March 4, 2018
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. - South Carolina's beach volleyball team closed out a perfect 4-0 weekend at the UNF Beach Invitational with a pair of dramatic wins on Sunday. The Gamecocks took down No. 13 Georgia State 3-2, then held off a ferocious effort from the host UNF Ospreys to get a deceptively close 5-0 win.
Carolina (7-1, 5-1 CCSA) was the only team at the tournament to finish without a loss for the weekend, and Ali Denney and Shannon Williams were honored as pair of the tournament after going 3-1 at the number one position for the two days of competition.
The morning dual with the Panthers pitted the Gamecocks against a rival at full strength and motivated after losing 5-0 to South Carolina in last weekend's tournament at Stetson. The first wave of matches helped to set the tone, as Macie Tendrich and Leah Perri and Hannah Edelman and Leah Perri swept their opponents for a quick 2-0 lead in the dual.
The Panthers rallied back with a win in the twos and pushed the number one and three flights to a third set. Denney and Williams were able to secure the win after posting a 15-9 win in their decisive set at the top position.
In their second true road match of the season, South Carolina was in a fight from start to finish against North Florida. Harrison and Edelman swept the fives with scores of 21-19 and 21-19, but had to rally in both sets for the win. Tendrich and Perri had to overcome a 21-17 loss in their opening game of the fours match, but turned it around with 21-19 and 15-9 wins to put the Gamecocks up 2-0 heading into the final three matches.
Denney and Williams won their first set at number one with relative ease, 21-16, but UNF forced a third set after taking a marathon 26-24 win in set two. Denney helped Carolina break away late in the third set behind her jump topspin serve, getting key aces to push the team out of a 11-all tie for a 15-11 win,
The team opens a lengthy home stand next weekend, as it hosts a one-day, three-team tournament on Saturday, March 10. The Gamecocks will host Jacksonville at 10 a.m. and have a rematch with North Florida at 2 p.m. Attendance at Wheeler Beach is free all season long.
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