GAMECOCK NATION PACKS THE GYM
Few venues feature the atmosphere of the Carolina Volleyball Center, and Gamecock fans are out in record-setting numbers this fall. A crowd of 3,293 fans weathered a tropical storm on Aug. 30 against Clemson, the total is the second-highest for a home game in program history, just behind the record of 3,458 (also against Clemson, 8/25/2018). That came after an opening-weekend total of 5,340 fans for the two-game series against Towson. The team saw three of the top five most well-attended matches in program history happen in the span of six days.
The team has more games with 2,000 or more fans this season (5) than in the previous 49 seasons of volleyball at South Carolina combined (3) and six of the top-10 most-attended matches have come through the team’s first eight home games. The Gamecocks currently rank 31st nationally for total attendance (21,639) and 35th in average attendance (1,803 per game). The team set a single-season home attendance record on Oct. 27 against Arkansas with 722 in attendance to push the season total to 19,230 fans. With four more home games still to come, the team surpassed the previous record of 18,797, set during the 2018 season.
In 2022, South Carolina ranked 52nd nationally in average attendance (1,134) and total attendance (15,878), despite having the smallest capacity gym of any team ranked ahead of it. Dating back to 2014, the Gamecock volleyball program is averaging at least 1,000 fans per game every season.
RUPRICH REACHES A MAJOR MILESTONE
Senior Ellie Ruprich became just the eighth woman in program history to reach 400 career blocks thanks to a five-block night against No. 10 Arkansas on Oct. 27. She is just the third woman in the modern scoring era (since 2001) to reach 400 career blocks, joining Darian Dozier (2012-15) and Mikayla Robinson (2017-21). All five of Ruprich’s blocks were solo stuffs, moving her up to 93 for her career and are the most by a Gamecock in a four-set match since Stephanie Pflughaupt against Rice 37 years ago (10/18/1986).
The Beverly Hills, Michigan native is still in the hunt of some rarely contested records. In the rally scoring record book, Ruprich is closing in on Mikayla Robinson’s solo block record (currently with 94, needs 95) and in the all-time record book, she is 11 block assists away from moving past Jennifer Guess (1990-93) for seventh place.
NEW ‘BRO, SAME AS THE OLD ‘BRO
Despite 2022 SEC Libero of the Year Jenna Hampton’s…