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Sept. 25, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team opens SEC play this weekend with a pair of matches at the Carolina Volleyball Center.

The Gamecocks (10-2) will take on Ole Miss (14-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. in a match that will be televised on the SEC Network. Carolina will close out the weekend against No. 14 Kentucky (11-2, 1-0 SEC) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The match will be streamed live on the SEC Network+ digital platform, and fans can watch through participating cable and satellite providers on WatchESPN.

Friday: vs. Ole Miss, 7 p.m. | SEC Network
Sunday: vs. No. 14 Kentucky, 1:30 p.m.
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South Carolina at a Glance
• The Gamecocks are 10-2 on the season and are riding a seven-match winning streak, their longest winning streak since winning nine straight in 2012 (9/1-9/16).
• Carolina has lost just three sets during the winning streak and swept five matches.
• When outhitting opponents, the Gamecocks are 9-0 on the season. Carolina is outhitting opponents .251-.119 in wins and is being outhit .194-.138 in losses.
• The Gamecocks have used six different starting lineups this season.
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier, sophomore outside hitter KoKo Atoa-Williams and freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil have started every match, while senior Mikaela Christiaansen has been libero all 12 matches.

A Look Back at the Carolina Classic
• South Carolina won its second straight Carolina Classic title with a 3-0 record, sweeping both Norfolk State and The Citadel and defeating Eastern Kentucky 3-2.
• The Gamecocks outhit their opponents .266-.108 on the weekend and out-blocked them 31-13.
• Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen was named Tournament MVP after averaging four digs per set.
• Freshman setter Allie Monserez averaged 6.73 assists and 2.36 digs per set to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Gamecocks in the SEC and NCAA Stats
• South Carolina is second in the SEC and ranks 21st nationally in blocks per set (2.80).
• The Gamecocks lead the SEC in opponent hitting percentage (.134).
• Carolina ranks second in the conference in digs per set (15.95).
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier leads the SEC and ranks eighth in the nation in blocks per set (1.61).
• Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil ranks fourth in the conference in kills per set (3.64) and is first among freshmen. She is also fourth in the league in points per set (4.05).
• Junior setter Kellie McNeil ranks third in the SEC in service aces per set (0.39).
• Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen is third in the SEC in digs per set (4.23).
• Sophomore outside hitter KoKo Atoa-Williams ranks 18th in the SEC in kills (2.86) and her five double-doubles are tied for the sixth most in the league.

Home Match Notes
• The Gamecocks have 15 home matches on the schedule in 2014.
• Carolina is 6-0 at home this season.
• Under head coach Scott Swanson, the Gamecocks are 33-20 at home.

Carolina in SEC Openers
• Friday’s match vs. Ole Miss will be South Carolina’s 24th SEC opener.
• The Gamecocks are 12-11 all-time in SEC openers.
• In SEC openers at home, the Gamecocks are 6-5 all-time.
• Carolina is 1-2 in SEC openers under head coach Scott Swanson.
• The Gamecocks are 1-4 in their last five SEC openers.
• South Carolina has played Ole Miss in an SEC opener only one time, a 3-0 win on Sept. 25, 1994 by the scores of 15-8, 15-11 and 15-2.

Scouting Ole Miss
• Ole Miss enters the weekend as the only undefeated team in the SEC at 14-0.
• The Rebels lead the SEC in hitting percentage (.286), kills (13.98) and assists (13.06) and are second in opponent hitting percentage (.154).
• Junior middle blocker Nakeyta Clair has led the way, ranking third in the SEC in hitting (.431), eighth in kills (3.27) and eighth in blocks (1.12).
• Sophomore setter Aubrey Edie leads the league and ranks 13th nationally in assists per set (11.40).
• Senior libero Cara Fisher has been the Rebels top back row player as she ranks seventh in the SEC in digs per set (3.98).

Series History vs. Ole Miss
• Friday’s meeting will be the 41st between South Carolina and Ole Miss.
• The Gamecocks lead the all-time series 25-15.
• In the last 10 meetings, the Gamecocks are 5-5.
• South Carolina is 12-5 all-time vs. Ole Miss at home.
• Ole Miss has won the last three matches in Columbia.
• South Carolina’s last home win over Ole Miss was a 3-0 victory on Oct. 23, 2009.

Last Time vs. Ole Miss – Oct. 20, 2013
• The Gamecocks defeated the Rebels in Oxford last season by the scores of 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18.
• Carolina outside hitter Juliette Thévenin led the way with 25 kills, as the Gamecocks hit .308 for the match. Sarah Blomgren added 12 kills (.455) and Darian Dozier finished with nine kills (.600).

Scouting Kentucky
• Kentucky is 10-2 on the season.
• The Wildcats are on a four-match winning streak.
• Kentucky ranks first in the SEC in kills per set (13.95) and second in assists per set (12.75).
• Junior setter Morgan Bergren, a preseason All-SEC selection, ranks fourth in the league in assists per set (10.80).
• Junior opposite Shelby Workman has been Kentucky’s top attacker as she ranks ninth in the SEC in kills per set (3.34).
• Senior libero Jackie Napper, who has earned back-to-back SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors, ranks second in the SEC in digs per set (5.18).

Series History vs. Kentucky
• Sunday’s matchup will be the 49th all-time between Kentucky and South Carolina.
• The Wildcats lead the all-time series 18-30.
• Kentucky has won nine of the last 10 meetings.
• The Gamecocks are 12-10 at home vs. Kentucky all-time.
• South Carolina’s last win over the Wildcats was a 3-0 victory at the Carolina Volleyball Center on Oct. 22, 2010.

