College of Charleston will play Georgia Southern on Friday night at 7 p.m., and face Davidson on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m.
The Cougars (18-6, 9-1) and Eagles (18-6, 9-1) are tied for first place in the SoCon's South Division with Friday night's match setting a course for the rest of the regular season. After Furman's loss at Elon on Saturday, both CofC and GSU now hold a two-game lead over the Paladins in the SoCon South standings.
The Cougars currently lead nearly all statistical categories for SoCon-only matches with Georgia Southern in third place in all of the same categories. College of Charleston defeated both Georgia Southern and Davidson earlier this season with 3-0 road sweeps.
CofC is coming off a weekend of mixed results as the Cougars defeated both Appalachian State and Western Carolina with 3-1 results on the road. However, Charleston allowed both teams to come back late in sets, including allowing Western Carolina to force a fourth frame after trailing 21-11 in the third.
Sloane White played exceptionally well on the weekend, tying a season high with 18 kills in both matches for an overall hitting percentage of .456. Darcy Dorton finished with 38 total kills, including 23 at Western Carolina.
Emily Neideffer and Kerstin Koehler combined for 23 blocks, while Emily Shelton averaged 6.38 digs per set. Taeler Davis averaged an outstanding 13.38 assists per set, setting a new career high of 63 assists against Western Carolina.
Live stats and subscription live video will be available through the Charleston Sports Network and at www.cofcsports.com. As always, @cofcvolleyball will provide live twitter coverage.
CofC is 32-9 all-time against Georgia Southern. The Cougars swept the Eagles on Sept. 29 at Georgia Southern in the teams' first meeting this season. Melissa Morello and Darcy Dorton each tallied 12 kills. CofC held GSU to just .142 hitting with 27 Eagle errors.
The Cougars have continued their dominance over Davidson as a 3-0 sweep on the road (Sept. 30) pushed the all-time series to 26-6. Davidson has not beaten the Cougars since 2000. In that road sweep, White made 12 kills and hit a team-leading .435 mark. Dorton had 14 kills and nine digs.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Georgia Southern's only SoCon loss came against College of Charleston back in September. The Eagles came back to beat Samford on the road this past weekend in five sets after going down 2-0. Meredith Paskert leads the Eagles with 3.34 kills/set with a hitting percentage of .260. Setter Kate Van Dyke is just nine assists away from 1,000 for the season, averaging 11.26 assists per set.
Davidson lost two matches over the weekend at Chattanooga and Samford. The Wildcats continue to be led by Caroline Brown and her 3.51 kills per set, while Tindall Sewell has hit .317 with 0.88 blocks per set.
COUGARS LEAD SOCON IN NCAA RPI
College of Charleston dropped a spot to 86 in the latest NCAA RPI, but now leads the Southern Conference in the national rankings. Georgia Southern comes in right behind the Cougars at 88, while Furman dropped to 92 after losing at Elon.
Several CofC opponents in the RPI Top 50 including Kansas (8), N.C. State (28), Michigan State (44) and Arizona State (47).
Past CofC RPI Finishes (Rank In SoCon)
2011 - 66 (3)
2010 - 65 (1)
2009 - 82 (2)
2008 - 72 (2)
HIGHLY RANKED COUGARS
College of Charleston kill leader Darcy Dorton ranks 31st in the country in kills per set with 4.25, the best average in the Southern Conference. Senior Emily Shelton is currently third in the SoCon with 5.36 digs per set, ranking 28th nationally. In conference-only statistics, Kerstin Koehler leads all other SoCon opponents with an attack percentage of .397.
As a team, the Cougars rank 32nd in kills (14.10) and 38th in digs (17.06) in the country.
DARCY DORTON LOOKING TO INK THE RECORD BOOKS
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 20 double-digit kill performances and has reached 20 kills on six occasions. She has also posted 11 double-doubles as she has averaged 2.90 digs per set.
Dorton currently leads the Southern Conference with an average of 4.25 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 third 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 - Darcy Dorton (2012)
3. 4.25 - Suzanna Lowry (1991)
5. 4.15 - Stephanie Ballard (2003)
DOMINANCE OF THE SOCON SOUTH DIVISION
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 53-18 so far this year with all three teams ranking in the Top 100 of the RPI.
Squads from the South Division are currently 17-12 against the North Division at this point in the conference season.
SHELTON JUST 49 DIGS FROM 2,000
College of Charleston's senior libero Emily Shelton will have a shot to be just the second player in school history to reach 2,000 digs for her career. A month ago, her 48 kills helped her surpass CofC Volleyball Wall of Famers Stephanie Ballard and Claudia Fann. She currently sits second all-time with 1,951 career digs. This season, Shelton ranks third in the conference with 5.36 digs per set and 461 total digs.
1. 2,480 - Marie Dobrenz 2003-06
2. 1,951 - Emily Shelton 2008-P
3. 1,599 - Stephanie Ballard 1999-03
4. 1,590 - Claudia Fann 1991-94
Shelton was named the SoCon Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 17.