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Taft trades in her Gamecocks red for LSU purple 

MON.| 10-24-22 | SPORTS

     Rose senior Amelia Taft committed to the University of South Carolina (UofSC) for beach volleyball in the summer of 2021. She later decided this was no longer where she wanted to pursue her beach volleyball career. On July 10th, 2022, she de-committed from UofSC, reached out to a couple of schools, and decided to recommit to Louisiana State University (LSU). 

     Taft started her volleyball career by playing indoor volleyball. This inspired her to start playing beach volleyball as just another fun summer activity. 

     “I started playing indoor [volleyball] and then I wanted to try beach over the summer because indoor 

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Photo by Lorian McGillicuddy 

had a break in the season so I just did beach for fun,” Taft said. 

     Taft’s coach at her indoor volleyball club influenced her the most to start playing beach volleyball. After learning the game and becoming a very skilled player, she joined a travel beach volleyball club in Raleigh called Sinjin, where she still attends practices two or three times a week. 

     During the summer before Taft’s sophomore year, she decided she wanted to play beach volleyball in college. Taft started her recruitment process and tried to find what college best suited her. 

     “It was a lot of emailing, phone calls, traveling and looking at different campuses and just finding what I liked,” Taft said. 

     Taft reached out to many schools, two of them being LSU and UofSC. On June 15 after her sophomore year, UofSC gave her the offer to come and play for them. 

     “I was so excited,” Taft said. “I really liked South Carolina because it was so close [to home].” 

     Taft after committing traveled to watch UofSC play in tournaments to get a feel for what it was like. She had a change of heart after watching them come so close to the beach volleyball national championship but not making it.

     “When I went to the national championship last year, they did not make it to the top 16 teams because they ended up losing to a team out of the top 20,” Taft said. “That was a little disappointing and I wanted to be a part of a program that would be at the national championship.”

     After de-committing from UofSC, Taft reached out to Florida State University, LSU and the University of California, Los Angeles. Taft found the most interest in LSU and committed to pursuing her beach volleyball career with them. 

     “I liked the big SEC school,” Taft said. “I loved all the people and the coaches and all the people on the team. I really liked the facility and I had already been before so I knew I liked it.” 

     Taft found LSU to be a better fit for her beach volleyball career because of the advanced program they have. 

     “[It’s] a bigger program and just a bigger school in general,” Taft said. “The coaches have been there for longer and already built the program and the team is just a lot more developed.” 

     Taft has set big goals for herself when she arrives in Baton Rouge to continue her beach volleyball career at LSU. 

     “I hope to play and get in the lineup my freshman year and win a national championship,” Taft said. 

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