Redshirt freshman opposite Christina Vereb
Nov. 1, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -
Gamecocks' Weekend Schedule
Fri., Nov. 2 at Missouri | 7:30 p.m. EDT | Gametracker | @GamecockVolley
Sun., Nov. 4 at Kentucky | 1:30 p.m. EST | Gametracker | @GamecockVolley
2012 SC VB Notes (11/1)
2012 SC VB Stats (as of 10/28)
South Carolina Team Notes
- Out of the six hitters who have played in half the sets and averaged at least one kill per set, three hit over .280 (Thévenin, Howley and Dozier). All three are in the top 20 of the SEC stat rankings.
- The Gamecocks are undefeated when they win the blocking battle (8-0). More record breakdowns are found on page 6.
- At No. 21 Tennessee (9/23), the Gamecocks did not allow an ace, successfully passing all 87 serves they received.
- The last time South Carolina did not allow an ace came in Scott Swanson's first game as head coach, against Montana on Aug. 26, 2011.
- On the Mississippi weekend trip, the Gamecocks only gave up four points in the service game (two service errors at Mississippi State, one ace at both MSU and Ole Miss).
- The Sunday outing against the Rebels was the first all year the team did not make a service error.
- Only two non-conference opponents hit over .200 against South Carolina: East Tennessee State (.207) and UAB (.285). In 12 of the 13 SEC matches, the foes have topped that mark.
- One win stands between the Gamecocks and an overall .500 record for the year. It would mark the second time in the last decade that the team has accomplished that feat.
- Four teams went undefeated in the opening weekend of SEC play: Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Show Me State for Second Time Ever
- South Carolina has only played in four matches in Missouri in history, with all four coming in the 1994 National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
- The Gamecocks went 2-2 in those outings, beating Delaware and Miami (Ohio) before falling to Northern Illinois and San Diego.
- SC owns a 2-2 record against schools from Missouri, with wins over Missouri State and UMKC and a pair of losses to Southeast Missouri State.
All About the Winning Streak
- The 13-0 start for the Gamecocks ranks as the best in the program's NCAA-era history. The 1983 team began the season 12-0.
- The 13-match winning streak was the second-longest documented skein in program history.
- The longest winning streak came in 1983, as the team posted a 14-match streak from Oct. 15-Nov. 18.
- The loss that ended the longest skein came in the 1983 Metro Conference Tournament final. Florida State won the five-set match to earn the automatic berth to the third NCAA Tournament. The field only had 28 teams at the time.
- That 1983 team also had the best start previously in program history with 12 wins. That was the second-longest documented winning streak for the Gamecocks until this year.
- For the second-consecutive year, South Carolina was the last undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference.
Attacking the Record Book
- Taylor Bruns is sixth in assists (2,666), passing Shellie Higgins with her 37 assists at Coastal Carolina, and Bruns is eighth in assists per set (7.45) in Gamecock history.
- Juliette Thévenin stands 13th in SC history with 1,001 kills and 10th with 2,615 attacks.
- A mere 21 kills will move Thévenin into 12th in kills past Megan Laughlin.
Thévenin's now second in kills per set (3.79) and 11th in digs per set (2.78) on the career charts.
- Thévenin ranks 17th on the career points chart (as it would stand had everyone played in the rally-scoring era) with 1,108.5.
- She's fourth on the points-per-set charts with a 4.20 average.
Cara Howley stands 13th on the career hitting percentage charts (.251). Thévenin ranks 20th at .241.
- Paige Wheeler's 913 digs is tied with Caryn Case for 16th on the career dig charts.
- Paige Wheeler is third on SC's career charts in digs per set (3.58).
Record-Charting Single-Match Performances
- Sophomore Bethanie Thomas's three solo blocks vs. ETSU (8/25) tied for second on the program's five-set match listing.
The Difference Between Winning & Losing
- South Carolina hits .319 in matches it wins and .174 in those it loses, a .155 difference.
- The opponents when South Carolina wins hit .169. That jumps to .333 if the Gamecocks lose, a .164 gap.
- Winning Gamecock matches see SC post 2.75 more digs per set than the opposition. When the foes triumph, the Gamecocks are outdug by 2.24 a frame.
- In wins, South Carolina wins the blocking battle by averages of 2.06 to 1.61. In setbacks, the Gamecocks get outblocked 2.71 to 1.50.
- Serve reception has been the same statistically in both wins and losses, with opponents averaging 0.9 aces a set in both results.
Gamecocks in the SEC Stat Superlatives
- South Carolina hit the third-highest hitting percentage in four-set match (.370 vs. Niagara) and in a five-setter (.297 vs. ETSU) for an SEC team this fall.
- Cara Howley's five aces at Mississippi State tied for the most for an SEC player in a three-set match and for second in any match length this year.
- The Gamecocks' .402 hitting percentage at Mississippi State is the eighth-best mark in SEC play this season.
- In SEC matches only, Juliette Thévenin has the third-most kills in a three-set match this year (18 vs. Georgia and LSU) and the fourth-most in a four-set contest (22 vs. Auburn).
