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Oct. 29, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team will take a break from SEC play on Wednesday as it is set to host in-state foe Coastal Carolina.

First serve is set for 6 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

Wednesday: vs. Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m. | | Live Video
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South Carolina Quick Hits
• South Carolina enters its third season with head coach Scott Swanson.
• Last year’s team went 18-14, the program’s second winning season in the last decade and the most wins since 2008 (21).
• The Gamecocks return five letterwinners from a year ago, including two starters (senior Juliette Thévenin, sophomore Darian Dozier).
• With the departure of 11 letterwinners, South Carolina lost 97 percent of its production from last season in assists (1,346), 78.1 percent in digs (1,252) and 58.9 percent in kills (876).
• The 2012 Gamecocks improved their offensive efficiency for the second straight year, raising their hitting percentage 29 points to .255, which ranked third in the SEC.
• South Carolina returns its leader in kills (Juliette Thévenin, 453) and its second-leading blocker (Darian Dozier, 67).

Last Time Out
The Gamecocks dropped a pair of SEC home matches over the weekend, falling in three sets to Tennessee on Friday and Auburn on Sunday. South Carolina is now 11-11 on the season and 3-7 in SEC play. Sophomore Sarah Blomgren led the way on Friday, recording 10 kills, five digs and three block assists. In Sunday’s match with Auburn, senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin posted her 1,500th career kill. Thévenin, who finished the match with 15 kills and 12 digs, reached the milestone with her eighth kill of the match in the second set. She currently ranks third all-time at South Carolina with 1,507 kills for her career and is second in the SEC in career kills among active players.

Scouting Coastal Carolina
The Chanticleers enter Wednesday’s matchup with a 13-9 overall record and a 6-3 mark in Big South play. Coastal Carolina has won five of its last six matches. The Chanticleers have an experienced roster with seven starters returning from last year’s squad that went 14-14 and finished second in the Big South. Sophomore outside hitter Gabriella Horvath, a 2012 Big South All-Freshman Team selection, leads the Chanticleers’ offense with an average of 2.70 kills per set. Senior middle blocker Kindra Bailey, who was a first-team All-Big South honoree a year ago, leads the team in blocks (0.93) and hitting percentage (.349) and averages 2.36 kills per set. Senior setter Lauren Alejo makes the offense go with an average of 9.02 assists per set. Defensively, junior defensive specialist Lindsay Gill has been an anchor in the back line, averaging 4.15 digs per set.

Series History vs. Coastal Carolina
Friday’s meeting will be the 12th all-time between South Carolina and Coastal Carolina. The Gamecocks have won all 11 previous meetings. South Carolina has swept the Chanticleers in all but one of those matchups, a 3-1 win in 1992.

Last Time vs. Coastal Carolina – Oct. 16, 2012
The Gamecocks swept the Chanticleers by the scores of 25-22, 25-16 and 25-13 at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C., in last year’s matchup. Juliette Thévenin paced South Carolina with a double-double, recording 14 kills and 12 digs. The Gamecocks hit .349 as a team while holding Coastal Carolina to a .150 hitting percentage.

Gamecocks in the SEC Stats
Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin has been a force for the Garnet and Black this season as she currently leads the SEC in both kills (4.85) and points (5.20) per set. In SEC matches only, Thévenin ranks first in kills (4.69) and first in points (5.06). Freshman middle blocker Jacqy Angermiller is one of three Gamecocks ranked in the top 20 in blocks as she ranks fourth with an average of 1.22 per set. Sophomore middle blocker Darian Dozier ranks fifth (1.16), and sophomore setter Kellie McNeil is 16th (0.88). McNeil is also sixth in the SEC in assists per set (10.16), while junior libero Michaela Christiaansen is seventh in digs per set (3.97).

And in the NCAA Stats
One Gamecock ranks in the top 50 nationally in the latest NCAA statistics report. Senior Juliette Thévenin is in the top 15 in the nation in two categories, ranking fifth in kills per set (4.85) and 11th in points per set (5.20). Freshman Jacqy Angermiller sits just outside the top 50 in blocks, averaging 1.22 per set.

Reaching a Milestone
In Sunday’s match against Auburn, senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin recorded her 1,500th career kill. Thévenin, who reached the milestone with her eighth kill of the match in the second set, ranks third all-time at South Carolina with 1,507 kills.

Closing in on the 1,000-1,000 Club
Senior Juliette Thévenin is close to reaching another milestone. Entering Wednesday’s match, she has 959 digs for her career. With 41 digs over the final nine matches, Thévenin would become just the second Gamecock of record to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. Amy Iannoccari is currently the only Gamecock to do so as she recorded 1,231 kills and 1,196 digs for South Carolina from 1991-94.

Leaving Her Mark
Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin has been a regular in the starting lineup during her Gamecock career and her name will be scattered throughout the school record book when she’s done. She is currently in the top-10 in five career categories, ranking third in kills (1,507), second in kills per set (4.10), third in attacks (3,843), fifth in points (1,654.0) and third in points per set (4.49). On the season she is averaging a league-best 4.85 kills and 5.20 points per set.

Among the Active Leaders
Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin is among the active career leaders in kills in the SEC and nationally. She ranks second in the SEC with 1,507, trailing only Missouri’s Lisa Henning (1,648). She is eighth in career kills (1,507) and kills per set (4.10) among active Division I players. Her career average ranks 14th among all divisions, while her career kills total is 17th among all divisions.

