When St. John’s junior Darian Dozier visited South Carolina on an unofficial recruiting trip in April, her mother bought some Gamecocks gear, including two shirts, because she had a feeling her daughter would eventually pick the school. And nearly two months later, Dozier did just that, committing to South Carolina to play volleyball.

“After I visited South Carolina, I felt like I could see myself going there,” Dozier said. “I love the coaches and the team when I went. There’s a new coach and I like what he’s doing.”

Dozier, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter, chose South Carolina over Southern California, her other finalist. Among other schools she considered were Kentucky, Oregon and Villanova.

The chance to get on the court soon, be closer to home and play under South Carolina’s new coach Scott Swanson were factors for Dozier.

“At first I thought I'd want to go far away, then I thought about it,” Dozier said. “I didn’t need to go across the country to get away.”

Dozier, a first team all-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection, amassed an eye-popping 331 kills and 399 digs (second-best in the D.C. region) to led the Cadets to a 14-11 record. St. John’s fell in the second round of the WCAC tournament to Good Counsel.

Dozier is the third in her family to play college volleyball. Her older sisters, Jourdan and Kristen, played at George Mason and Ohio State, respectively.