Last Time vs. Kentucky – Nov. 8, 2013
• The Gamecocks dropped a 3-0 decision in Lexington last season by the scores of 25-17, 25-15 and 25-19.
• The Wildcats outhit the Gamecocks .269-.061.
• Darian Dozier paced Carolina with six kills and three blocks.

Gamecocks on TV
• South Carolina is 13-17 when playing in front of a television audience. The Gamecocks have lost five-straight TV matches with their last win being a three-set victory at home over Alabama on SportSouth on Nov. 6, 2011.
• Carolina is 0-2 all-time vs. Ole Miss in televised matches.

Block Party
• Blocking has been a key to the Gamecocks’ success this season as they lead the SEC and rank 21st nationally in blocks per set 2.80.
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier leads the SEC and ranks eighth in the nation in blocks per set (1.61), while sophomore middle Jacqy Angermiller ranks 10 in the league (1.10).
• South Carolina recorded 17 blocks vs. Eastern Kentucky, its most since recording 20 vs. St. Johns on Sept. 8, 2006.
• Angermiller tallied a career-high 11 blocks (all block assists) vs. Eastern Kentucky, which is tied for the second most block assists in a five-set match in school history and the fourth most total blocks in a five-set match.

Taking the Reins
• With the departure of All-American outside hitter Juliette Thévenin, freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil has filled in nicely through nine matches.
• McNeil leads the team with an average of 3.64 kills per set, which ranks fourth in the SEC and first among league freshmen.
• She is also second on the team in digs per set (2.52).
• A native of Eagan, Minn., McNeil has recorded two double-doubles, including a career-high 22 kills and 23 digs as well as five blocks vs. Furman (9/6). She is the only player in the SEC to currently have a double-double with more than 20 kills and 20 digs.

Reaching a Milestone
• With a win over Elon at the Campbell Invitational on Sept. 13, South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson recorded his 100th career victory and his 50th win at South Carolina.
• Swanson is now 104-112 in his eighth season as a head coach and 54-51 in his fourth season at South Carolina. Swanson’s 54 wins are the sixth most in school history.

Tournament Success
• South Carolina won three of its four tournaments this season, claiming titles at the Gamecock Invitational, Campbell Invitational and Carolina Classic with 3-0 records.
• Carolina went 6-0 in its home tournaments. The Gamecocks are a perfect 23-0 in home tournaments during the Scott Swanson era.
• Carolina’s last loss at home in a tournament was a 3-0 setback against Lipscomb in the Gamecock Invitational on Sept. 11, 2010.

Accumulating Hardware
• The Gamecocks were well represented on the All-Tournament teams of the four tournaments they played in, with three MVP selections and four All-Tournament selections.
• Sophomore outside hitter KoKo Atoa-Williams was named MVP of the Gamecock Invitational, while senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen was named to the All-Tournament Team.
• At the Carolina Challenge, freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
• At the Campbell Invitational, McNeil was named MVP, while Atoa-Williams made the All-Tournament Team.
• Christiaansen was named MVP of the Carolina Classic, and freshman setter Allie Monserez made the All-Tournament Team.

South Carolina Quick Hits
• South Carolina is in its fourth season with head coach Scott Swanson. Last year’s team went 12-19.
• The Gamecocks return 13 letter winners from a year ago, including four starters and the libero (Sarah Blomgren, Kellie McNeil, Darian Dozier, Jacqy Angermiller, Mikaela Christiaansen).
• With the departure of outside hitter Juliette Thévenin, the Gamecocks lost 33.8 percent of their production in kills. She ranked first in the SEC in both kills per set (4.57) and points per set (4.91).
• South Carolina returns middle blockers Jacqy Angermiller and Darian Dozier, who ranked seventh (1.08) and eighth (1.06), respectively, in the SEC in blocks per set.

Roster Breakdown
• South Carolina has three freshmen, seven sophomores, five juniors and two seniors on its roster.
• Nine states are represented on South Carolina’s roster. Four players are from South Carolina, two from Georgia, Texas, Florida, California and Minnesota and one from Nevada, Maryland and Arizona.

Sister Act
• The Gamecocks have two pairs of sisters involved with the program in 2014 in freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil and junior setter Kellie McNeil and junior middle blocker Darian Dozier and graduate assistant Kristen Dozier.
• Both Taylr and Kellie McNeil were the Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year coming out of high school.
• Kristen Dozier was a standout at Ohio State (2006-09) and went on to play professionally in Spain, Israel, Puerto Rico and Germany. She was also a member of the U.S. National Team in 2013.

Coming Home
• Former Gamecock great Shonda Cole joins the coaching staff this season as volunteer assistant.
• Cole played at South Carolina from 2003-06 and became the first Gamecock to earn All-America honors, earning a spot on the AVCA Honorable Mention All-America Team in 2006.
• She had a successful professional career, playing one season in Spain, six in Puerto Rico and a half season in France.
• Cole won a league championship with Pinkin de Corozal in 2010 and was named finals MVP after leading Indias de Mayaguez to the league title in 2013.

All-Time Records
• South Carolina holds a 747-570 (.567) record.
• The Gamecocks are 161-215 (.428) in SEC play.
• In matches played at the Carolina Volleyball Center, South Carolina is 162-84 (.659).

Packing the CVC
• South Carolina is averaging 1,350 fans per match, which ranks in the top 25 nationally in average attendance.
• The Gamecocks drew 1,711 fans for their season opener versus Gardner-Webb, the second largest crowd in CVC history.
• Carolina played in front of 1,528 fans versus Jacksonville and 1,647 fans versus Georgia Tech, the fifth and third largest crowds in CVC history, respectively.