $2 per match!  

Be a part of South Carolina Volleyball, it's the Garnet Way!  For more information, call the ticket office at 800-4SC-FANS or visit

Volleyballs to Afghanistan

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IMG_1302.JPGIn March, Sgt. Brian Henson, a Gamecock alumnus serving in the United States Army in Afghanistan, made a request to the athletic department for some items to help build goodwill with the local Afghans. The email made the rounds in the Gamecock Club and to the desk of head volleyball coach Ben Somera. Somera and the Gamecock Club staff put together a goodie box for the village in Laghman province. Here are some of the pictures of the Gamecock-branded volleyballs with their new owners. Wilson sent back these photos and said he "appreciate(s) the university's generosity in helping us build better relations with the local Afghans."

SEC Legends at 2010 SEC WBB Tournament

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At the 2010 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament, the SEC and Chick-Fil-A are honoring an individual from each institution as an SEC Legend. South Carolina's Legend is former volleyball player Ashley Edlund. Former Tennessee Vol and current assistant coach for the Gamecock women's basketball team Nikki McCray will be honored as well, representing Tennessee.

Edlund was a three-time first-team All-SEC setter in volleyball and four-time all-region. She led the Gamecocks to three NCAA Tournament appearances. Edlund was South Carolina's nominee for the 1999 H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship and named Student-Athlete of the Year for the school in 1999. Named to the 1998 CoSIDA Academic All-District team and a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member, Edlund still ranks among the SEC career leaders in assists.

McCray started 101 of her 127 games at Tennessee and was named to a total of 11 All-American teams. McCray was a two-time SEC Player of the Year (94, 95) and helped Tennessee to three SEC regular season titles. She was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and played nine years in the WNBA. McCray was a three-time All-Star in the league.