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Nov. 17, 2011

Volleyball Notes 11/17/11 Get Acrobat Reader

2011 Gamecock Volleyball Stats Get Acrobat Reader

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Gamecocks return to the cozy confines of the Volleyball Competition Facility for its final home weekend of 2011, where South Carolina will honor its seniors Teresa Stenlund and Olivia Ryder, who is still with the team as a student assistant, on Friday night after the match. Auburn provides the opposition for the 7 p.m. contest. Georgia comes in on Sunday for a 1:30 p.m. first serve. Gametracker live stats and a live video webcast will be provided at

Parking Situation for Friday Night
Due to events at the Colonial Life Arena and Koger Center, free parking for volleyball will be limited.

Free parking can be found after 6:00pm at the metered spots on the street or across Blossom Street at the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center. Coliseum and Colonial Life Arena lots AD2, AD3, AD4, AD5, and FS5 will operate as $10 per vehicle and the Discovery Garage will operate as $5 per vehicle.

Weekend Schedule & Promotions
Friday, Nov. 18 vs. Auburn – 7 p.m.

  • Senior Night
  • High School Night
  • First 100 fans receive Bojangles’ gift card
  • Facebook Friday – Show a coupon from the Volleyball fan page for a prize

Sunday, Nov. 20 vs. Georgia – 1:30 p.m.

  • Fan Appreciation Day – First 100 fans receive rally towels
  • Faculty Appreciation Day
  • Twitterific Sunday – Mention @GamecockVolley on game day for a prize

Stenlund Stands Strong as Lone Senior
The only senior on this year’s squad, Teresa Stenlund is providing a steady presence in the middle. She ranks third on the team in kills (2.16 per set), and leads the team with 0.79 blocks per set. She became the 50th person in South Carolina volleyball history to record 500 points, hitting the mark with her block assist in the third set against Arkansas on Oct. 10.

With her career winding down, Stenlund had one of her top matches. She posted a career-best 15 kills and tallied a season-high .636 hitting percentage at Arkansas.

Competition on Career Digs Chart
Currently, three Gamecocks appear close together on the all-time digs list at South Carolina. Sophomore Paige Wheeler jumped ahead of the group into 38th with 529 career digs. In 41st now is sophomore Juliette Thevenin with 491 digs, four behind Bridget Denson-Dorman to move into 40th. Junior Taylor Bruns ranks 42nd with 479 digs, three behind former teammate Jordan Bradosky.

Top 50 in Gamecock History
A quartet of Gamecocks continue to climb in the top 50 on South Carolina’s all-time lists in 2011. Senior Teresa Stenlund stands 47th in kills (469) and attack attempts (1178) and 49th in points (585.5), and sophomore Paige Wheeler ranks 38th in digs with 529. Sophomore Juliette Thévenin ranks in the top 50 in kills (634, 29th), attacks (1,718, 27th), digs (491, 41st) and points (710.0, 36th) while Stenlund is in the top 30 in blocks solo (31, T-22nd), block assists (155, T-29th) and total blocks (186, T-28th).

Junior Taylor Bruns stands 11th in school history in assists (1,798), passing Petra Lorenzi during the College of Charleston Invitational. She’s now tied for 39th with 59 aces and ranks 42nd with 479 digs.

Single-Season Marks Still in Play
South Carolina sophomores Juliette Thévenin and Paige Wheeler both are chasing rally-scoring-era single-season marks. With three matches to go, Wheeler is third in digs and digs per set with an outside chance to move up on both, chasing Sarah Cline’s 2009 season in both. Thévenin ranks fifth in kills per set during this era, just ahead of Cally Plummer’s 2001 campaign. Wheeler already has recorded the most digs and best digs-per-set mark for a sophomore in recorded South Carolina history.

Career Top-10s Changing
A trio of Gamecocks are working to etch their names onto the program’s top-10 lists early in their careers. Junior Taylor Bruns stands eighth in assists per set all-time and is 60 assists from breaking into the top-10 career charts. Sophomore Juliette Thévenin holds spots in the kills-per-set (third, 3.66) and points-per-set (fifth, 4.10) already and could move up in both with strong matches. And sophomore Paige Wheeler has moved into fifth on the digs-per-set list. Full listings can be found on page 10 of the notes.

