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January 18, 2024

Something to Crow About

• As of January 15, 2024, all six of South Carolina’s sports which the NCAA keeps attendance rankings for are in the Top 50 in average attendance. Men’s soccer (4,306), Women’s soccer (4,150) and women’s basketball (15,613) each lead the nation in their respective sports in average game attendance. Football finished the season 16th, averaging 77,833 fans per game, men’s basketball averages 11,104 fans per game, placing 29th in the nation and volleyball averaged 1,651 fans per game, finishing 43rd in the nation.
• South Carolina is one of five FBS schools in the nation, and the only Southeastern Conference school, to have six sports rank in the top 50 in average attendance. The other FBS schools include Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, and North Carolina State.
• As of January 17, 2024, Carolina has seven of its sports teams currently ranked or concluded their season in the Top 25. Women’s soccer concluded its season ranked 21st in the nation. Currently, women’s basketball is ranked #1 in the country, men’s tennis is 5th, women’s golf is 6th, baseball is pre-season 13th, softball is pre-season 17th, and women’s swimming and diving is 21st.
• Student-athletes at USC ended the Fall 2023 semester with a departmental grade point average (GPA) of 3.374. It is the 34th-consecutive semester with a departmental GPA above 3.0. The cumulative GPA for all student-athletes in each sport since they arrived at Carolina is 3.42, which stands as the second highest cumulative grade point average ever for Gamecock student-athletes (Spring 2020: 3.47).
• On October 12, 2023, eight former Gamecocks were inducted into the USC Lettermen’s Hall of Fame. The 2023 class included Allison Brennan (swimming and diving), Ernest Dye (football), Eric Ecker (men’s golf), Shaun Gortman (women’s basketball), Wallie Jones (baseball), Chris Mayotte (men’s tennis), Kim Pietro (softball) and Demetria Washington (women’s track and field).
• During the 2023 Fall sports season, four former Gamecocks had their jersey retired. Men’s soccer star Charles Arndt had his jersey retired on Sept. 22, football’s Alshon Jeffery’s jersey was retired on Sept. 23, women’s basketball star Tiffany Mitchell had her jersey retired on Nov. 12, 2023, and equestrian standout Katherine Schmidt Butler was honored after the Oklahoma State meet on Nov. 17, 2023.
• Membership in the Gamecock Club increased to more than 19,300 last year, a number that is the highest since 2015 and 3rd highest on record. This is an increase of more than 3,100 from last year. The renewal rate from last year is above 95 percent. Gamecock Club donations help provide aid that includes tuition fees, meal costs, housing costs, medical costs, injury assistance and other educational needs.
• Gamecocks+ is the official content network of South Carolina Athletics, featuring original storytelling content – above and beyond the already high-level video that fans have come to expect and enjoy – including new, never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes access, exclusive interviews, archival footage and so much more. Access to Gamecocks+ is included at no extra cost for all Gamecock Club members, Roost level and above. Fans who are not already members and want to watch Gamecocks+ content can do so by joining the Gamecock Club.

BASEBALL
• Carolina was ranked in a pair of preseason polls as Opening Day is on Feb. 16. The Gamecocks were ranked No. 13 by Perfect Game and No. 25 by D1Baseball.com
• Perfect Game also has Ethan Petry (First Team) and Cole Messina (Third Team) on the Preseason All-America teams. Petry hit .376 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI last year while Messina had 18 doubles, 17 home runs and 65 RBI in his sophomore season.
• The 55-game 2024 schedule has been released. The Gamecocks open the season on Friday, Feb. 16 against Miami (Ohio). Carolina has its annual three-game series with Clemson March 1-3 and will play North Carolina in Charlotte on April 9.

