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September 6, 2012

Carolina Clash Notes

Tournament Central

Gamecocks’ Schedule
Fri., Sept. 7 vs. Clemson, 7 p.m. – | Live Video | Season Tickets
Sat., Sept. 8 vs. UAB, 11 a.m. – | Season Tickets
Sat., Sept. 8 vs. Winthrop, 7:30 p.m. – | Season Tickets
Note: Due to conflicts with personnel, live video will not be available for Saturday’s games

Fri. vs. Clemson – Free “Beat Clemson” T-shirts to first 200 fans; free Little Caesar’s Pizza to students (while supplies last); Rally Towel giveaway
Sat. vs. UAB – Rally Towel Giveaway
Sat. vs. Winthrop – International Literacy Day with Read with Cocky halftime raffle; Rally Towel Giveaway; Students at all three SC matches on weekend get double rewards points.

2012 SC VB Stats (Sept. 2) Get Acrobat Reader

South Carolina Team Notes

  • The 8-0 start for the Gamecocks is the third-best in the program’s NCAA-era history. The 1984 team went 9-0 to start a year, while the 1983 team began the season 12-0.
  • The Gamecocks have the largest difference between their hitting percentage and their foes in the SEC. The .185 difference (.328-.143) tops Alabama (.266-.112) for that honor.
  • Only one opponent has hit over .200 against South Carolina: East Tennessee State (.207).
  • South Carolina has only been out-blocked once thus far in 2012, while the 2011 team was topped on 13 occasions (1-12 in those matches).
  • South Carolina has posted more kills and digs and a better hitting percentage than their opposition in all eight matches heading into the Carolina Clash.
  • Out of the seven hitters who have played in at least half of the sets and averaged at least one kill per set, six hit over .250 and five are at .320 or better.
  • The Gamecocks have not lost a second set this season.

Gamecocks in the SEC Stats

  • As a team, the Gamecocks lead the SEC in hitting percentage (.328).
  • They are second in assists (13.37) and kills (14.43), both per-set rates.
  • South Carolina is third in opponent hitting percentage (.143), behind Alabama and Georgia.
  • Paige Wheeler is fifth in the SEC in digs per set (4.46).
  • Juliette Thévenin is sixth in both kills (3.92) and points (4.30).
  • Cara Howley stands sixth in hitting percentage (.383), while Thévenin (.340, 11th) and Bethanie Thomas (.320, 15th) are also ranked.
  • Taylor Bruns is 11th (7.46) and Lexie Pawlik 13th (5.80) in assists per set.
  • Darian Dozier stands 13th in blocks per set (0.95).
  • South Carolina hit the highest percentage for an SEC in four-set (.370 vs. Niagara) and five-set (.297 vs. ETSU) matches.

Attacking the Record Book

  • Taylor Bruns is eighth in assists (2,099) and eighth in assists per set (6.97).
  • She is 37 assists behind Kelly Morrow (1993-96), who ranks seventh in Gamecock history.
  • Juliette Thévenin stands 20th in SC history with 769 kills and 2,042 attacks.
  • Eight kills moves her past Jennifer Guess (1990-93) and 21 swings are needed to surpass Lynae Vanden Hull (2003-06). With 25 attacks, she passes Sarah Morgan (2002-05).
  • Thévenin’s now second in kills per set (3.68) and 10th in digs per set (2.81).
  • Paige Wheeler is third on SC’s career charts in digs per set (3.52).

Record-Charting Single-Match Performances

  • Sophomore Bethanie Thomas’s three solo blocks vs. ETSU (8/25) tied for second on the five-set match listing.

Preseason Tournament Accolades

Historical Records

  • South Carolina is 714-536 (.571) all-time in volleyball.
  • In the Volleyball Competition Facility, the team stands at 141-70 (.668).

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.

(Recent) Home Tournament History

  • South Carolina has hosted a home tournament every year since 2000 except for 2001 and 2005.
  • The Gamecocks have won five of the last six home non-conference events, only losing in 2010.
  • This is the first year since 2003 that the Gamecocks have hosted two pre-conference tournaments.
  • In those 2003 events (Carolina Classic, Gamecock Invite), South Carolina went 3-2, with both losses to nationally-ranked teams.

Carolina Clash General Notes

  • The three opponents in the event held better final 2011 RPIs than all but one of SC’s first eight foes.
  • Clemson finished at 54, UAB 84 and Winthrop 149 in the last RPI of 2011 (Niagara was 146).

About Clemson

  • The Tigers return all seven starters from last year’s 20-11 team.
  • Holding a 6-1 record, Jolene Jordan Hoover’s squad lost its first match on Tuesday at Furman in four sets.
  • Three Tigers average over three kills per set (Moneshia Simmons, 3.70; Sandra Adeleye, 3.22; Kristin Faust, 3.13).
  • Setter Hannah Brenner averages 11.35 assists per set and 2.30 digs per frame, third on the team.
  • Simmons and Alexa Rand hold 1.00 blocks averages, while Adeleye stands at 0.91 blocks per set.
  • Faust leads the tough-serving Tigers in aces with 0.57 per set. The team averages 1.91 aces per set.

Series History vs. Clemson

  • The second most-played foe for the Gamecocks, SC owns a 35-22 record all-time against its rival.
  • Since joining the SEC in 1991, the Gamecocks are 10-10 against the Tigers.
  • At home all-time, SC is 19-6 against Clemson, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the VCF.
  • Clemson has taken the last two meetings, both neutral-site contests the last two years.

About UAB

  • Six starters return for Kerry Messersmith & the Blazers, losing C-USA digs leader Heather Thomas.
  • The 4-4 Blazers have won three straight, including a four-set win over Georgia State on Tuesday.
  • Sam Serley leads UAB with 1.42 blocks per set and stands second with 2.52 kills per set and a .327 hitting percentage
  • Kate Morrell tops the Blazers in kills (2.54 per set) and aces (0.32) and is second in digs (3.29).
  • Kiriana Hirini holds a .333 hitting percentage on 1.78 kills per set and posts 0.96 blocks a frame.
  • Rachel Fairbanks posts 4.87 digs per set.

Series History vs. UAB

  • South Carolina owns a 7-1 record all-time against UAB, including a 3-0 mark at home.
  • The last meeting in the series came on Sept. 2, 1995, a Gamecock 3-0 win.

About Winthrop

  • The Eagles enter the weekend at 3-4 under the guidance of Julie Torbett, in her second year at WU.
  • Five starters return from the 2011 group that tied for first in the Big South (20-8 overall).
  • Winthrop averages 2.10 blocks per set, led by Amy Zimmer (1.04) and Jennica Mullins (1.00).
  • Stephanie Palmer leads the team with 2.36 kills per set, with Mullins second at 2.24.
  • Palmer also leads Winthrop in assists at 5.88, with Jessica Codato serving as the second setter.
  • Catherine Brusie tops the Eagles with 4.04 digs per set.

Series History vs. Winthrop

  • South Carolina holds a 17-13 advantage all-time against Winthrop, including a 13-2 mark in games in Columbia.
  • The Gamecocks have taken 15 of the last 16, with the only loss coming at Winthrop on Sept. 4, 2010.

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.
  • Setters Taylor Bruns and Lexie Pawlik make up the vast majority of the 97 percent of assists back.
  • 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.

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.
  • A total of 15 players have appeared on the court so far. Only freshmen Sarah Blomgren and Kira Speer have not seen any action.