Sand Volleyball Travels to First Road Event in S.C.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The LSU sand volleyball team travels to Columbia, S.C., for the Gamecock Invitational and its first road event in program history. The Tigers will take on the College of Charleston at 4:30 p.m. CT Friday during the first day of the tournament.
“We are excited to get on the road,” associate head coach Russell Brock said. “Tuesday we got our first match out of the way, and now we’re heading out for our first road trip. Everything that we are doing for the first time is making us exponentially better.”
Other teams taking part in the weekend’s competition are Mercer (3-2), Oregon, UAB (0-3) and UL-Monroe (1-4). The Tigers will face Oregon on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CT and South Carolina (2-4) at 6:00 p.m. CT before facing Mercer on Sunday at 9:15 a.m. CT. South Carolina features the only other Southeastern Conference school with a sand volleyball program.
The College of Charleston is opening its season this weekend and wrapped up the 2013 season with a 6-4 record, and Oregon is opening its inaugural season against South Carolina on Friday.
The Tigers opened their inaugural season Tuesday at Mango’s Beach Volleyball, the home site of the program. LSU’s nail-biting competition resulted in a 3-2 loss to UL-Monroe after Victoria Boraski and Cati Leak fell 15-10 in the third set to the Warhawks’ Blanca Ocana and Hope Pawlik.
LSU’s two points came from fifth-seeded Emma Hiller and Katarina Raicevic, who notched the program’s first ever match victory with a quick 21-19, 21-15 win over the Warhawks’ Celine Flores and Kaitlyn Shearer, and from Kaitlin Hatcher and Helen Boyle‘s win over UL-Monroe’s Michelle McNamee and Hadley Swartz. The duo fell 21-14 in the first set and rallied through a long second set stopping numerous UL-Monroe match points for a 29-27 triumph as Hatcher knocked it over the net. The pair then took the third set with ease, 15-8, and tied up the score 2-2.
“The thing we need most and the one thing that we cannot train during practice is experience,” Brock said. “Any time we can have opportunities to add to our experience, we embrace those chances. This weekend will be incredibly valuable in our development as a team, a program and as individual players. We are better after Tuesday, and we will be much better as we move through this weekend.”
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2014 Gamecock Invitational
Columbia, S.C. – University of South Carolina
LSU vs. College of Charleston 4:30 p.m. CT
LSU vs. Oregon 12:30 p.m. CT
LSU vs. South Carolina 6:00 p.m. CT
LSU vs. Mercer 9:15 a.m. CT