Oct. 14, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In its first midweek match of the season, the South Carolina volleyball team will host No. 8 Florida on Wednesday at the Carolina Volleyball Center.
First serve between the Gamecocks (13-4, 3-2 SEC) and Gators (12-3, 6-0) is set for 6 p.m. The match will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
South Carolina at a Glance
â€¢ The Gamecocks are 13-4 on the season and 3-2 in SEC play.
â€¢ Carolina went 2-1 on the road in SEC play the last two weeks, defeating Mississippi State and Auburn and losing to Alabama.
â€¢ In its last 10 matches, South Carolina is 8-2.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have used seven different starting lineups this season.
â€¢ 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 17 matches.
A Look Back at Last Weekend
â€¢ South Carolina lost its only match of the weekend in four sets at Alabama. The Crimson Tide won by the scores of 25-23, 25-19, 25-27 and 25-18.
â€¢ The loss was the Gamecocks’ first on the road this season. Carolina is now 4-1 in true road matches.
â€¢ Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 kills and 13 digs.
â€¢ Alabama out-blocked the Gamecocks 10-7. It was just the fourth time this season Carolina has been out-blocked.
â€¢ The Gamecocks had seven reception errors, which is their most in SEC play and third most this season.
Gamecocks in the SEC and NCAA Stats
â€¢ South Carolina is first in the SEC and ranks 27th nationally in blocks per set (2.66).
â€¢ Carolina leads the SEC and ranks 32nd nationally in opponent hitting percentage (.160).
â€¢ Carolina ranks second in the conference in digs per set (15.18).
â€¢ Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier is second in the SEC and ranks 15th in the nation in blocks per set (1.45). She is second in the SEC and 23rd in the nation in total blocks (90).
â€¢ Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil ranks sixth in the conference in kills per set (3.48) and is second among freshmen. She is also seventh in the league in points per set (3.92).
â€¢ Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen is third in the SEC in digs per set (4.46).
â€¢ Sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams has seven double-doubles, which is the sixth most in the SEC.
Home Match Notes
â€¢ The Gamecocks are 7-1 at the Carolina Volleyball Center this season, with the lone loss being a 3-1 setback to then-No. 14 Kentucky.
â€¢ Carolina has outhit opponents .229-.170 and has out-blocked opponents 92-50 at home this season.
â€¢ Under head coach Scott Swanson, the Gamecocks are 34-21 at home.
â€¢ South Carolina is 163-85 (.657) all-time at the Carolina Volleyball Center.
Competition Gets Tougher
â€¢ The Gamecocks are in a three-match stretch against teams ranked in the top 30 of the NCAA RPI.
â€¢ Carolina lost 3-1 at Alabama on Sunday. The Crimson Tide is ranked 29th in the RPI.
â€¢ Florida enters Wednesday’s matchup at No. 8.
â€¢ Texas A&M, South Carolina’s opponent this Sunday, is ranked No. 19.
Scouting No. 8 Florida
â€¢ Florida, the preseason pick to win the SEC, enters the match with a 12-3 overall record and a 6-0 mark in SEC play.
â€¢ Florida returns 12 letter winners, including four starters and the libero, from last year’s squad that went 28-4 overall and 16-2 in SEC play.
â€¢ The Gators are on a seven-match winning streak and are 9-1 in their last 10 matches.
â€¢ Florida has lost just two sets during its winning streak.
â€¢ Florida leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally in hitting percentage (.298).
â€¢ The Gators rank second in the league in opponent hitting percentage (.167), assists per set (12.78), kills per set (13.83) and aces per set (1.41).
â€¢ Sophomore right side Alex Holston, junior outside hitter Ziva Recek and senior libero Taylor Unroe were named to the Preseason All-SEC Team.
â€¢ Holston ranks fifth in the SEC in kills per set (3.50) and ninth in hitting percentage (.341).
â€¢ Freshman middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan leads the league and ranks second in the nation in hitting percentage (.475), ranks 17th in kills per set (2.74) and is fourth in blocks per set (1.34).
â€¢ Junior setter Mackenzie Dagostino is second in the SEC in assists per set (11.33) and leads the league in service aces per set (0.54).
Series History vs. Florida
â€¢ Wednesday’s match will be the 57th meeting all-time between South Carolina and Florida.
â€¢ The Gators lead the all-time series 49-7 and have won 14 straight in the series.
â€¢ The Gamecocks are 4-22 all-time at home vs. Florida.
â€¢ Four of Carolina’s seven wins in the series were at home.
â€¢ South Carolina’s last win over Florida was a 3-1 victory over the sixth-ranked Gators in Columbia on Sept. 17, 2006. It is South Carolina’s last win over a ranked team.
Last Time vs. Florida – Nov. 13, 2013
â€¢ Florida defeated the Gamecocks in three sets by the scores of 25-15, 25-9 and 25-22.
