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Nov. 8, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team is set to face Alabama on Sunday at home in a match that will be televised on the SEC Network.

First serve is set for 4 p.m. at the Carolina Volleyball Center. Fans can also watch the match via WatchESPN.

Sunday: vs. Alabama, 4 p.m. | SEC Network |
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South Carolina at a Glance
• The Gamecocks are 15-9 on the season and 5-6 in SEC play.
• Carolina lost its last two matches.
• The Gamecocks have used 12 different starting lineups this season.
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier has started every match, while senior Mikaela Christiaansen has been libero all 24 matches.
• Freshman Taylr McNeil and sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams have started 23 of 24 matches.

A Look Back at Last Weekend
• The Gamecocks went 0-2 last weekend, losing in four sets at LSU and falling in three sets at Ole Miss.
• Carolina out-blocked the Tigers 10-6, while LSU held the advantage in hitting percentage (.299-.228), kills (67-44) and digs (63-58).
• Junior setter Kellie McNeil recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 12 assists and 13 digs as well as six kills and five blocks vs. LSU.
• The Gamecocks hit an SEC season low .103 at Ole Miss. The Rebels finished with more kills (46-30) and digs (52-50), while Carolina had more blocks (11-7).
• Junior right side Sarah Blomgren led Carolina with eight kills while hitting .400 and matched her career high with five blocks.
• Ole Miss is the first SEC team to defeat the Gamecocks in three sets this season.

Gamecocks in the SEC and NCAA Stats
• South Carolina leads the SEC and ranks 40th nationally in blocks per set (2.53).
• The Gamecocks lead the SEC and rank 35th nationally in total blocks (233).
• Carolina is third in the SEC opponent hitting percentage (.189).
• The Gamecocks rank second in the conference in digs per set (15.01).
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier is third in the SEC and 41st nationally in blocks per set (1.30). She also ranks second in the conference and 32nd in the nation in total blocks (116).
• Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil ranks ninth in the conference in kills per set (3.34) and is second among freshmen. She is also ninth in the league in points per set (3.71).
• Junior setter Kellie McNeil ranks sixth in the SEC in aces per set (0.30).
• Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen is third in the SEC in digs per set (4.38) and third in total digs (403).

Home Match Notes
• The Gamecocks are 9-3 at the Carolina Volleyball Center this season, with all three losses being to ranked teams (No. 14 Kentucky, No. 8 Florida and No. 20 Texas A&M).
• Carolina has outhit opponents .223-.198 at home and out-blocked opponents 128-88.
• Under head coach Scott Swanson, the Gamecocks are 36-23 at home.

A Win this Weekend Would…
• Guarantee Carolina just its third winning season since going 22-7 to make the NCAA Tournament in 2002. The Gamecocks went 21-9 in 2008 and 18-14 in 2012.
• Be head coach Scott Swanson’s 60th career win at South Carolina. He is currently 59-58 in four years with the Gamecocks. The 59 wins are the fourth most in school history.
• Be the Gamecocks’ sixth SEC win, matching the 2012 team’s six conference wins for the most since going 12-8 in 2008.

In the last 10 matches…
• The Gamecocks have a 4-6 record.
• Carolina has been outhit .240-.187.
• The Gamecocks have out-blocked opponents 87-78.
• Freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil has led the team with an average of 2.97 kills per set and has two double-doubles
• Junior setter Kellie McNeil has averaged a team-best 7.00 assists per set and is averaging 1.23 kills per set. She has also recorded three double-doubles.
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier has averaged a team best 0.97 blocks per set to go along with 1.95 kills per set.
• Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen has averaged 4.33 digs per set.

On this Date
• On Nov. 9, 2012, the Gamecocks swept Mississippi State by the scores of 25-18, 25-23 and 25-12, assuring a .500 record for the first time since 2008 and just the second time since 2002. Carolina went on to finish the year at 18-14 overall.

Climbing the Single-Season and Career Records Lists
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier is two block assists away from breaking into the top 10 all-time at South Carolina with 274.
• With 107 block assists this season, Dozier has tied the rally scoring era record for block assists in a season, matching her total from last year and Lauren Ford’s total from 2004.
• Dozier has also moved to third on the single-season rally scoring era list for total blocks with 116. The school record is 128 (Belita Salters – 2007).
• Dozier also has a chance to break the rally scoring era blocks per set record for a single season. The record is 1.38 held by Belita Salters (2005). Dozier is currently averaging 1.30 blocks per set.
• Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen is on pace to post a top-five digs per set average for a single season in the rally scoring era. Her current average of 4.38 would rank fourth ahead of the next closest average of 3.91 by Paige Wheeler (2012).
• Christiaansen’s digs total of 403 ranks fifth all-time for a single season in the rally scoring era in school history.
• Christiaansen’s career digs per set average of 3.94 currently ranks third all-time at South Carolina. Fernanda LaLaires (1996-97) holds the record (4.03), while Kori Ermigarat (1994-95) is second with an average of 3.95.

