Courtesy: Lee Jakobsen
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Cougars Head North To Face Appalachian State, Western Carolina
Release: 10/18/2012
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CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston volleyball (16-6, 7-1) returns to SoCon competition with the squad's first road matches in the month of October. CofC will play at Appalachian State (5-17, 1-7) on Friday night at 7 p.m., and then face Western Carolina (7-16, 3-5) on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.

The Cougars have won three straight sweeps, including a big win over defending SoCon champion Samford, since suffering the squad's only SoCon loss to Furman on Oct. 7. Over that three-match stretch, CofC has hit .336 as a team and limited opponents to just a .105 hitting mark.

On Tuesday, the Cougar underclassmen led CofC to a sweep of S.C. State. Freshman Kari Fidelholtz set a new career high with 11 kills and a .625 hitting percentage. She also made two digs and two blocks. Classmate Grace Rebarchak also set new career highs in kills (7), attacks (16) and blocks (2).

Sophomore Catey Warren recorded a career-high seven kills and two block assists.

Sophomore Lizzie Theesfeld paced CofC with 12 kills and six digs, while Kelly Kolich picked up eight kills and set a new career high with five aces, leading CofC to a new season-high nine team aces.

Sophomore Andi Zbojniewicz made the start at libero and dug 13 balls, tying her season-best performance. Starting setter Taeler Davis tallied 38 assists, her most for a three-set match this season.

Live stats and subscription live video will be available at and As always, @cofcvolleyball will provide live twitter coverage.

College of Charleston is 21-7 against Appalachian State all-time including a 3-1 win over the Apps in last season's SoCon Tournament semifinals. The Cougars hold a similar 18-8 all-time record over Western Carolina, defeating the Catamounts at TD Arena last season, 3-1.

Appalachian State has struggled since advancing to the SoCon semifinals last season. The Mountaineers' only SoCon win has come against Elon, as ASU ranks last or second to last in the conference in all offensive categories. Dalton Tolliver is the team's kill leader with 2.69/set, while three players have 50 or more blocks on the season with ASU leading the conference in blocks.

Western Carolina has wins over Appalachian State, UNCG and Chattanooga. The Catamounts rank 10th in the conference in hitting percentage and kills, with Caitlin Piechota leading the way with 3.15 kills/set. Morgan Cochran ranks second in the SoCon with 5.32 digs per set.

College of Charleston moved up eight spots to 85 in the latest NCAA RPI. Furman continues to leads the SoCon with an RPI of 82, while Georgia Southern cracked the top 100 with an RPI of 94.

Several CofC opponents near the RPI Top 50 including Kansas (13), N.C. State (31), Michigan State (45) and Arizona State (51).

Past CofC RPI Finishes (Rank In SoCon)
2011 - 66 (3)
2010 - 65 (1)
2009 - 82 (2)
2008 - 72 (2)

College of Charleston kill leader Darcy Dorton ranks 34th in the country in kills per set with 4.20, the best average in the Southern Conference. Senior Emily Shelton is currently third in the SoCon with 5.26 digs per set, ranking 30th nationally.

As a team, the Cougars rank 42nd in kills (13.90) and 34th in digs (17.06) in the country.

The College of Charleston Cougars have appeared in the SoCon Tournament championship match in every season since 2002. In the years that the Cougars won the championship, they were 4-1 in the venue earlier in the regular season. In the years that they lost, they were 0-2 at the venue.

The 2012 SoCon Championship will be held at Davidson's Belk Arena. The Cougars recently swept Davidson 3-0 on September 30.

DOWN 0-2? GO 3-0
College of Charleston became the first team in the SoCon this season to rally from an 0-2 deficit and eventually win, 3-2 (UNCG pulled off the feat later in the same night against UNC Wilmington). The Cougars lost the first two sets to Georgetown on Sept. 14, each by two points. However, the Cougars rallied to force a game five and won that set 15-13. It marked the first time since Sept. 2, 2011 against Harvard that CofC had won after trailing 2-0.

Penn State transfer Darcy Dorton has not only become a team leader, but she's also making her mark on the CofC record books. Dorton has posted 18 double-digit kill performances and has reached 20 kills on five occasions. She has also posted 10 double-doubles as she has averaged 2.91 digs per set.

Dorton currently leads the Southern Conference with an average of 4.20 kills per set. She is currently on pace for the most kills per set in SoCon history since the NCAA went from 30 points to 25 points for a set in 2008. Davidson's Sarabeth Peele averaged 4.07 in 2009. Dorton's ranks fourth in the all-time CofC records for average kills despite playing in the 25-point era.

CofC All-Time Kills Per Game In One Season

1. 5.04 - Suzanne Lowry (1992)
2. 4.66 - Alyson VanCleave (2000)
3. 4.25 - Suzanna Lowry (1991)
4. 4.20 - Darcy Dorton (2012)
5. 4.15 - Stephanie Ballard (2003)

The SoCon South Division can proudly claim that it has been the dominant half of the conference in volleyball since the league went to two divisions in 2008. Samford's 2011 title win and championship match appearance was the only one by a North Division program in those four years, while no member of the current North Division has won a SoCon Tournament since 1998.

College of Charleston, Furman and Georgia Southern have been in the tournament championship for every year dating back to 2000 and have won 10 titles in that span. Those three teams have combined for a record of 48-17 so far this year with all three teams ranking in the Top 100 of the RPI.

Squads from the South Division are currently 12-6 against the North Division at the halfway point of the conference season.

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