Packing the Stands
Gamecock fans have given South Carolina a huge home-court advantage this season by packing the stands at the Volleyball Competition Facility. The Gamecocks have drawn nine crowds of more than 1,000 this season, including a VCF-record seven straight, with the Arkansas (1,405) and Texas A&M (1,430) matches being the high marks. The nine matches of 1,000 or more fans is also a VCF record, breaking the previous mark of four, which was set in the 1996 and 2012 seasons. South Carolina has already set the new total attendance mark for the VCF with 12,346 fans attending 12 matches this season, breaking the previous record of 11,787 in 17 matches in 2012. The average of 1,029 fans per match is also on pace to shatter the VCF average attendance record of 765 from the 2002 season.

Winning the Hitting Battle
When South Carolina out-hits its opponents, it is 10-1 on the season. The Gamecocks’ lone loss when having a better hitting percentage than their opponent was a five-set loss to Winthrop (.219-.144). South Carolina has hit .276 in wins this season and .201 in losses. Opponents are hitting .139 in Gamecock wins and .273 in Gamecock losses.

Reaching .300
The magic hitting number for the Gamecocks this season has been .300. South Carolina is 6-0 on the year when hitting .300 or better.

Getting Served
The Gamecocks are a perfect 6-0 when recording more service aces than their opponents. South Carolina averages 1.1 service aces per set in wins and 0.6 in losses.

Block Party
South Carolina is 9-4 when it finishes with more blocks than its opponent. The Gamecocks out-block the opposition 2.6-1.6 per set in wins and are even at 2.2-2.2 in losses.

Seeing Double
Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin leads the team with six double-doubles this season. Thévenin has 38 double-doubles for her career, which ranks fourth all-time at South Carolina in records available since 1993.

Doing it All
Sophomore setter Kellie McNeil has been one of South Carolina’s most versatile players this season. In the Gamecocks’ win at Tennessee, McNeil came up just shy of finishing with a triple double, recording 41 assists and career-highs in digs (20) and blocks (7). A transfer from Minnesota, McNeil is averaging 10.16 assists, 1.94 digs and 0.88 blocks per set this season. McNeil’s blocks per set average is on pace to be the second best in school history of record for a setter. She trails setter Shellie Higgins’ average of 0.92 in 1983.

Sophomore middle blocker Darian Dozier played a key role in the Gamecocks’ 3-1 win over Texas A&M, recording a career-high 18 kills while hitting .571 and finishing with six block assists. On the season Dozier is averaging 2.10 kills per set and ranks fifth in the SEC with an average of 1.16 blocks per set. She also leads the team in hitting with an average of .331, which ranks 11th in the SEC. In Gamecock wins, Dozier has hit a team-best .418.

Filling a Need
Freshman middle blocker Jacqy Angermiller has stepped into the lineup and made her presence felt at the net after missing the first six matches of the season with an injury. Angermiller came up big at the Duke Invitational, averaging a team-best 1.70 blocks per set. She posted a season-high nine blocks to lead the team against Duke. On the season she is averaging 1.73 kills per set and 1.22 blocks per set, which ranks fourth in the SEC.

Thévenin Garners SEC Honor
Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 23. Thévenin earned the award for the third time in her career after leading the Gamecocks to three wins to claim the Carolina Classic title. Thévenin, who was named tournament MVP, averaged 5.70 kills per set while hitting .436 for the tournament and averaged 6.00 points and 2.40 digs per set. In South Carolina’s win over Western Carolina, she recorded 20 kills, the most in the league in three sets this season. She hit a career-best .571 to finish with 26 kills in a four-set victory over Robert Morris.

Tourney Toughness
The Gamecocks played in four preseason tournaments this season, the Gamecock Invitational, Big Orange Bash, Duke Invitational and Carolina Classic. It’s the most tournaments a South Carolina team has played in before conference play since 2003, when the Gamecocks played in four that season. South Carolina won the Gamecock Invitational and Carolina Classic titles.

Accumulating Hardware
The Gamecocks played in four preseason tournaments this season and have been well represented during the tournament awards ceremonies. Senior Juliette Thévenin was named MVP of the Gamecock Invitational and the Carolina Classic. Sophomore Kellie McNeil earned a spot on the Gamecock Invitational All-Tournament Team. Thévenin was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the Big Orange Bash. At the Duke Invitational, McNeil and sophomore Darian Dozier each earned a sport on the All-Tournament Team. Dozier was also named to the Carolina Classic All-Tournament Team.

Thévenin Named Preseason All-SEC
Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin was named to the Preseason All-SEC squad. Thévenin, a second-team All-SEC selection in 2012, looks to close out her Gamecock career in strong fashion after ranking second in SEC play in both kills per set (4.40) and points per set (4.81) a year ago.

New Faces
This year’s South Carolina squad doesn’t have a lot of familiarity to it, as only five letterwinners return from a year ago. Head coach Scott Swanson brought in 12 newcomers this season, including a freshman class of 10 players. The Gamecocks have received some immediate help from transfers Kellie McNeil (Minnesota) and Michaela Christiaansen (Pepperdine).

Youngest in the SEC
South Carolina is the youngest team in the SEC in terms of both underclassmen and freshman. The Gamecocks have 14 underclassmen and 10 freshmen on the roster. Mississippi State is the next closest in underclassmen with 13, while Arkansas has the second most freshmen with eight.

Gamecocks on TV
South Carolina has one match scheduled to be on television this season. The Gamecocks’ match at Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 13 will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

All-Time Records
• South Carolina holds a 735-566 (.565) record.
• The Gamecocks are 195-225 (.464) in SEC play.
• In matches played at the Volleyball Competition Facility, South Carolina is 155-81 (.657).