The Gamecocks are guaranteed a winning record for the year. It marks the second time in the last decade that the team has accomplished that feat, matching the 21-9 2008 team.
Out of the six hitters who have played in half the sets and averaged at least one kill per set, three hit over .260 (Thévenin, Howley and Dozier).
The Gamecocks are 16-0 when they win the hitting percentage battle and 11-3 when making 15 or less attack errors. More record breakdowns are found on page 6.
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.
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.
Only two non-conference opponents hit over .200 against South Carolina: East Tennessee State (.207) and UAB (.285). In 16 of the 19 SEC matches, the foes have topped that mark.
Four teams went undefeated in the opening weekend of SEC play: Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Taylor Bruns will finish in the top 10 in career assists and assists per set.
She's also been honored three times on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Christina Glover also is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and earned placement on the 2010 SEC Volleyball Community Service Team.
No Questioning Competition Level in SEC
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 eighth RPI report from the NCAA (Nov. 12), the Gamecocks ranked 95th.
South Carolina beat top 100 RPI teams Clemson (57), Georgia (71) and LSU (79).
Ten of the 13 SEC teams rank in the top 100 in the NCAA RPI.
Eleven of the 14 losses came against top-100 RPI teams: Florida twice 14, Tennessee twice 15, Texas A&M twice 18, Kentucky 24, Missouri 50, Auburn twice 60 and LSU 79.
Arkansas enters this week's match with an RPI of 27.
The Difference Between Winning & Losing
South Carolina hits .311 in matches it wins and .179 in those it loses, a .132 difference.
The opponents when South Carolina wins hit .161. That jumps to .348 if the Gamecocks lose, a .187 gap.
Winning Gamecock matches see SC post 2.76 more digs per set than the opposition. When the foes triumph, the Gamecocks are outdug by 2.72 a frame.
In wins, South Carolina wins the blocking battle by averages of 2.07 to 1.61. In setbacks, the Gamecocks get outblocked 2.54 to 1.39.
Attacking the Record Book
Taylor Bruns is sixth in career assists (2,806), passing Shellie Higgins with her 37 assists at Coastal Carolina. Bruns is also eighth in assists per set (7.54) in Gamecock history.
Juliette Thévenin jumped to 10th in SC history with 1,098 kills and eighth with 2,854 attacks, moving into both places in the match at No. 16 Florida (11/18).
Ten kills pushes Thévenin into eighth, past both Lora Myers and Berna Dwyer.
Thévenin's now second in kills per set (3.87) and 11th in digs per set (2.75) on the career charts.
Thévenin ranks 13th on the career points chart (as it would stand had everyone played in the rally-scoring era) with 1,216. She's 37.5 points behind Megan Laughlin, who sits in 12th place.
She's fourth on the points-per-set charts with a 4.28 average.
Cara Howley stands 13th in career hitting percentage (.250). Thévenin ranks 18th at .246.
Paige Wheeler's 989 digs ranks 10th on the career lists, passing three people in last weekend's contests. Seven more tie her with Cally Plummer in ninth place.
Paige Wheeler is third on SC's career charts in digs per set (3.60).
Record-Charting Single-Match Performances
The Gamecocks hit .297 in a five-set match against East Tennessee State (8/25), the fourth-best mark in that length contest in program history.
Sophomore Bethanie Thomas's three solo blocks vs. ETSU (8/25) tied for second on the program's five-set match listing.
Juliette Thévenin tied the mark for the second-most attack tries in a match at Alabama, posting 73.
Thévenin also tied the most solo blocks in a five-set match at South Carolina, posting four at Alabama. That matches Lori Rowe's output against North Carolina on Oct. 7, 1983.
Gamecocks in the SEC Stat Superlatives
South Carolina hit the fourth-highest hitting percentage in four-set match (.370 vs. Niagara) and the third highest in a five-setter (.297 vs. ETSU) for an SEC team this fall.
Juliette Thévenin's 27 kills at Alabama ties for the second most by an SEC player this fall in any match and the most for anyone in an SEC contest.
Thévenin's 73 swings at Alabama stand fourth among her league peers this year, both overall and in conference action.
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' .411 hitting percentage versus Miss. State (11/9) is seventh in SEC-only matches.
In SEC matches only, Juliette Thévenin has tied for the most in a five-set match (27 at Alabama) the third-most kills in a three-set match this year (18 vs. Georgia and LSU). She's tied for the fifth most in a four-set contest (22 vs. Auburn).
Thévenin posted the most points in an SEC match with 32 at Alabama. She also stands second (20.5 vs. Georgia) in points in a sweep this year in an SEC match.
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 Gamecocks have won 10 home matches for the sixth time in the 17th year of the VCF.
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.
A record number of fans have packed the VCF for the regular-season matches, with a total number of 11,342 attendees this season.
The average attendance for a match, currently at 709, stands third in history, behind 2001 and 2002.
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.
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 from Oct.15-Nov. 18 1983, as the team posted a 14-match streak.
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 SEC.
South Carolina is 723-549 (.568) all-time in volleyball.
In the Volleyball Competition Facility, the team stands at 147-75 (.662).
Arkansas enters the final week of the regular season with a chance to capture a share of the SEC Western Division title. The Razorbacks would need two road wins and have Texas A&M drop both of its matches, at Tennessee and at Mississippi. The Razorbacks win with a solid all-around game, including a .243 hitting percentage as a team that ranks fifth in the SEC. The Hogs also stand fourth in kills per set during league play.
Jasmine Norton provides a solid six rotations for Robert Puliza's squad, posting 3.67 kills per set and 3.15 digs a frame. She's also fourth in the SEC with 0.29 service aces a set during conference matches. Roslandy Acosta is the offense's second option, averaging 3.51 kills a set. Middle blockers Amanda Anderson and Janeliss Torres are seventh and eighth in the SEC-only stats in hitting percentage, while Torres ranks sixth in blocks per set in league play. Raymariely Santos guides the offense, averaging 10.15 assists a set. Emily Helm is the libero, posting 3.88 digs a frame.
Series History vs. the Razorbacks
The two members of the 1992 class of the SEC have met 29 times previously, with Arkansas getting the better of the meetings on 20 occasions. In Columbia, the Gamecocks are 5-8 against the Razorbacks, 4-8 in the Volleyball Competition Facility. Arkansas won each of the last six meetings.