MEN’S BASKETBALL
• As of Jan. 17, the Gamecocks are 14-3 overall and 2-2 in SEC play.
• Carolina started the season with a 13-1 overall record. It was the sixth time in school history that the program started with a 13-1 mark or better: 1933-34, 1944-45, 1969-70, 2003-04, 2015-16 and this season.
• Meechie Jonson was named SEC Co-Player of the Week on Jan. 8 after scoring a career-high 24 points in a home win against Mississippi State. It was the first SEC POW honor by a Gamecock since the 2019-20 season.
• South Carolina’s Ta’Lon Cooper is fourth among NCAA active assists leaders with 675.
• The Gamecocks lead the SEC in scoring defense, giving up an average of 64.06 points per game, and rebounding defense, allowing 31.75 rebounds per game.
• Senior transfer Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk graduated from Illinois in three years with a degree in psychology and is currently enrolled in the USC School of Law.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
• As of Jan. 17, the Gamecocks are 16-0 overall and 4-0 in SEC play. Carolina is ranked #1 in both the Associated Press and Coaches’ polls.
• The Gamecocks have been ranked in 217 consecutive AP Polls, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation and 10th longest all-time.
• South Carolina, playing the 26th-toughest schedule in the country, leads the nation in scoring margin (+38.9). In SEC play, it leads the league with a +32.0 margin.
• The Gamecocks’ four wins over ranked opponents are the second-most in the country this season. Three of those wins were against top-15 foes.
• South Carolina leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.436) behind two of the nation’s top- percentage shooter Te-Hina Paopao (1st, .568) with Bree Hall close behind Bree Hall (.484). The duo’s numbers in SEC action are even better with Hall leading the league at 68.8 percent and Hall coming in second at 66.7 percent.
• Senior Te-Hina Paopao and junior Bree Hall leads the team in scoring in SEC games with 14.5 points per game each to 20th in the league. Paopao is also the league leader in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage in conference play.
• Seniors Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao were named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List last week. Cardoso’s season includes four top-20 stats – blocks per game (9th, 2.8), double-doubles (18th, 8), rebounds per game (19th, 10.5), field goal percentage (19th, .595). Paopao is the nation’s top 3-point shooter (.563) and is the Gamecocks second-leading scorer (12.6 ppg) and distributor (3.9 apg).
• Senior center Kamilla Cardoso picked up a variety of preseason honors – Wade Trophy Watch List, Lisa Leslie Award Watch List, Preseason All-SEC First Team
• Senior transfer Te-Hina Paopao was named to the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List and was a Preseason All-SEC Second-Team selection by the league’s coaches. Junior forward Sania Feagin was on the Katrina McClain Award Watch List for the third-straight season.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL
• The Gamecocks sent two pairs to the AVCA Collegiate Pairs Championship, hosted at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Ala. from Nov. 3-5. Skylar Allen and Jolie Cranford, and Rebeca Olariu and Allison Coens teamed up for South Carolina.
• Carolina opens its 2024 home season with the Wheeler Beach Bash, March 2-3, Along with the Gamecocks, the field includes Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, UNC Wilmington and College of Charleton. A week later, the Gamecocks host the Carolina Challenge, March 9-10, along with Tennessee Tech, Eastern Kentucky, New Orleans and North Florida.
• In the final weekend of October, Allen and Cranford placed third out of 26 pairs at the AVCA national qualifier tournament, also in Huntsville. The two went 5-1 over the two-day event, with their lone loss coming against the eventual tournament champions.
• In July, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its annual Team Academic Awards. South Carolina was one of only 46 Division I beach programs to be recognized and were also one of just 11 Division I beach programs to be part of the Honor Roll, given to teams in the top 20 percent for team GPA in each division. The team is part of an exclusive group with academic and on-court success, as it is one of four beach volleyball programs to be in the honor roll while also being ranked in the top 20 of the final AVCA coaches poll of the 2023 season. Individually, every member of the team made either the SEC’s Spring or First-Year Honor Rolls and four Gamecocks made the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association’s All-Academic team.

