Gamecocks' Weekend Schedule
Fri., Nov. 9 vs. Mississippi State | 7 p.m. ET | Gametracker | Live Video | @GamecockVolley
Friday's promotions: 90's Night, free slap bracelets to the first 200 fans
NOTE: Parking on the surface lots will NOT be free on Friday night due to an event at the Koger Center for the Arts. Free parking can be found on the street in the Greek Village.
Sun., Nov. 11 vs. Tennessee | 1:30 p.m. ET | Gametracker | Live Video | @GamecockVolley
Sunday's promotions: Celebrating 40 Years of Title IX, Women in the Military Day, South Carolina State Employees Recognition Day, where all state employees with ID get $1 for themselves and family members
Out of the six hitters who have played in half the sets and averaged at least one kill per set, three hit over .265 (Thévenin, Howley and Dozier).
The Gamecocks are undefeated when they win the blocking battle (8-0).
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 Oct. 21 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 14 of the 15 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.
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.
The Difference Between Winning & Losing
South Carolina hits .319 in matches it wins and .180 in those it loses, a .149 difference.
The opponents when South Carolina wins hit .169. That jumps to .345 if the Gamecocks lose, a .176 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 2.63 a frame.
In wins, South Carolina wins the blocking battle by averages of 2.06 to 1.61. In setbacks, the Gamecocks get outblocked 2.67 to 1.45.
Attacking the Record Book
Taylor Bruns is sixth in assists (2,666), passing Shellie Higgins with her 37 assists at Coastal Carolina. Bruns is also eighth in assists per set (7.45) in Gamecock history.
Juliette Thévenin stands 12th in SC history with 1,030 kills and 10th with 2,678 attacks.
Fifty kills ties Thévenin with Caryn Case in 11th place.
Thévenin's now second in kills per set (3.81) and 11th in digs per set (2.76) on the career charts.
Thévenin ranks 14th on the career points chart (as it would stand had everyone played in the rally-scoring era) with 1,140. Just 16 points would move Thévenin into 13th past Amy Collinsworth.
She's fourth on the points-per-set charts with a 4.22 average.
Cara Howley stands 15th on the career hitting percentage charts (.249). Thévenin ranks 19th at .244.
Paige Wheeler's 933 digs is tied with Caryn Case for 15th on the career dig charts.
Wheeler is third on SC's career charts in digs per set (3.57).
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.
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 fifth-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 721-547 (.569) all-time in volleyball.
In the Volleyball Competition Facility, the team stands at 146-74 (.664).
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 sixth RPI report from the NCAA (Nov. 5), the Gamecocks ranked 95th.
South Carolina beat top 100 RPI teams Clemson (54), Georgia (53) and LSU (70).
Nine of the 12 losses came against top-100 RPI teams (Florida 13, Kentucky 17, Tennessee 20, Texas A&M twice 24, Auburn twice 51, Missouri 52, LSU 70).
Home Matches Notes
South Carolina is playing 17 matches plus one exhibition in the Volleyball Competition Facility this fall, the most since moving into the building in 1996.
It's one more than the inaugural season of the VCF, when SC hosted the 1996 SEC Tournament.
The most home matches ever for South Carolina came in 1990, when the team hosted 21 contests.
The match against Clemson on Sept. 7 had 1,512 fans in attendance, the third-largest crowd in the history of the Volleyball Competition Facility.
It was the largest crowd since 2001 in the building, when 1,793 people packed the stands for the Sept. 21 match against Florida.
The 1,512 fans were nearly 250 over the capacity of the gym in the setup the team utilized starting during SEC play last fall.
Four times, over 1,000 people have packed the VCF for a match, tying the 1996 inaugural year in the building for the most crowds over 1,000.
This 2012 team holds the second-longest winning streak for a Gamecock team since moving into the VCF in 1996, winning 12 straight matches from Nov. 6, 2011 to Sept. 16, 2012.
All three double-digit VCF winning streaks were snapped by Florida, a 17-match span from Oct. 14, 2001 to Oct. 24, 2002, a 10-match stretch from Sept. 13, 2000, to Nov. 10, 2000, and the latest.
The Bulldogs stand at 4-20 overall and 0-15 in SEC play. Recently getting back setter Rachel Williams, Mississippi State won its first set since Sept. 28 last Sunday against Alabama. The Bulldogs rank in the bottom two of the SEC-only stats in every team category except digs, where they stand fifth.
Williams' return puts the Bulldogs' best player, Roxanne McVey, back to the libero spot, where she leads the SEC with 5.64 digs per set. In SEC play, that mark is 5.40, still 0.36 better than the next person. Taylor Scott, Lainey Wyman and Sarah Nielsen all average over two kills a set, but only Nielsen has a hitting percentage over .200. Scott adds 2.93 digs per set to go with her team-best 2.89 kills average. Wyman leads the team with 0.87 blocks a frame.
Series History vs. the Bulldogs
South Carolina owns a 27-10 advantage in the all-time series against Mississippi State. In the VCF, that mark improves to 11-2. The Gamecocks swept the Bulldogs last year at home.
The Last Meeting
September 23, 2012
Gamecocks Hang Tough But Fall in Four at No. 21 Tennessee
A resilient South Carolina (13-2, 2-2 SEC) squad came within a couple of points of forcing a fifth set, but No. 21 Tennessee (9-4, 2-2 SEC) prevailed in four, 25-14, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, in front of 1,052 fans at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Receiving votes in the latest AVCA poll, Tennessee enters the weekend fresh off a five-set win at then-No. 13 Florida, handing the Gators their first loss in SEC play. The Lady Vols play great defense, posting 2.63 blocks per set, third in SEC games only, and 17.28 digs a frame, second in league-only outings. Tennessee hits .239 in league matches, fourth in the standings, and holds foes to a .194 clip, fifth in the league.
Kelsey Robinson leads the Tennessee attack, posting 4.35 kills and 3.50 digs a frame, the latter second on the team to libero Ellen Mullins' 4.42 average. Tiffany Baker presents a strong second offensive option, tallying 3.11 kills a set. A trio of seniors, Leslie Cikra, DeeDee Harrison and Kayla Jeter also provide plenty of offense when in the rotation. Harrison leads the block, posting 1.19 a frame, while Olivia Okoro has taken more playing time recently and averaged 0.91 blocks a set. Mary Pollmiller guides the attack, dishing 10.48 assists a frame.
Series History vs. the Lady Vols
The earliest documented foe of South Carolina, Tennessee holds a 32-25 advantage in the series, including eight-straight Lady Vol wins. In the VCF, South Carolina is 10-6 against UT, but the Lady Vols have won the last three outings in Columbia.