Katie Smith - South Carolina
LakePoint, Ga. – South Carolina's No. 1 pair of Katie Smith and Katie Zimmerman got off to the perfect start to the 2017 season as they went 4-0 and were rewarded with Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week honors, the conference office announced on Tuesday.
The pair went 4-0 on the opening weekend guiding the Gamecocks to a 4-0 weekend as a team, matching the program's best start to a season. Smith and Zimmerman were impressive in all four of their matches as they swept each opponent. They opened the weekend with a victory against No. 11 FIU with a 21-18, 21-18 victory against the Panther's top pair. That victory swung the momentum in the match and lifted the Gamecocks from down 2-0 to a 3-2 win.
They followed up that win with a straight-set victory against Spring Hill College, allowing only 22 combined points in the two sets. On the second day of the tournament, the duo won in straight sets against the top pair from the College of Charleston, then closed out the tournament with a victory against the hosts, North Florida (21-11, 21-18).
The play from Smith and Zimmerman led the Gamecocks to four team wins and they were rewarded with their first-ever national ranking of No. 15 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. The Gamecocks are back in action this weekend at home, when they welcome Mercer, Jacksonville, UAB and Grand Canyon to Columbia, S.C.