USC Aiken trio earns Peach Belt Conference honors

Sep. 6—Three USC Aiken student-athletes have been recognized by the Peach Belt Conference as Players of the Week in their respective sports.

Tyler Hughes is the men's soccer Goalkeeper of the Week, Kari Mercer is the volleyball Specialist of the Week, and Tess Studley is the women's cross country Runner of the Week.

Hughes, a sophomore goalkeeper from North Augusta, helped the Pacers to a draw at Belmont Abbey in the season opener.

He came in at halftime with USCA trailing 2-0. After head coach Ike Ofoje's team notched a pair of goals late in the contest, Hughes came up with a pair of huge saves from point-blank range, keeping the score at 2-2.

Overall, the Crusaders took eight shots in the second period, but both attempts that were on goal were thwarted by Hughes.

Mercer, a senior libero from Hilliard, Ohio, led the Pacers to a 2-1 week at the Lenoir-Rhyne Tournament.

In the season opener against Mount Olive, she posted a team-high 18 digs in the four-set victory. Mercer added four assists and a kill. She accounted for a match-best 21 digs and chipped in four assists in the sweep of Converse.

In the five-set loss at Lenoir-Rhyne, Mercer registered a PBC-high 32 digs. She added five assists and a kill against the Bears.

Through three matches, Mercer leads the PBC in digs per set (5.92) as well as total digs (71).

Studley, a freshman from Summerville, guided the Pacers at the season-opening Elon Friday Night Lights Meet.

The 5-foot-2 rookie posted a mark of 15:35.5, which was good enough for 47th place at the 4k event. Her time was the second fastest time of anyone in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region at the meet.

USCA was one of five Division II schools at the meet that also featured eight Division I squads.