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Oct. 11, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gamecocks’ Weekend Schedule
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. Alabama | 7 p.m. EDT | | Live Video | @GamecockVolley
Dig Ping promotion: Fans will receive free pink pom-poms for the match

2012 SC VB Notes (10/11) Get Acrobat Reader

2012 SC VB Stats (as of 10/7) Get Acrobat Reader

South Carolina Team Notes

  • Four teams went undefeated in the opening weekend of SEC play: Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
  • Out of the six hitters who have played in half the sets and averaged at least one kill per set, three hit over .260.
  • Only two non-conference opponents hit over .200 against South Carolina: East Tennessee State (.207) and UAB (.285). All eight SEC foes have topped that mark.
  • South Carolina has been out-blocked nine times thus far in 2012 (3-6), while the 2011 team was topped on 13 occasions (1-12 in those matches).
  • At No. 21 Tennessee (9/23), the Gamecocks did not allow an ace, successfully passing all 87 serves they received.
  • The last time South Carolina did not allow an ace came in Scott Swanson’s first game as head coach, against Montana on Aug. 26, 2011.

All About the Winning Streak

  • The 13-0 start for the Gamecocks ranks as the best in the program’s NCAA-era history. The 1983 team began the season 12-0.
  • The 13-match winning streak was the second-longest documented skein in program history.
  • The longest winning streak came in 1983, as the team posted a 14-match streak from Oct. 15-Nov. 18.
  • The loss that ended the longest skein came in the 1983 Metro Conference Tournament final. Florida State won the five-set match to earn the automatic berth to the third NCAA Tournament. The field only had 28 teams at the time.
  • That 1983 team also had the best start previously in program history with 12 wins.
  • That was the second-longest documented winning streak for the Gamecocks until this year.
  • For the second-consecutive year, South Carolina was the last undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference.

The Difference Between Winning & Losing

  • South Carolina hits .311 in matches it wins and .164 in those it loses, a .147 difference.
  • The opponents when South Carolina wins hit .177. That jumps to .327 if the Gamecocks lose, a .150 gap.
  • Winning Gamecock matches see SC post 2.49 more digs per set than the opposition. When the foes triumph, the Gamecocks are outdug by 3.05 a frame.
  • In wins, South Carolina wins the blocking battle by averages of 2.07 to 1.71. In setbacks, the Gamecocks get outblocked 2.62 to 1.38.

Attacking the Record Book

  • Taylor Bruns is seventh in assists (2,476) and eighth in assists per set (7.30) in Gamecock history.
  • Juliette Thévenin stands 14th in SC history with 924 kills and 13th with 2,443 attacks.
  • A total of 91 more attacks move Thévenin past Berna Dwyer for 12th on that list.
  • Thévenin ranks 19th on the career points chart (as it would stand had everyone played in the rally-scoring era).
  • She’s fourth on the points-per-set charts with a 4.18 average.
  • Thévenin’s now second in kills per set (3.77) and 11th in digs per set (2.78) on the career charts.
  • Paige Wheeler is third on SC’s career charts in digs per set (3.53).
  • With two more digs, Wheeler ties Fernanda Laires for 19th on the career dig charts.

Gamecocks in the SEC Stat Superlatives

  • South Carolina hit the third-highest hitting percentage in four-set match (.370 vs. Niagara) and the second-best in a five-setter (.297 vs. ETSU) for an SEC team this fall.
  • The team’s .419 hitting percentage against UNC Asheville ranks eighth in the overall SEC match performances.
  • Juliette Thévenin has the fifth-most kills in a three-set match in the SEC this year (18 vs. Georgia and LSU) and the fifth-most in a four-set contest (22 vs. Auburn).
  • Thévenin also is tied for the fifth-most points in a sweep this year by an SEC player (20.5 vs. Georgia).
  • Taylor Bruns tied for the third-most assists in the SEC in a four-set affair this year (54 vs. UAB).

Record-Charting Single-Match Performances

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

Historical Records

  • South Carolina is 719-542 (.570) all-time in volleyball.
  • In the Volleyball Competition Facility, the team stands at 146-72 (.670).

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 of the VCF, when SC hosted the 1996 SEC Tournament.
  • The most home matches ever for South Carolina came in 1990, when the team hosted 21 contests.
  • The match against Clemson on Sept. 7 had 1,512 fans in attendance, the third-largest crowd in the history of the Volleyball Competition Facility.
  • It was the largest crowd since 2001 in the building, when 1,793 people packed the stands for the Sept. 21 match against Florida.
  • The 1,512 fans were nearly 250 over the capacity of the gym in the setup the team utilized starting during SEC play last fall.
  • Four times, over 1,000 people have packed the VCF for a match, tying the 1996 inaugural year in the building for the most crowds over 1,000.
  • This 2012 team holds the second-longest winning streak for a Gamecock team since moving into the VCF in 1996, winning 12 straight matches from Nov. 6, 2011 to Sept. 16, 2012.
  • All three double-digit VCF winning streaks were snapped by Florida, a 17-match span from Oct. 14, 2001 to Oct. 24, 2002, a 10-match stretch from Sept. 13, 2000, to Nov. 10, 2000, and the latest.

Competition Level Rising

  • The three opponents in the 2012 Carolina Clash 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).
  • In the second RPI report from the NCAA (Oct. 8), the Gamecocks ranked 67th.
  • South Carolina beat top 100 RPI teams Clemson (77), Georgia (72) and LSU (73).
  • Four of the six losses came against top-50 RPI teams (Auburn 45, Tennessee 21, Florida 13, Texas A&M 24).

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.
  • For the 17th-consecutive season, the Gamecocks have had at least one international player.
  • A total of 16 players have appeared on the court so far. Only freshman Kira Speer has not seen any action and is on track for a redshirt year.

Gamecocks Host Sixth-Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Match
For the sixth-consecutive year, South Carolina hosts a breast-cancer awareness match, which for the a “Dig Pink” match, with the team raising awareness for combating breast cancer, wearing pink jerseys in the last two of these. The team is 2-3 in these special matches.

Scouting Alabama
In a near mirror image of the Gamecocks’ 2012 season, the Crimson Tide come to Columbia with a 13-6 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the SEC. In league play, the Tide serving and overall defense stands out. Alabama ranked fourth in SEC play with 1.19 aces per set, while the team is eighth in opponent hitting percentage at .229. The Friday are within two places of each other in hitting percentage, kills, assists and blocks.

Kayla Fitterer returns as Alabama’s top attacker, averaging 3.74 kills per set while standing fourth on the team with a .262 hitting percentage. Laura Steiner adds 2.96 kills per set. Guiding the offense is Sierra Wilson, who averages 10.88 assists a set. Cristina Arenas serves as the libero, posting 3.41 digs a frame. Kryssi Daniels leads the strong serving corps with 0.50 aces a frame. Wilson is next with 0.24, while Arenas (0.21) and Andrea McQuaid (0.20) would both land one in a five-set match, on average.

Series History vs. the Crimson Tide
Alabama leads the all-time series 22-17, dating back to 1979, with an 18-16 advantage since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1991. The last two years, the teams have split, both defending their home court. In Columbia, South Carolina owns an 11-4 mark, including a 9-2 mark in the VCF.