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Gamecocks Drop Pair of Duals at Tampa Invite – University of South Carolina Athletics

Gamecocks Drop Pair of Duals at Tampa Invite – University of South Carolina Athletics

TAMPA, FLA. – South Carolina beach volleyball opened its season at the Tampa Invite Friday. The Gamecocks came down on the wrong side of two tight matchups, dropping duals to the host Spartans of the University of Tampa (1-1) and No. 11 FAU (2-0). Of the 10 total matches played, seven would go the full three sets in length and South Carolina (0-2) lost all seven.

In the morning opener against Tampa, the dual started with the fourth and fifth pairings squaring off. The Spartans got on the board first with a sweep of the fours, then overcame a first-set loss to win 13-21, 21-16, 15-11 on court five to take a commanding 2-0 lead. South Carolina scored its lone point on a 21-15, 21-16 sweep of the second flight by Riley Whitesides and Hannah Mackenhausen, but the Spartans countered with a sweep of the third pairing to clinch the overall team win.

Missed opportunities would bite the Gamecocks in the afternoon dual with FAU. South Carolina won the first set in four of the five matches but could not convert any of the early success into match wins. The Owls clinched the dual with a 17-21, 21-16, 15-9 win on court two.

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NOTABLE

  • South Carolina lost seven of the 10 total matches in three sets on Friday. Six of those seven three-set losses came after the Gamecocks won the opening set of the match.
  • The last time a Carolina dual had five three-set matches, it was March 18, 2023 when the team defeated No. 5 LMU, 3-2.
  • Nine sets would be decided by the minimum two points on Friday, with the Gamecocks winning only two of the nine. Three of the deuce scores came in the third sets against FAU, all won by the Owls.
  • Four Gamecocks made their first starts in the Garnet and Black on Friday: Peyton Yamagata (at Nos. 1 and 2), Abigail Lagemann (at Nos. 2 and 3), Morgan Downs (at No. 4) and Evie Ziffer (at No. 5).
  • Yamagata previously played three seasons at TCU; her starts at No. 2 and No. 1 are the first time in her career playing in the top two positions of the lineup.
  • Tampa is coming off a championship season where it won the program’s third AVCA Division II National Championship, all coming over the last five seasons.

UP NEXT
Day two of the Tampa Invite features two matchups against ranked opponents. Saturday morning, the Gamecocks face No. 18 Arizona State (2-0) at 8 a.m. to kick off day two of the tournament, then wrap up opening weekend with a dual against No. 12 Georgia State…

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