- Thévenin also stands second (20.5 vs. Georgia) in points in a sweep this year in an SEC match.
- South Carolina is 721-545 (.570) all-time in volleyball.
Competition Level Rising
- Two of the three opponents in the 2012 Carolina Clash held better final 2011 RPIs than SC's first eight foes.
- Clemson finished at 54, UAB 84 and Winthrop 149 in the last RPI of 2011 (Niagara was 146).
- In the fifth RPI report from the NCAA (Oct. 29), the Gamecocks ranked 91st.
- South Carolina beat top 100 RPI teams Clemson (65), Georgia (52) and LSU (76).
- Nine of the 10 losses came against top-100 RPI teams (Florida 11, Tennessee 19, Texas A&M twice 26, Auburn twice 55, LSU 76, Ole Miss twice 88).
- Eight freshman, including seven true rookies, are a part of the 17-person roster.
- Three players hail from each South Carolina and Texas, the most on the team.
- A pair of student-athletes both hail from California and Maryland.
- Six other states and another country are represented by the seven remaining athletes.
- For the 17th-consecutive season, the Gamecocks have had at least one international player.
- A total of 16 players have appeared on the court so far. Only freshman Kira Speer has not seen any action and is on track for a redshirt year.
South Carolina Overview
- South Carolina returns four starters and its starting libero from the 2011 team.
- That 2011 team, the first coached by Scott Swanson, doubled the win total from the previous year.
- The leading attacker by kills, junior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin, is back.
- The top defender by digs, junior libero Paige Wheeler, returns.
- Setters Taylor Bruns and Lexie Pawlik make up the vast majority of the 97 percent of assists back.
- The Gamecocks lost almost 50 percent of the team blocks from last season.
- The next highest total of "lost" stats are kills, where 32.2 percent departed.
- Last season, the Gamecocks led the SEC in digs per set. Only 12.2 percent of those departed.
Playing in their first home match in three weeks after spending all but one weekend on the road in October, Missouri enters the weekend with a 15-8 record and a 7-6 mark in its inaugural season in the SEC. Losers of three of its last four, the Tigers use a great block to help it wins its matches. Missouri ranks first in SEC-only matches with a 2.94 blocks average, even better than its 2.71 season average, which is also tops in the league. Overall, the Tigers are second in the SEC with a .260 hitting percentage, slightly ahead of the Gamecocks' .258 mark.
Lisa Henning is making a strong case for SEC Player of the Year honors, posting 4.59 kills per set, far away the league leader. Her 5.22 points per set are helped by 0.26 aces per set and 0.70 blocks a frame, first and tied for second on the team, respectively. Whitney Little is the second option offensively, posting 2.38 kills per set on a team-best .352 hitting percentage. Little also posts 1.46 blocks a set, most in the SEC by 0.31. Molly Kreklow sets the offense, dishing out 10.43 assists a set while also adding 1.10 kills, 0.26 aces and 0.70 blocks a frame. Both Henning (2.74 digs per set) and Kreklow (2.70 digs per set) do their part in back-row defense, helping Sarah Meister, who leads the team with 3.55 digs a frame.
Series History vs. the Tigers
This will be the first meeting ever against between the two state flagships that are both based in Columbia's.
The Last Meeting
October 28, 2011
Gamecocks Fall at No. 24 Kentucky in Three Sets
Despite a strong 10 kills from freshman outside hitter Bethanie Thomas, South Carolina (11-11, 2-10 SEC) could not overcome No. 24 Kentucky (20-4, 11-2 SEC), as the Wildcats swept to a win, 25-17, 25-17, 25-20, on Friday night in Memorial Coliseum.
Tied for second in the overall SEC picture, the Wildcats are strong all around, ranking second in both hitting percentage (.259) and opponent hitting percentage (.183) in SEC matches only. The toughest-serving team in league matches, Kentucky posts 1.34 aces a set. The Wildcats stand second in the SEC rankings in blocks, posting 2.61 a frame in 2012.
The Wildcats may have the most balanced offensive attack in the league. Four players average over 2.3 kills per set, led by Whitney Billings' 2.99. Billings also leads the team with 0.29 aces and stands second with 2.73 digs a frame. Ashley Frazier (2.93 kills per set) and Lauren O'Conner (2.73 kills per set) are the next two options, while Alexandra Morgan leads the hitters with a .345 hitting percentage on 2.36 kills per set. She also leads the block with 0.98 blocks a frame and stands second with 0.22 aces a stanza. Christine Hartmann guides the attack as the setter, distributing 10.75 assists a frame. Stephanie Klefot serves as the libero, making 3.85 digs a frame.
Series History vs. the Wildcats
The Gamecocks and Wildcats have met 45 times prior to Sunday, and Kentucky owns a 27-18 advantage in the series that dates back to 1979. The Big Blue have taken 14 of the last 16 meetings dating back to 2004. In Lexington, South Carolina is 6-17, dropping the last eight matches in the Bluegrass State.