Once Again, South Carolina Among the Youngest
After tying for the nation’s lead with nine freshmen on the roster last year, the Gamecocks are still among one of the youngest teams in the country. According to data compiled by Brian Wolff at Buffalo, the 12 underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) rank eighth in the country in number. By percentage of roster members, the Gamecocks’ 75 percent mark stands sixth in the country. A pair of historically-strong programs also make the list, with Penn State and Hawaii making the top 10 in both.

The Improvement Is Easy to See
South Carolina surpassed its win total from 2010 before starting SEC play. The 2011 edition won its first seven matches inside the first eight days of the schedule. To put that in perspective, the Gamecocks did not win their seventh match of 2010 until the 27th match last season on Nov. 13, 79 days into the season. They did not win their first match of the year until Sept. 10, which was the third weekend of play.

700 And Counting
In the 39th year of sponsoring volleyball, South Carolina has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances and posted 17 20-win seasons in history. On Sept. 10, the Gamecocks tallied the 700th win in program history, dispatching College of Charleston in five for the win. Not content there, the Gamecocks started the climb to 800 with a sweep of Winthrop. South Carolina is the sixth team in the SEC to compile 700 wins all-time, following Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Tennessee.

South Carolina Among Nation’s Best
With three matches left in 2011, the Gamecocks are among the nation’s leaders in digs, ranking 47th with a 16.89 per-set average. Offensively, South Carolina is 78th in assists (12.45), 80th in hitting (.228) and 83rd in kills (13.34). The Gamecocks’ full stats rankings both in the NCAA and in the SEC come on page seven of the notes.

Wheeler Posting Gaudy Numbers
Sophomore Paige Wheeler officially has arrived, joining her predecessors Hannah Lawing and Sarah Cline as Gamecock liberos who claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Wheeler was honored on Nov. 7 after averaging 5.83 digs per set in two matches, including posting 20 digs in the win over Alabama. She has four 20+ dig matches this year.

It wasn’t the first award for the Virginia Beach, Va., native. The sophomore earned all-tournament team honors at the College of Charleston Invitational, averaging five digs per set during the event. She posted the third 30+ dig contest in the SEC this season with 31 in the win over College of Charleston.

Bruns Nearly Flawless in Alabama Win
Junior setter Taylor Bruns has posted some strong outings in her three-year career in Columbia, but never had she posted as many points as she did in the win over Alabama. Her 14 points tied for the team best, as she tallied seven kills (without an error), a career-best-tying six aces and two block assists in the sweep of the Crimson Tide. The junior is 60 assists away from passing Katelyn Panzau for 10th in Gamecock history.

Belgian Sensation Picking up Where She Left Off
Juliette Thévenin started 2011 much as she finished 2010, when she earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors and became the fifth freshman since 1983 to lead the Gamecocks in kills, joining Lori Rowe, Cally Plummer, Berna Dwyer and Lynae Vanden Hull with that distinction.

The sophomore returned to action at Ole Miss after missing five matches due to concussion symptoms and picked up where she left off, posting a double-double with 17 kills and 10 digs in the four-set victory. Thévenin ranks fourth in the SEC in kills, seventh in points and 10th in digs.

Thévenin Return Brings About Season Best
South Carolina posted a season-best .394 hitting percentage in the win at Ole Miss. That ranks as the third-best four-set match mark in Gamecock history and the highest in the rally-scoring era. The return of sophomore outside hitter Juliette Thévenin seemed to spark the Gamecock offense and open things up for other hitters.

Opportunity Knocks, Howley Answers
When Juliette Thévenin was out due to injury, it created a chance for redshirt freshman Cara Howley to reenter the lineup after her true freshman campaign was cut short by injury. The McKinney, Texas, native took the opportunity and ran with it, tying for the team lead with a 2.50 kills average and helped better the team’s hitting percentage during the five-match stretch without Thévenin. When Thévenin returned against Ole Miss, Howley shined, posting 12 kills and a .524 hitting percentage. She continued that roll with consecutive 10-point performances against No. 13 Florida and Mississippi State.

