Denney and Smith Named to CCSA All-Freshman Team|
April 20, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Coastal Collegiate Sports Association announced its five-woman All-Freshman team for beach volleyball Thursday afternoon. The No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks had a pair of first-year standouts make the team, with Ali Denney and Katie Smith.
Denney holds a 21-7 overall record in her first season at South Carolina, putting her just one win away from matching the program's freshmen record with at least four pool play matches still to come. The Jupiter, Fla. native spent the season splitting time between the top two positions in the lineup, and has six wins over AVCA Top 15-ranked teams to show for it. Statistically, Denney ranks second on the team with 71 aces, and also averages 5.65 kills, 4.97 assists and 5.88 digs per set.
Katie Smith is in the midst of an MVP-caliber freshman year, cumulating a 19-9 overall record with 15 of those victories coming as part of the number one pairing. Smith earned CCSA Pair of the Week with her partner Katie Zimmerman in the first week of the season. Of her 19 wins, four came against the number one pairs from AVCA Top 15 opponents: twice over FIU, and FAU and Georgia State once. Statistically, the West Chester, Ohio native leads the team in kills (435), attacks (935) and digs (401), and is hitting .326.
Both freshmen will look to add to their storybook seasons this weekend, as South Carolina prepares for the CCSA postseason tournament. The three-day event begins with two days of pool play duals Friday and Saturday, with four teams with the best records after that pairing up in a bracket on Sunday to determine the conference champion.