Aliyah Boston is set to lead the top-ranked USC women

Aliyah Boston is set to lead the top-ranked USC women into the NCAA Tournament this week (South Carolina Athletics)

The women's basketball team will play Maryland Monday night in Greenville in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Women's Tournament, with the winner advancing to the Final Four in Dallas. Earlier in the week, USC coach Dawn Staley was named the Coach of the year by the USBWA. It is the second straight season and the third time Staley has won the award in four years.

The top two scorers on the men's team this season announced during the week that they would enter their names in the NBA Draft. Forward GG Jackson is projected as a first-rounder, so he does not plan to return for a sophomore season. Guard Meechie Johnson, however, does plan to keep open his option to return for another season.

The baseball team has to be considered the biggest surprise in the country through 25 games. After not making the postseason last year, Mark Kingston has the Gamecocks atop the SEC with a 6-0 mark and moving up in the polls with an overall record of 23-2. The Gamecocks swept a three-game series with Missouri in Columbia, walking off the Tigers in two of the wins. Friday night, they scored four runs with two outs in the ninth inning to rally for a 9-8 win.

Saturday, when weather forced a doubleheader, the Gamecocks cruised to an 8-1 win in game one as Evan Stone hit a pair of homers, part of a four-homer game for the team, and Noah Hall scattered five hits over seven innings. Hall is 5-0 on the season.

In the nightcap, freshman Ethan Petry hit a two-run homer in the eighth to tie the game 4-4 and then had the game-winning single in the 12th for a 5-4 victory. Petry homered in all three games of the series.

The Gamecocks hit eight home runs in the series, pushing their season total to 64. The Gamecocks did lose starting second baseman Will McGillis for 4-6 weeks with a broken arm after a pitch hit him on the forearm in Friday's game.

Earlier in the week, the Gamecocks saw their 11-game winning streak snapped against Charlotte at Truest Field in Charlotte 6-2. Last Sunday, they completed a three-game sweep of Georgia in Athens with a 12-1 win in a game called after seven innings because of the SEC 10-run rule.

USC will travel this week, first to The Citadel Tuesday night and then to Mississippi State for a series starting Thursday night.

The 16th-ranked beach volleyball team claimed a pair of wins Saturday in their Grand Slam Tournament in Columbia. The Gamecocks defeated Houston Christian 5-0, then took down Arizona State 4-1. The Gamecocks will face Tampa and Georgia State on Sunday. Last Sunday, USC shutout Mercer 5-0. The Gamecocks are on a three-game winning streak and are 13-7 on the season.

Senior diver Manny Vazquez Bas concluded the season for the team on Saturday, earning All-America status for his fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis. Vazquez Bas earned the first All-America honors of his career for his fourth-place finish. The fourth-place finish earned the team 15 points, putting South Carolina in 26th place at the NCAA Championships. (USC contributed)

The Gamecocks hosted the SEC Equestrian Championships Friday and Saturday and finished fourth after falling to Georgia in the consolation round Saturday 15-5. That followed a loss to Auburn on Friday 13-7. The Gamecocks are 5-8 and await word on if they will be in the Nationals April 13-15.

The women's golf team had the best score of the day on Saturday at the Liz Murphey Collegiate in Athens to move into second place after two rounds, 11 shots back of Auburn. Louise Rydqvist leads the Gamecocks at four under par, good for second place individually.

The track and field team claimed 10 wins Saturday to close out the Weems Baskin Relays. The men claimed for of those wins. Evan Miller shined again in the 400 meter, clocking a personal best time of 45.60, the fastest time in the East Region, the NCAA, and the third-best mark in Gamecock outdoor history.

Filip Demsar also set the top mark in the region and the country after he dominated the 110-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 13.67 (1.1) for the win.

The final individual win came from the field event as shot putter Dylan Targgart launched a new personal best, vaulting himself up the national leaderboard and the Gamecock record book. The Michigan native threw 19.42m (63-8.75) to secure the second-best throw in the East, third-best in the NCAA, and fourth-best in program history.

The relays also were a bright spot for the Gamecocks. The 4x100m relay squad of Anthony Greenhow, Miller, Gatlin Lawson, and DJ Black took the podium with a time of 39.99 for the third fastest time in the East and eighth best time in the NCAA.

On the women's side, Jayla Jamison earned a win in the 100 meter when she ran 11.44 (1.2) for the 10th fastest time in the East Region this season. In the women's 200m, Jahnile Registre stole the show when she clocked a new personal best with a mark of 23.76 (1.5) to rank 17th overall in the East.

The Gamecocks took the 800m, with Kieley Gayle running 2:12.52 for the win and the 24th-best time in the East. The final individual win came in the open 1500m when Brooke Donoghue stopped the clock with a personal best time of 4:41.72, knocking off 17 seconds from her previous best.

Carolina dominated in the relays, beginning with the 4x100m relay. Aalliyah Francis, Jamison, Alysia Johnson, and Anastasia Sumpter posted a time of 44.17 for the win and, more importantly, the second-fastest time in the East and the second-best mark in the NCAA. The women's 4x400m relay team accomplished a similar feat, winning with a time of 3:37.57. The relay squad of Jahnile Registre, Jamison, Sylvia Chelangat, and Gayle ran the seventh-best mark in the East and eighth-best time in the NCAA.

On Friday, the men won three events, including two relays. Highlighting the relays was the men's 4x800m squad that set the new Cregger Track facility record. The squad of George Luke, Jackson Dawson, Jake Mangione, and Alex Galbraith crossed the finish line at 7:43.13, besting the previous facility record of 7:43.58 set in 2018.

The 4x300m relay team of Jackson Junkins, EJ Richardson, Gatlin Lawson, and Will Spencer also earned a win, running 2:14.75 to capture the podium. The lone individual title came from sophomore jumper Blair Brooks when he jumped 7.20m (23-7.5) in the Long Jump Invitational.

The women took the podium in the 4x800m. The relay squad of Savannah Bowers, Emily Pierontoni, Emily Smith, and Ally Wilson stopped the clock at 9:18.26 for the gold-medal finish. (USC contributed)

The 26th-ranked women's tennis team took a 6-1 win at Ole Miss Friday. The Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt 4-1 last Sunday, so they will take a three-match winning streak into Sunday's meeting with Mississippi State in Starkville. The Gamecocks are 9-6 overall and 4-2 in the SEC.

The 4th ranked men's team lost at #18 Auburn Friday night, 4-3. The Gamecocks lost the doubles point but still had a 3-1 lead halfway through the singles matches. The last match determined the winner, and the Gamecocks' Lucas da Silva fell to Billy Blades 6-1 in the third set. That was the Gamecocks' second straight loss after reaching a program-best #2 national ranking. They lost last Sunday at Mississippi State 5-2. USC is 15-3 and 4-2 in the SEC and will host Arkansas Sunday.

The softball team knocked off Furman Wednesday 10-0 in a game called after five innings. The Gamecocks lost at Mississippi State 9-1 last Sunday in five innings. The Gamecocks are 24-7 overall and 1-5 in the SEC and will play at Clemson on Tuesday.

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