A Decade Since This Feat
South Carolina was the last Southeastern Conference team to take a defeat in 2011, matching a feat last done in 2001. That team started 6-0 before falling in their first match of conference play against No. 10 Florida in a five-set thriller. The 2001 season was the middle of a three-season run of NCAA appearances for the Gamecocks. It was also the first year of rally scoring in NCAA volleyball.

Single-Match Superlatives
The Gamecocks have posted outstanding individual efforts this fall, with some ranking on the program’s single-match charts. Sophomore Juliette Thévenin registered on two lists during the team’s season-opening win over Montana. Her 21 kills and 50 attacks both tied for fourth on the three-set match list.

During the Gamecock Invitational, freshman Bethanie Thomas’s .577 hitting percentage against Elon became the fifth-best performance on the four-set match list. And sophomore Paige Wheeler tallied 28 digs against the Phoenix, tied for third on that list.

Most recently, junior Taylor Bruns landed six aces against Alabama (11/6), tying for fourth on the three-set match charts with five others.

Scouting Auburn
Auburn brings a 10-17 overall record and a 4-13 mark in SEC play into Friday’s contest. An average team in most of the stats during league play, the Tigers stand a high of fourth in digs with 14.56 per set. The worst showing comes in serving, posting 0.79 aces per set to rank 10th. The Gamecocks stand two spots higher than the Tigers in those two categories.

Kelly Fidero leads Auburn and stands 10th in the SEC with 3.24 kills per set. She’s been relied upon more in SEC play, standing fifth in the league-only stats with 3.68 kills per set. Sarah Bullock holds a 2.64 kills average to go with her 2.89 digs average, both second on the team. Chelsea Wintzinger sets the Tigers, posting 8.85 assists per frame in SEC play. Sarah Wroblicky leads the Tigers with 3.09 digs per set.

Series History vs. the Tigers
The Gamecocks hold an 20-11 advantage in the series against Auburn. Surprisingly, South Carolina has done better at Auburn (10-5) than at home (9-6) in the series. The Tigers took last year’s meeting in Columbia and have won three straight.

Reuniting Club Members
A number of friends can catch up before Friday’s match. Gamecock redshirt freshman Cara Howley gets to see high school foes and fellow Skyline club members Sarah Bullock and Katherine Culwell, both juniors on the Tigers’ roster. Bethanie Thomas can reconnect with Chelsea Wintzinger, both from the Huntsville, Ala., area. While both from Irvine, Calif., Teresa Stenlund and Sarah Wroblicky never teamed up in club or high school.

Stellar Defenders Battle on Sunday
Two of the top six liberos in the SEC face off on Sunday. South Carolina’s Paige Wheeler (4.48 digs per set) stands three spots ahead of Georgia’s Allison Summers entering the weekend. But Summers has little help, with her digging almost 1.4 balls per set more than her closest teammate.

Scouting Georgia
The Bulldogs come in with an 11-16 record overall and a 7-10 mark in SEC play, which ranks sixth in the league. In SEC play, the Bulldogs have been strong at the net and behind the service line. The Bulldogs are fourth in the league with 2.31 blocks per set, not far behind Florida and Tennessee, while the Bulldogs are ahead of the Lady Vols with 1.20 aces per set. Despite those numbers, foes hit .265 against Georgia, which is ninth in the SEC.

Kathleen Luft and Brittany Northcutt lead the Bulldog offense with 3.00 and 2.97 kills per set, respectively. Northcutt also ranks second on Georgia with 2.28 digs per set and stands fifth in SEC matches only with 0.29 aces per set. Setter Kathleen Gates ranks fourth in the SEC with 10.69 assists per set. Allison Summers stands sixth in the SEC with her 3.68 digs per set.

Series History vs. the Bulldogs
South Carolina and Georgia have met 61 times, the most meetings in a series for the Gamecocks. Georgia holds a 45-16 advantage in the series, including a season sweep last year. At home, South Carolina is 8-20 against their most-played rival. The Bulldogs have won four straight, including the last two in the Volleyball Competition Facility.

Reuniting Club Members . . . Part Two
Two pairs of clubmates from both South Carolina and Georgia face off on Friday night in Athens. Former A5 club members Brandi Byers and Lindsey Craft both played with the club and can see Georgia’s A5 alums Nicole Choi and Gaby Smiley.