CROSS COUNTRY
• Freshman phenom Judy Kosgei made history at the NCAA Southeast Regional when she clocked a then-new program record in the 6K with a time of 19:48.9 to finish fourth overall and become the first Gamecock in program history to reach the NCAA Cross Country Championship.
• The Gamecocks finished 11th overall at the Southeast Regional, the best team finish since 2012.
• Both Judy Kosgei and Silan Ayyildiz were named All-Region, the first Gamecock duo to be selected to the All-Region team since 2012.
• Kosgei broke the 6K program record for the third time after running 19:41.5 at the NCAA Championship to finish 19th overall to become the first Gamecock to ever earn NCAA Cross Country All-American Honors.
• The Gamecocks finished 8th at the 2023 Cross Country SEC Championship hosted by South Carolina, the first Top-10 finish since 2012 and the best team finish since 2001.
• Silan Ayyildiz led South Carolina at the SEC Championship, finishing 7th overall in her Carolina Cross Country debut after clocking the second fastest 6K in program history at 19:56.2.
• Ayyildiz’s 7th-place finish helped her land a spot on the First Team All-SEC as well as the SEC All-Freshman Team as she was just the fourth Top-10 individual runner in Gamecock history and the second-highest individual finish in program history.
• Freshman phenom Judy Kosgei finished 11th at the SEC Championship, earning a spot alongside Ayyildiz on the SEC All-Freshman Team as well as landing on the Second Team All-SEC.
• Kosgei broke both the 5K and 6K program records this season as she now holds both marks, running the 5K in 15:52.9 and the 6K in 19:54.9.
• Kosgei has won three SEC weekly honors (2x SEC Women’s Runner of the Week & once named SEC Women’s Freshman Runner of the Week), the first Gamecock to do so in both a single season and during a collegiate career – she was also the first Gamecock to ever receive Women’s Cross Country National Runner of the Week on Sept. 19.

EQUESTRIAN
• The Gamecocks rounded out the fall with a win over Oklahoma State, moving them to 5-3 halfway through the season.
• Carolina finished the fall portion ranked #6 in the NCEA dual rankings.
• Senior Emma Lane was named the November NCEA Reining Rider of the Month.
• Barnaby was named the NCEA Horse of the Month for November.
• A pair of Gamecocks were named NCEA Rider of the Month for the respective events for September. Sophomore Natalie Jayne earned the honor in both Flat and Fences while Junior Chloe Stephenson was selected for her rides in Reining.

FOOTBALL
• Spencer Rattler (twice), Tree Babalade, T.J. Sanders, Alex Huntley and Jordan Strachan all earned SEC Player of the Week recognition during the season.
• Offensive lineman Trovon Baugh and defensive back Jalon Kilgore were named to the 2023 SEC Coaches All-Freshman Team, selected by the league’s coaches.
• The league coaches also selected Hunter Rogers as first-team All-SEC long snapper, and wide receiver Xavier Legette and tight end Trey Knox to the All-SEC second team.
• Xavier Legette and Debo Williams were on the Associated Press All-SEC second-team.
• Wide Receiver Xavier Legette was named to the 2023 All-SEC team by PFF College.
• Defensive back Jalon Kilgore was named to the True Freshman All-America Team by 247Sports, and was one of 14 players selected as a semifinalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award.
• Six Gamecocks were named to Phil Steele post-season squads. Wide receiver Xavier Legette was a first-team All-SEC choice and third-team All-American, linebacker Debo Williams was an All-SEC first-team and honorable mention All-America selection. Long snapper Hunter Rogers was on the All-SEC second-team, tight end Trey Knox on the SEC third-team while defensive tackle T.J. Sanders and cornerback Marcellus Dial were fourth-team All-SEC picks.
• Five Gamecocks were named to the 2023 Academic All-District football team, selected by College Sports Communicators (CSC) for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom. Those Gamecocks to earn Academic All-District honors in 2023 include Stone Blanton, Mitch Jeter, Tyreek Johnson, Trey Knox, and Keenan Nelson Jr.
• Team awards following the 2023 season include:
o Rex Enright Captains’ Award: Nick Gargiulo, Alex Huntley, Dakereon Joyner, Xavier Legette, Spencer Rattler, Debo Williams
o Steve Spurrier Award (MVP Offense): Xavier Legette
o Joe Morrison Award (MVP Defense): Debo Williams
o Jim Carlen Award (MVP Special Teams): Mitch Jeter
o Steve Wadiak Team MVP Award: Spencer Rattler & Xavier Legette
o Blanchard-Rogers Trophy Finalists: Xavier Legette & Spencer Rattler

MEN’S GOLF
• The Gamecocks have had two top five finishes during the fall season – placing 4th at the Daniel Island Intercollegiate (Oct. 29-31 at Charleston) and 4th at the Folds of Honor Collegiate (Sept. 4-6 at Grand Haven, Mich.).
• Redshirt sophomore transfer Frankie Harris earned SEC Golfer of the Week honors after coming off his first career victory at the Daniel Island Intercollegiate (Oct. 29-31). Harris shot 209 (-7) with consecutive rounds under par. He poured in 11 birdies and made just four bogeys over the course of 54 holes.
• Frankie Harris finished tied for 10th at the South Beach International, Dec. 19-22, in Miami, Fla. The redshirt sophomore shot a five-under 278 to to lead a quartet of Gamecock golfers in the field.
• Carolina starts the spring portion of its schedule on Feb. 11-13 at the Puerto Rico Classic.