â€¢ The Gators held the edge in kills (45-24), hitting percentage (.372-.059), digs (39-26) and blocks (4-3).
â€¢ Outside hitter Juliette ThÃƒÂ©venin paced the Gamecocks with eight kills, five digs and two blocks.
â€¢ Ziva Recek finished with a match-high 15 kills while hitting .500 to lead Florida.
A Family Affair
â€¢ Wednesday’s match will feature two sisters and two cousins competing against each other.
â€¢ South Carolina freshman setter Allie Monserez and Florida senior defensive specialist Madison Monserez are sisters. Allie has played in 14 matches for the Gamecocks this season, while Madison has played in all 15 for the Gators.
â€¢ Gamecock junior middle blocker Darian Dozier and Florida sophomore right side Alex Holston are cousins. Both are among the best at their positions in the SEC. Dozier ranks second in the SEC in blocks per set (1.45), while Holston ranks fifth in kills per set (3.50) and ninth in hitting percentage (.341).
Carolina on TV
â€¢ The Gamecocks are 14-21 all-time in true TV matches.
â€¢ Carolina and Florida have played 12 televised matches, with the Gators winning 11 of them.
â€¢ Wednesday’s match will be the Gamecocks’ fifth appearance on ESPNU. Carolina is 0-4 in its previous four appearances.
â€¢ Blocking has been a key to the Gamecocks’ success this season as they rank second in the SEC and 27th nationally in blocks per set 2.66.
â€¢ Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier is second in the SEC and ranks 15th in the nation in blocks per set (1.45), while sophomore middle Jacqy Angermiller ranks 16th in the league (0.98).
â€¢ South Carolina recorded 17 blocks vs. Eastern Kentucky, its most since recording 20 vs. St. Johns on Sept. 8, 2006.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Carolina has out-blocked its opponents in 13 of 17 matches. The Gamecocks are 11-2 in those matches.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have out-blocked opponents 136-82 in wins.
Winning the Hitting Battle
â€¢ When outhitting opponents, the Gamecocks are 10-0 on the season.
â€¢ Carolina is outhitting opponents .238-.137 in wins and is being outhit .230-.162 in losses.
â€¢ In conference matches, the Gamecocks are being outhit .218-.201.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have held opponents to a below a .150 hitting percentage 10 times in 17 matches.
â€¢ Carolina has won three matches when being outhit, vs. Georgia Tech (.258-.269), vs. Ole Miss (.184-.189) and vs. Auburn (.211-.221).
Taking the Reins
â€¢ With the departure of All-American outside hitter Juliette ThÃƒÂ©venin, freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil has filled in nicely through 17 matches.
â€¢ McNeil leads the team with an average of 3.48 kills per set, which ranks sixth in the SEC and second among league freshmen.
â€¢ She is also third on the team in digs per set (2.20).
â€¢ A native of Eagan, Minn., McNeil has recorded three double-doubles, including a career-high 22 kills and 23 digs as well as five blocks vs. Furman (9/6).
â€¢ She is the only player in the SEC to currently have a double-double with more than 20 kills and 20 digs and is the first Gamecock to do so since Crystal Moore recorded 20 kills and 21 digs vs. Michigan on Sept. 17, 1999.
Anchoring the Back Line
â€¢ Senior libero Mikaela Chrsitiaansen has started all 17 matches at libero for the Gamecocks this season.
â€¢ She ranks third in the SEC in digs per set (4.46) and is second in conference play with 4.95 digs per set.
â€¢ A native of Tucson, Ariz., Christiaansen has reached double figures in digs in all 17 matches.
â€¢ She has recorded 20 or more digs in four out of the last five matches.
â€¢ In South Carolina’s comeback win over Ole Miss, she tallied 26 digs, her most as a Gamecock.
Packing the CVC
â€¢ South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC and 24th nationally in average attendance at the Carolina Volleyball Center (1,428).
â€¢ The Gamecocks have played in front of 1,000 or more fans in seven of their eight home matches.
â€¢ Six of this year’s eight home crowds rank in the top 10 in CVC history.
â€¢ The crowd of 1,807 for the Ole Miss match is a CVC record.
South Carolina Quick Hits
â€¢ South Carolina is in its fourth season with head coach Scott Swanson. Last year’s team went 12-19.
â€¢ 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).
â€¢ With the departure of outside hitter Juliette ThÃƒÂ©venin, 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).
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ South Carolina has three freshmen, seven sophomores, five juniors and two seniors on its roster.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Both Taylr and Kellie McNeil were the Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year coming out of high school.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Former Gamecock great Shonda Cole joins the coaching staff this season as volunteer assistant.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ She had a successful professional career, playing one season in Spain, six in Puerto Rico and a half season in France.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ South Carolina holds a 750-572 (.567) record.
â€¢ The Gamecocks are 164-217 (.430) in SEC play.
â€¢ In matches played at the Carolina Volleyball Center, South Carolina is 163-85 (.657).