2008 South Carolina Gamecocks Volleyball
If you are looking for information about this year's team, go to
current South Carolina Gamecocks Volleyball Information.
South Carolina Gamecocks Volleyball has had moderate success since the program's start in 1973. The Gamecocks are currently under new head coach Ben Somera, who made his coaching debut at USC last season. Ben Somera (formerly the team's associate head coach) replaced his wife, Nancy Somera, who decided to leave the team in late May '07 to pursue other business opportunities.
This year, the SOUTH CAROLINA Gamecocks Volleyball team looks to be the turnaround story of the year in the SEC. Currently, the Lady Gamecocks are third in the tough SEC East, but have a terrific 11-2 record. In fact, they look to be a lock for an NCAA tournament bid this year.
Well, that was written before a bit of a collapse at the end of the season. South Carolina ended up with a winning record; but 4th in the SEC East and did not get an NCAA bid. But, they are looking good for 2009.
The University of South Carolina Lady Gamecocks went 14-15 and ranked fourth in the SEC East in 2007. South Carolina returns five starters from its 2007 team. The Garnet and Black will expect the middle blockers Belita Salters and Megan Laughlin to continue the improvement they showed toward the end of last season. Last season, they blossomed into vital parts of the squad and became quite the one-two punch. The duo started all 29 matches and played in every game during 2007.
This year (2008), Somera and his staff have made this position even deeper, which could give more strength to this group. Leading the way will still be the senior Salters. One of the top blockers in the league last season, the Scranton, S.C., native is back to with the hope to see her name in the Carolina record books. She stands just outside the career top-10 list in blocks assists and total blocks, while she currently stands eight in block solos and ninth in hitting percentage. Salters led the way with her .330 hitting percentage and 1.21 blocks per game in 2007.
Both senior Petra Lorenzi and sophomore Jordan Bradosky, the offensive "quarterback" also return for this season, but they will be pushed by the addition of two-time second-team All-BIG EAST setter Bridget Denson-Dorman. Lorenzi has seen time in each of the past three seasons, primarily as a back-row setter. She could once again fill that role, after averaging 6.10 assists per game last season. Lorenzi had a good spring season until she sustained a shoulder injury, but she should be ready to go at the start of the 2008 season.
The outside hitters still return with a lot of depth that saw extensive playing time in 2007. The four returners drew 69 starts in 2007, and two juniors should get a lot of the playing time. Two sophomores could share time at the final spot. The group is led by junior Ivana Kujundzic, who started all 29 matches on the post last year after working as a middle blocker as a freshman. Ben Somera is in his second year as head coach of the South Carolina volleyball program after spending the previous two seasons as associate head coach.
Coach Somera looks to lead his team to 3rd in the SEC East (probably 3rd in the entire SEC as the Western division is so weak) and a bid in the NCAA volleyball tournament. It should be a great year for USC Volleyball.
Last year's comments:
South Carolina Volleyball has been consistently ranked in the top half of the SEC East. The Gamecock ladies have made seven NCAA tournament appearances but have never been champions of the SEC East.
South Carolina had an unimpressive 2006 season, finishing with a 15-17 record.
They were fourth in the SEC East and did not make it to the NCAA tournament.
However, they did have some standout players like All-SEC First Team member Shonda Cole, who was the first Lady Gamecock to be named AVCA National Player of the Week.
Unfortunately for South Carolina Gamecocks volleyball, the Lady Gamecocks lost a number of key players from last season. The biggest loss was Shonda Cole, who was responsible for thirty-eight percent of the team's kills. The team also lost six 2006 letter winners.
Coach Somera is going to focus more on the team as a whole rather than any single player and hopes that the strategy will pay off. He is going to be looking to sophomore Meredith Moorhead, who was the team's top outside hitter in 2006, to bring something big to the court. Ivana Kujundzic will be playing outside hitter this season, after playing middle blocker as a freshman, and seems to be acclimating nicely to the position.
The USC ladies made headlines recently after topping the list of athletes appearing on the SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll. Sarah Cline, Kujundzic, and Moorhead all made the list for their impressive grade point averages.
With all of the changes to both the staff and team, the ladies of USC will likely have a difficult season. We predict they will finish last in the tough SEC East.
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Check out our 2009 South Carolina Gamecocks Volleyball Information.
2007 South Carolina Gamecocks Volleyball Schedule:
August 25 Boston College 11:00 am Away
August 25 Delaware 7:00 pm Away
August 31 VCU 7:00 pm Away
September 1 Maryland 11:30 am Home
September 1 George Washington 4:30 pm Away
September 7 Rice 10:00 am Home
September 7 Troy 7:30 pm Home
September 8 Appalachian State 1:30 pm Home
September 14 Auburn 7:00 pm Home
September 16 Georgia 1:30 pm Home
September 21 LSU 8:00 pm Away
September 23 Mississippi 2:30 pm Away
September 28 Alabama 8:00 pm Away
September 30 Mississippi State 2:30 pm Away
October 5 Tennessee 7:00 pm Home
October 7 Kentucky 1:00 pm Home
October 10 Florida 7:00 pm Away
October 14 Arkansas 2:30 pm Away
October 19 Georgia 7:00 pm Away
October 21 Auburn 2:30 pm Away
October 26 Mississippi 7:00 pm Home
October 28 LSU 1:30 pm Home
October 31 Florida 7:00 pm Home
November 2 Arkansas 7:00 pm Home
November 9 Kentucky 7:00 pm Away
November 11 Tennessee 1:30 pm Away
November 18 Alabama 1:00 pm Home
Other South Carolina Gamecocks Volleyball Pages
2007 South Carolina Gamecocks Volleyball Roster:
1 Ivana Kujundzic OH 6'1" Sophomore Subotica, Serbia
2 Lisa Shelley OH 5'10" Freshman Columbia, SC
3 Dan Bedore OH/S 5'9" Freshman Goodland, Kansas
4 Sarah Cline DS/OH 5'7" Sophomore Rock Hill, SC
5 Jordan Bradosky S 5'9" Freshman Centerville, Ohio
6 Hannah Lawing OH 5'9" Freshman Marietta, Georgia
7 Jordan Kennedy MB/OH 5'11" Freshman Charleston, SC
8 Dinelia Concepcion L/DS 5'3" Junior Deltona, Florida
9 Petra Lorenzi S 5'9" Junior Crescent City, CA
10 Megan Laughlin MB 6'1" Freshman Cornell, Illinois
11 Christine Hauer MB 6'0" Sophomore Aiken, South Carolina
12 Erin Kennedy OH/MB 5'11" Freshman Charleston, SC
13 Meredith Moorhead OH 6'1" Sophomore Charlotte, NC
18 Annie Thomas OH/MB 6'0" Junior Scranton, SC
20 Belita Salters MB 6'1" Junior Scranton, SC
22 Chaning Cantrell MB 6'0" RS Freshman Pickens, SC
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