WOMEN’S GOLF
• The 6th-ranked Gamecocks have finished in the top 5 in all four of its events this fall, including claiming the title at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate (Sept. 11-13 at Lake Elmo, Minn.).
• Carolina opens the spring portion of its schedule at the Therese Hession Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 4-6.
• Former Gamecock great Kristy McPherson was inducted into the WGCA Players Hall of Fame on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. She’s the 87th member of the WGCA Players Hall of Fame and the first Gamecock to be inducted to the prestigious club.
• By virtue of her medalist finish at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, junior Louise Rydqvist received an invitation to play in the ANNIKA Driven by Gainbridge at Pelican LPGA event, Nov. 9-12, 2023.
• Louise Rydqvist was named SEC Golfer of the Week and freshman Maylis Lamoure was named SEC Freshman of the Week for their efforts in the Gamecocks’ win at the ANNIKA.

MEN’S SOCCER
• The Gamecocks advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and finished the season with a 6-9-3 record.
• The Gamecocks earned an upset win over then-#24 Kentucky on the road September 15, their first ranked win since 2019.
• Ben Alexander was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Gamecocks defeat the Wildcats in Lexington for the first time since 2012.
• Ethan Dekel Daks earned the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal with five seconds left in the match against Old Dominion on Oct. 7.
• Jordan Illian was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week for scoring two goals and an assist against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 27.
• Illian became the first Carolina freshman since 2007 to score a brace and his five-point night was the first since 2013.
• The Gamecocks earned the No. 7 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and defeated second-seeded and No. 1 ranked UCF 2-1 in the opening round Nov. 5.
• It’s the first time in program history they have defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the country. It marks the first time since 2000 that Carolina has defeated two ranked opponents on the road in a season and the first time since 2016 defeating two ranked teams in a season.

WOMEN’S SOCCER
• Goalkeeper Heather Hinz was selected to the Houston Dash in the 2024 NWSL Draft on Jan. 12. It was the third-consecutive NWSL selection for the Gamecocks and the fifth overall. South Carolina has now seen an NWSL draftee or camp invitee for eight straight years.
• Catherine Barry was named a United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-American
• Heather Hinz and Catherine Barry were named United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Americans (First Team)
• Catherine Barry, Heather Hinz and Gracie Falla were selected to the United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team
• The Gamecocks made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, doing so for the 13th time in program history.
• The Gamecocks finished 2nd overall in the SEC Standings and were ranked #21 in the final United Soccer Coaches poll.
• Carolina was ranked nationally in the top-25 all season, reaching as high as 7th.
• Reached the SEC Tournament for the 17th straight season.
• Undefeated in the SEC regular season for the 4th time in program history.
• The following Gamecocks were selected for SEC post-season honors by the league’s coaches:
o All-SEC First Team Forward, Senior Captain: Cat Barry
o All-SEC First Team Defender and SEC Defender of the Year: Sophomore Gracie Falla
o All-SEC First Team Goalkeeper and SEC Goalkeeper of the Year: 5th-year senior Heather Hinz
o All-SEC Freshman team: Reagan Schubach

SOFTBALL
• The Gamecock softball team is ranked 17th in the nation by Softball America and 22nd by D1 Softball in its pre-season polls.
• Carolina opens its 2024 season at home, Feb. 9-11, with the Carolina Classic, going up against Jacksonville State, Virginia, and UNC Greensboro.
• The 2024 signing class was ranked #11 in the nation by Extra Inning Softball
• Kianna Jones and Kiki Estrada representing their home countries, Canada, and Mexico, respectively, at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Jones and team Canada earned the bronze medal, while Estrada and team Mexico finished in fourth place.

