COLUMBIA, S.C. - (South Carolina SID) — On a historic night at the Carolina Sand Volleyball Complex, the South Carolina sand volleyball team defeated Oregon 4-1 in its opening match of the Gamecock Invitational on Friday night.
A crowd of 1,102 fans witnessed the Gamecocks make history, as the match was their first-ever at home. With the win, South Carolina improves to 3-4 on the season. Gamecock head coach Moritz Moritz couldn't have been more pleased with his team's performance.
"What an amazing night," Moritz said. "We couldn't have asked for a better competition for our girls. This is what they've been working so hard for. It was just an amazing opportunity to showcase themselves in front of our fans in our house."
With an injury keeping Sarah Blomgren out of the No. 2 pairs match, Moritz was forced to shift his lineup, but the Gamecocks responded well to the adversity. Jade Vitt filled in for Blomgren at No. 2 with Mikaela Christiaansen, and the duo took down Oregon's Liz Brenner and Natalie Bookout-Gonzalez in straight sets, 24-22 and 21-14. The win by Vitt and Christiaansen was the third of the night for the Gamecocks, clinching the dual.
The Gamecocks top pair of Paige Wheeler and Megan Kent defeated Oregon's Amanda Benson and Canace Finley in two sets, rolling to a 21-11 win in the first set and taking the second set 21-18.
On court No. 3, Jordan Loney and Chynna Ratner topped the Ducks' Kacey Nady and Tatum Norton, 21-14 and 27-25, while Morgan LaVigne and Litsa Darby secured a point for the Gamecocks on court No. 5, defeating Oregon's Serena Warner and Naya Crittenden, 21-16 and 21-10.
South Carolina's lone loss of the night came on court No. 4, as KoKo Atoa-Williams and Erin Neuenfeldt lost a back-and-forth battle with the Duck's Shellsy Ashen and Martenne Betterndorf by the scores of 21-9, 20-22 and 15-13.
The Gamecocks have three more matches on the schedule this weekend. Carolina will face UAB (3:15 p.m.) and LSU (7 p.m.) on Saturday and ULM (1:15 p.m.) on Sunday at the Carolina Sand Volleyball Complex.
South Carolina 4, Oregon 1
No. 1 Paige Wheeler/Megan Kent (SC) def. Amanda Benson/Canace Finley (ORE) 21-11, 21-18
No. 2 Mikaela Christiaansen/Jade Vitt (SC) def. N. Bookout-Gonzalez/Liz Brenner 24-22, 21-14
No. 3 Jordan Loney/Chynna Ratner (SC) def. Kacey Nady/Tatum Norton (ORE) 21-14, 27-25
No. 4 Shellsy Ashen/Martenne Betterndorf (ORE) def. KoKo Atoa-Williams/Erin Neuenfeldt (SC) 21-9, 20-22, 15-13
No. 5 Litsa Darby/Morgan LaVigne (SC) def. Serena Warner/Naya Crittenden (ORE) 21-16, 21-10
Gallery: Gamecocks win first ever home match
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