Reloaded for another run at the NCAA volleyball tournament, the Bucs opened the season playing in the Gamecock Invitational Aug. 24-25. Before traveling to the Gamecock Invitational, the Bucs had an exhibition against USC Upstate, winning 3-0.

“We were really aggressive on offense,” said head coach Lindsey Devine. “I think that helped us a lot. Our passing was really good, but also our setters did a really nice job.”

For Devine, this group returns many faces from last season’s SoCon champion team with many of those players now seniors.

“I like the passion and commitment to the vision that we have established as a group,” said Devine.

To start off their season, the Bucs faced off against Clemson University in their quest to continue to improve.

“We just have to be us and play hard by showing the passion that we display in our practices,” said Devine.

After dropping the first set 23-25 against Clemson, the Bucs’ offense was able to dominate the second set 25-16 with their defense leading the way. Offensively the Bucs took over the next two sets winning the third set 25-23 and the fourth set 28-26. The end result was 3-1 Bucs. Junior Leah Clayton (Danville, Virginia) led the way with 23 kills, which was her personal best. With that win, the Bucs started their 2018 season 1-0 with a chance to with two more games.

In their second match of the day, the Bucs faced off against the University of South Carolina. After three close sets of lead changes and momentum, South Carolina was the better team that day, sweeping the Bucs 3-0 and dropping the Bucs to 1-1 on the season.

The Bucs had one last match for the weekend against Texas A&M Community College with the opportunity to improve and also bounce back from a tough loss.

The Bucs did just that as they came with a lot of energy in the first set controlling the tempo and allowing them to take the first set 25-21.

That energy carried into the second set, but this time Texas A&M CC was able to make a run. That did not stop the Bucs as they were able to finish the second set 25-20.

Despite a set of runs made by both teams to control the tempo of the game, the Bucs were able to finish the third set 25-23.

The Bucs were able to come out of the Gamecock Invitational with a 2-1 record.