SWIMMING AND DIVING
• South Carolina’s women have started the season 3-1-1 with two of their wins coming on the road. The Gamecocks are ranked #21 in the latest CSCAA women’s team rankings.
• Sophomore Amy Riordan broke both the pool and school record in South Carolina’s dual versus North Carolina. Her time in the 200 free is the fifth fastest in the SEC this season.
• Junior Michael Laitarovsky has been undefeated in the 100 back, having recorded wins in all six meets so far this season.
• Carolina hosts Duke (men and women) and UNC Asheville (women) in a tri-meet at the Carolina Natatorium on Jan. 20.

MEN’S TENNIS
• Carolina opens the 2023-24 season ranked #5 in the nation in the first ITA rankings of the season.
• Junior Casey Hoole was ranked No. 56 in the preseason ITA Singles Rankings.
• The Gamecocks will travel to Charlottesville, Va., on Jan. 21 to compete against #1-ranked Virginia.
• Through matches of Jan. 12, 2024, Josh Goffi’s five-man squad went a combined 50-38 (.568) in singles play
• The Gamecocks recorded their fifth consecutive year with a player advancing to the singles quarterfinals at the Carolina Regional Championships
• South Carolina’s freshman, Jelani Sarr and Sean Daryabeigi both recorded the first ranked wins of their respective careers during fall play.

WOMEN’S TENNIS
• Three Gamecocks were represented in the end-of-fall ITA Rankings – No. 4 Sarah Hamner, No. 6 Ayana Akli, and No. 76 Shahar Biran. Akli and Hamner are also ranked No. 10 in the nation in the doubles rankings.
• Through matches of Jan. 2, 2024, Ayana Akli is 10-4 in singles matches while Sarah Hamner is 12-3, to lead the squad.
• Both Ayana Akli and Olympe Lancelot went undefeated during the spring opener with both Gamecocks going 3-0 in singles and 3-0 together in doubles
• Both Hamner and Akli advanced to the semifinals of the ITA All-American Championships
• Elise Mills won the singles back draw at the Carolina Regional Championships
• Hamner and Akli both competed in the ITA National Fall Championships with both Gamecocks advancing to the quarterfinals and Akli finishing the fall season as the national runner-up.

TRACK & FIELD
• The Gamecocks claimed nine season-opening victories at the Clemson Opener to open the Tim Hall Era on Dec. 8
• JaMeesia Ford was named the SEC Women’s Track Co-Freshman of the Week on Jan. 16. She stole the show at Clemson after running the second fastest 300m in NCAA history, clocking 35.83 to break the program record and was the fastest time in the world at the time – in addition, Ford turned in the fastest U20 300m time in US history.
• Fellow freshman Cynteria James turned in the eighth fastest 60m time in Gamecock history at Clemson, running 7.31 for the victory.
• The Gamecocks secured eight more wins in the home opener at the Gamecock Opener on Saturday, Jan. 13, breaking four facility records in the process.
• Judy Kosgei set a new program record in the women’s 1,000 meter with a time of 2:46.04 for the win and a new facility record – meanwhile JaMeesia Ford was at it again in the women’s 300m after clocking 36 seconds flat for another win and a facility record as well.
• The women’s 4x400m relay team of Jahnile Registre, Jayla Jamison, Zaya Akins and Ford clocked the third best time in the NCAA this season, securing the win and breaking a facility record with a time of 3:31.27.
• On the men’s side, George Luke added to the record-breaking day with a time of 2:27.72 in the men’s 1,000m for the win and the final facility record to fall on the weekend.
• Anthony Greenhow and Dylan Targgart secured wins in their respective events and both currently rank sixth in the NCAA – Greenhow winning the 200m with a time of 20.74 and Targgart claiming the shot put trophy with a distance of 19.19m (62-11.5).
• Tim Hall was named the head coach of the University of South Carolina Track & Field program on June 23, 2023. The 7th head coach in Gamecock track and field history, Hall comes to USC after serving as a five-year stint as Associate Head Coach at Kentucky. He was the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year for five consecutive years (2019-23).