Scouting Alabama
• Alabama is 19-6 overall and 7-4 in the SEC heading into the weekend, following a 3-0 loss to No. 7 Florida on Friday.
• Alabama Tide is 6-4 in the last 10 matches and is riding a three-match winning streak.
• Alabama ranks first in the SEC in aces (147), second in total kills (1,329) and aces per set (1.52) and fourth in hitting percentage (.259) and kills per set (13.70).
• Sophomore opposite Krystal Rivers ranks second in the SEC in points per set (4.94), kills per set (4.19), total kills (406), aces per set (0.33) and total aces (32).
• Freshman outside hitter Kat Hutson ranks fourth in the SEC and is first among league freshmen in kills per set (3.68).
• Junior setter Sierra Wilson leads the league and ranks fifth nationally in assists per set (11.57).
• Freshman middle blocker Leah Lawrence leads the team and ranks 13th in the SEC in blocks per set (0.98). Freshman Natalie Murison leads the team and ranks 17th in the SEC in digs per set (2.87).

Series History vs. Alabama
• Sunday’s match will be the 44th all-time meeting between Alabama and South Carolina.
• Alabama leads the all-time series 25-18.
• South Carolina is 3-7 in its last 10 meetings with Alabama.
• The Gamecocks are 11-7 all-time at home against Alabama.
• Carolina’s last home win over Alabama was a 3-0 victory on Nov. 6, 2011.
• Only six of the previous 43 meetings have gone to five sets, with the winning team sweeping 23 of those matches.
• The Gamecocks are 2-4 vs. Alabama under head coach Scott Swanson.

Last Time vs. Alabama – Oct. 12, 2014
• The Gamecocks fell in four sets by the scores of 25-23, 25-19, 25-27 and 25-18 at Foster Auditorium.
• Carolina held a 6-0 lead in the fourth set before Alabama went on a 17-4 run to take control of the set on its way to win the match.
• Alabama finished the afternoon with an edge in kills (57-47), hitting percentage (.230-.159), digs (53-50) and blocks (10-7).
• Junior Darian Dozier and freshman Taylr McNeil paced Carolina with 11 kills apiece.
• Kat Hutson had 17 kills to lead Alabama, while Brittany Thomas, Leah Lawrence and Krystal Rivers finished with 11 kills each.

Family Connection
• Junior setter Kellie McNeil and her younger sister, freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil, have worked well together on the court this season. Of Taylr’s 304 kills this season, Kellie has assisted 166 of them, an average of 6.92 kills per match.

Searching for a Triple-Double
• A Gamecock player has not recorded a triple-double since the 2005 season. Iris Santos was the last to do so, as she finished with 57 assists, 13 digs and 12 kills against Houston on Sept. 16, 2005.
• Junior setter Kellie McNeil has come close to ending the drought on three occasions, including last season’s match vs. Coastal Carolina (10/30/13) with 52 assists, 12 digs and nine blocks. She finished with 38 assists, 10 kills, nine digs and six blocks against Ole Miss this season (9/26). In last year’s match at Tennessee (9/29/13), she had 41 assists, 20 digs and seven blocks.

Block Party
• Blocking has been a key to the Gamecocks’ success this season as they rank first in the SEC and 40th nationally in blocks per set (2.53).
• Junior middle blocker Darian Dozier is third in the SEC in blocks per set (1.30), while sophomore middle Jacqy Angermiller ranks 14th in the league (0.95).
• 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.
• Carolina has out-blocked its opponents in 17 of 24 matches. The Gamecocks are 12-5 in those matches.
• The Gamecocks have out-blocked opponents 156-101 in wins and 77-71 in losses.

Winning the Hitting Battle
• When outhitting opponents, the Gamecocks are 11-0 on the season.
• Carolina is outhitting opponents .249-.154 in wins and is being outhit .243-.141 in losses.
• In conference matches, the Gamecocks are being outhit .237-.200.
• The Gamecocks are outhitting opponents .223-.198 at home.
• The Gamecocks have held opponents to a below a .150 hitting percentage 10 times in 24 matches.
• Carolina has won four matches when being outhit, vs. Georgia Tech (.258-.269), vs. Ole Miss (.184-.189), vs. Auburn (.211-.221) and vs. Missouri (.358-.370).

Packing the CVC
• South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC and 30th nationally in average attendance at the Carolina Volleyball Center (1,280).
• The Gamecocks have played in front of 1,000 or more fans in nine of their 12 home matches.
• Seven of this year’s 10 home crowds rank in the top 10 in CVC history.
• The crowd of 1,807 for the Ole Miss match is a CVC record.