If you thought six other sports to keep up with was tough enough, try adding on a seventh.
Softball hosted the Carolina Classic this weekend with a thrilling conclusion yesterday, just adding to the success of the non-rev sports this spring. Men’s and women’s tennis and women’s golf all kept rolling right along with softball this weekend, while swimming has a big week starting Tuesday.
We’ve got a lot of bases to cover this week, so without further ado let’s get rolling with the non-rev’s for this week:
Tennis sweeps the weekend
Men’s and women’s tennis continued to sweep through their schedules like General Shurman through the heart of Georgia (too soon?) this past weekend. Whether or not you want to attribute it to a rather easy non-conference schedule is up to you, but there’s no denying it isn’t an impressive start.
The men hosted Old Dominion and South Carolina State on Friday, sweeping the Bulldogs and dropping only one set to the Monarchs. Old Dominion might be the best team South Carolina has faced this season, even head coach Josh Goffi acknowledged it in his post game comments.
The No. 21 ranked ladies only had one match but they made it count with a 7-0 sweep over Clemson. Even without their best player Ingrid Gamarra Martins — still out with injury -- South Carolina was able to survive four, three-set matches and sweep in the doubles portion.
The men are now 7-0, while the women are a strong 6-1. The boys will take on the ACC this weekend with a home match against NC State on Friday and a road trip to Georgia Tech Saturday. The ladies get almost two whole weeks off before hosting their first matches of the year on Feb. 25.
Softball dominates opening weekend
Softball opened up their season with a impressive showing against a strong field of Presbyterian, Ohio, Longwood and Charlotte — the latter two very strong mid-majors from last season.
The Gamecocks beat Ohio and PC twice by a combined score of 32-0 in a mere 15 innings. However Longwood and Charlotte weren’t quite as easy, as both games came down to the final inning. After Nickie Blue pitched a shutout against a 2016 tournament team in Longwood, Tiara Duffy would steal home in a walk-off to beat the Lancers 1-0.
Against Charlotte, South Carolina found themselves down 1-0 going into the seventh inning. McKenzie Bosel hit the walk off single after Alyssa Vandaveer drew a bases loaded walk. 5-0 isn’t a bad way to leave a weekend.
The Gamecocks will take their talents down to Austin, Tex. on Friday to compete in the Texas Invitational. They’ll face Texas, Indiana and Louisiana Tech over the weekend.
Women’s golf opens winter with a strong showing
The Gamecocks haven’t swung a club since late October, yet that didn’t seem to have any affect on the team this weekend when South Carolina traveled to Tallahassee and finished second at the Florida State matchup behind the eponymous hosts.
Ana Pelaez, Katelyn Dambaugh, Ainhoa Olarra and Marion Veysserye all finished in the top-ten individually — all shooting at least one shot under par for the weekend. The Gamecocks finished ahead of fellow-SEC teams Texas A&M and Missouri as well.
The No. 13 Gamecocks will have to wait until march before they hit another course again, although they won’t have to travel as far. The Darius Rucker Intercollgiate tournament will be held in Hilton Head on March 5, something of a home match for South Carolina.
Leemet wins for Gamecock track
South Carolina track and field only saw one athlete win an event, but it was a big winner in the heptathlon by men’s athlete Markus Leemet. For those not in the know, the heptathlon is seven events combined into one — so like the decathlon but sightly smaller.
Leemet won the pole vault and the 60 meter hurdles in his heptathlon heats, while finishing second in the 1000 meter run. He placed top three in all but two of his Hep events to win the entire thing, making it his first win in the vent this calendar year.
Ncincilili Titi finished second in his premier 200 meter event, while eight other Gamecocks finished at last top five in their respective events. South Carolina will actually go back to Clemson this weekend for a tuneup before the SEC Indoor Championships next weekend.
Equestrian splits weekend
The South Carolina equestrian team split their weekend visit to Texas with a 6-14 loss to Texas A&M and a slim 9-8 win over TCU. Now 5-5, they’ll have to wait until next week before they can hop back in the saddle when South Carolina hosts Auburn in Blythwood on Feb. 25.
Swim and Dive looks for a chip
The SEC Swimming and diving start Tuesday at the Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn. Last season’s trip didn’t go so well for either side, with the men finishing seventh and the women finishing 11th. Neither side has finished better than fifth since joining the SEC in 1992.