VOLLEYBALL
• The Gamecocks defeated No. 8 Tennessee in the final game of the 2023 season, marking the sixth season in a row where South Carolina defeated a ranked opponent. That extends the longest streak since joining the SEC in 1991. Tennessee is the third top-10-ranked team beaten during the streak, joining No. 5 Kentucky in 2021 and No. 4 Florida in 2020.
• Middle blocker Oby Anadi finished her junior season with a team-high 129 total blocks, the fourth-most in a season for the rally-scoring era. Her 15 total blocks against Cincinnati on Sept. 8 broke Mikayla Robinson’s single-game record of 14 for most in a match during the rally-scoring era (since 2001). Only three other women in the program’s 50 season have finished a match with more total blocks. Thanks to her efforts, the team finished the match with 21 total blocks, the most in a match of any length since Oct. 8, 2004.
• The Gamecocks end the 2023 season with a total attendance of 23,114 over 14 home games, a new program record. A crowd of 3,293 fans weathered a tropical storm on Aug. 30 against Clemson, the total is the second-highest for a home game in program history, just behind the record of 3,458 (also against Clemson, 8/25/2018). That came after an opening-weekend total of 5,340 fans for the two-game series against Towson. The team saw three of the top five most well-attended matches in program history happen in the span of six days. The team has more games with 2,000 or more fans this season (5) than in the previous 49 seasons of volleyball at South Carolina combined (3) and six of the top-10 most-attended matches in program history came in the team’s first eight home games of 2023.
• Senior middle blocker Ellie Ruprich earned the nod as SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4, the team’s first honor of the season and the fourth weekly award of Ruprich’s career (2x Freshman of the Week, 2x Defensive). Ruprich finished with 25 total blocks in wins over Clemson, Miami and Troy, almost matching the combined total of the three opposing teams over the course of the week.
• With a team-high 15 kills against No. 13 Kentucky on Nov. 3, senior Riley Whitesides surpassed 1,000 career kills. She is just the seventh woman since 2001 to reach 1,000, and only 16 other Gamecocks in the 50-season history of the program have reached the milestone. On Sept. 24, Whitesides also reached 1,000 career points in the team’s match at Missouri, making her the fourth Gamecock in the last decade and ninth overall since 2001 to reach that milestone.
• Senior Ellie Ruprich became just the eighth woman in program history to reach 400 career blocks thanks to a five-block night against No. 10 Arkansas on Oct. 27. She is just the third woman in the modern scoring era (since 2001) to reach 400 career blocks, joining Darian Dozier (2012-15) and Mikayla Robinson (2017-21). All five of Ruprich’s blocks were solo stuffs, the most by a Gamecock in a four-set match since Stephanie Pflughaupt against Rice 37 years ago (10/18/1986). The Beverly Hills, Michigan native is still in the hunt of some rarely contested records. In the rally scoring record book, Ruprich surpassed Mikayla Robinson’s solo block record (now with 96) in the match against LSU on Nov. 12. In the all-time record book, she passed current South Carolina hall of famer Heather Larkin for sixth in program history for total blocks on Nov. 17, now with 424, and is three away from moving past Darian Dozier (2012-15) for fifth place.
• Senior Kiune Fletcher’s 26 total kills at Mississippi State on Wednesday, Nov. 8 were the second-most in a three-set match in program history, behind only Shonda Cole’s record of 27 set against Georgia on Nov. 15, 2006. The last Gamecock to have 25 or more kills in a match of any length was – ironically – Fletcher’s cousin Mikayla Shields, who had 29 in a five-set win over Missouri six years ago (Nov. 8, 2017). The 26 kills for Fletcher were the most in the NCAA for a three-set match this season. Only four SEC players have more than 26 kills this season in a match of ANY length. After adding 25 more kills in the match against LSU on Nov. 12, Fletcher became the first Gamecock since Juliette Thevenin in 2013 to post 25 or more kills in back-to-back matches. Thevenin did it Sept. 6-7 of 2013; the last Gamecock to do so in SEC play was Shonda Cole in 2006 (Sept. 15-17). The SEC announced its players of the week awards on Monday, Nov. 13, with Kiune earning her first career weekly honor. It was the program’s first Offensive Player of the Week award since Mikayla Robinson on Aug. 30, 2021 and the second weekly honor of 2023.