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Aug. 23, 2012

2012 SC VB Notes (8/23) Get Acrobat Reader

August 23, 2012

What: Gamecock Invitational presented by Courtyard Marriott
When: Aug. 24-25
Where: Volleyball Competition Facility
Follow: Live Video | On Twitter (@GamecockVolley)
Gamecock Invitational Central (with Gametracker links)

South Carolina Overview

  • South Carolina returns four starters and its starting libero from the 2011 team.
  • That 2011 team, the first coached by Scott Swanson, doubled the win total from the previous year.
  • The leading attacker by kills, junior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin, is back.
  • The top defender by digs, junior libero Paige Wheeler, returns.
  • A total of 97 percent of assists are back, along with setters senior Taylor Bruns and sophomore Lexie Pawlik.
  • The Gamecocks lost almost 50 percent of the team blocks from last season.
  • The next highest total of “lost” stats are kills, where 32.2 percent departed.
  • Last season, the Gamecocks led the SEC in digs per set. Only 12.2 percent of those departed.

Home Matches Notes

  • South Carolina is playing 17 matches plus one exhibition in the Volleyball Competition Facility this fall, the most since moving into the building in 1996.
  • It’s one more than the inaugural season in the building, when SC hosted the 1996 SEC Tournament.
  • The most home matches ever for South Carolina came in 1990, when the team hosted 21 contests.

Attacking the Record Book

  • Juliette Thévenin starts 2012 in the top 10 in two categories at South Carolina: kills per set (3rd, 3.65) and digs per set (10th, 2.84).
  • Taylor Bruns is 10th in assists (1,905) and eighth in assists per set (6.93).
  • Paige Wheeler is fourth on SC’s career charts in digs per set (3.37).

Historical Records

  • South Carolina is 706-536 (.568) all-time in volleyball.
  • In the Volleyball Competition Facility, the team stands at 137-70 (.662).

(Recent) Home Tournament History

  • South Carolina has hosted a home tournament every year since 2000 except for 2001 and 2005.
  • The Gamecocks have won four of the last five home non-conference events, only losing in 2010.

Roster Notes

  • Eight freshman, including seven true rookies, are a part of the 17-person roster.
  • Three players hail from each South Carolina and Texas, the most on the team.
  • A pair of student-athletes both hail from California and Maryland.
  • Six other states and another country are represented by the seven remaining athletes.

About Temple

  • Temple returns four starters and its libero from last year’s 8-20 team, going 4-11 in the Atlantic 10.
  • Bakeer Gaines leads the squad for the second year.
  • Libero Chelsea Tupuola averaged 4.25 digs per set in 2011.
  • Tiffany Connatster is a sophomore setter who averaged 9.55 assists per set as a rookie.
  • Junior outside hitters Elyse Burkert and Gabriella Matautia averaged over 3.00 kills a set last season.

About Akron

  • Five starters return for the Zips, who posted a 4-25 record last year and a 1-15 mark in the MAC.
  • Ron Arenz is in his fifth year leading Akron’s volleyball team.
  • Starting setter Morgan Kuhn returns for her senior season after posting 872 assists last year.
  • Senior middle blocker Paiton Twitty posted a team-best 85 blocks a year ago.
  • Three of the top four diggers return, including senior Chelsea Harvey and junior Jill Paluch.
  • The top attacker for the Zips in 2011, Courtney Jarvis (3.33 kps, 2.13 dps), will have to be replaced.

About East Tennessee State

  • Four starters return for the Bucs and 10th-year head coach Lindsey Devine. East Tennessee State went 14-16 last season, including a 7-6 mark in the Atlantic Sun.
  • Top attacker Megan Devine returns for her junior season after averaging 4.16 kills per set last year.
  • Sophomore Meredith Hardy averaged 0.84 blocks per set, second on the 2011 Buccaneers.
  • Setter Jamie Rutledge returns after posting a 9.36 assists average as a junior.
  • The Bucs lost libero Kiley Tamblyn, who made 4.11 digs per set last year.

About UNC Asheville

  • Frederico Santos brings his Bulldogs back to Columbia for the second consecutive year.
  • Five starters are back from last year’s 15-14 team, which included a 7-7 mark in Big South play.
  • The two departing starters were leading attacker Cindi Miller and starting setter Hallie Morse.
  • Anna Moore is back after leading the Bulldogs with 0.81 blocks per set.
  • Three attackers (Moore, Holly Shelton, Meredith Foster) that return averaged between 2.57 and 2.24 kills per set.
  • Returning libero Alex Stewart averaged 4.35 digs per set as a sophomore.