Volleyball Heads To Hawaii For Aston Imua Challenge

Sept. 4, 2001

The Facts
No. 6 USC women's volleyball (1-1) opened the regular season with a win and a loss at the Marriott Sunset Showcase in Irvine, Calif. The Women of Troy defeated UCI, 3-1, on Saturday (Sept. 1), but fell to then-ranked No. 4 Wisconsin in a five-game battle on Sunday (Sept. 2). This week, the Trojans travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Aston Imua Challenge. USC will face Cincinnati on Thursday (Sept. 6), No. 10 Hawaii on Friday (Sept. 7) and Utah State on Saturday (Sept. 8). The matches will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center at 5, 7 and 5 p.m. HST.

The 2001 Trojans return 10 letterwinners and four starters from last year's squad which advanced to the NCAA Final Four. Among the veterans, USC features the talent of All-Americans Jennifer Pahl (Murrieta, Calif.) and April Ross (Newport Beach, Calif.), in addition to two other all-conference players (Katie Olsovsky, Toni Anderson). For the second year in a row, the Women of Troy welcome the nation's top-ranked recruiting class (Volleyball, Student Sports).

The Rankings
With a loss to Wisconsin, USC dropped four spots in this week's rankings. The Women of Troy are No. 6 in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll, and No. 4 (preseason) according to Volleyball Magazine. The Trojans earned a No. 4 final ranking in 2000 by both publications.

Last Week's Matches
vs. UC Irvine
-- In the first regular season match of 2001, USC defeated UCI 30-14, 30-16, 29-31, 30-20. The Trojans won the battle at the net, out-blocking UCI, 13-2, and hit .457 for the match to the Anteaters .192. The Women of Troy were led by Jennifer Pahl who contributed 15 kills and a .600 (15-3-20) hitting percentage. Alicia Robinson and Keao Burdine had 13 and 12 kills apiece, while April Ross added 11. Burdine also led with 13 digs and Ross recorded eight blocks.

vs. (4) Wisconsin -- In a rematch of the 2000 NCAA Championship semifinal match, USC walked away with the same outcome - a loss to No. 4 Wisconsin 19-30, 30-26, 27-30, 30-26, 15-11. In what could be a 2001 Final Four preview, the Women of Troy out-hit the Badgers .208 to .198 and posted five aces to UW's 1. Wisconsin edged the Trojans in kills (73 to 70) but finished even in blocks (14) and digs (73). USC had three players collect double-digit kills, including a match-high 22 by April Ross in addition to nine digs and five blocks. Toni Anderson and Nicole Davis each led with 15 digs, while Jennifer Pahl posted 10 blocks.

Haley Begins First Season
Mick Haley begins his first official season as head coach of the Women of Troy. Though hired in 1999 to replace former head coach Lisa Love, Haley completed his term as head coach of the U.S.A. Women's National Team before joining the Trojans. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, he led the United States to an unexpected fourth-place finish. Haley coached Texas for 17 seasons (1980-1996) and led the Longhorns to two national championships. He owns a 523-138-1 (.791) Division I career record and a 774-189-1 (.801) overall mark.

Volleyball Makes Move To Lyon Center
USC women's volleyball is making a move back to a familiar place. After playing the last five seasons in the North Gym, the Women of Troy are returning to the Lyon Center in order to accommodate more fans in a more comfortable atmosphere. Home to women's volleyball from 1988 through 1996, the Lyon Center hosted many of USC's top volleyball teams. The campus recreation center, opened June of 1989, includes a 20,000 square foot playing surface (including a new Sport Court) and seats 1,300 fans. It is located off of McClintock and can be accessed by entering campus through Gates 5 or 8 off of Jefferson Boulevard at Parking Structure B.

Fab Freshmen become Super Sophs
USC's Fab Freshmen of 2000 are looking to become Super Sophs of 2001! Last season, three of USC's six starters were first-year players (Toni Anderson, Katie Olsovsky, April Ross). Between the three of them, they led the team in kills, attacks, assists and service aces throughout the season.

Freshman Class Ranked No. 1 (Again)
For the second year in a row, the USC women's volleyball program has landed the nation's top recruiting class, according to Volleyball and Student Sports Magazine. The Women of Troy's 2001 recruiting class - which includes Emily Adams, Alicia Robinson, and Keao Burdine - will only add to the depth and talent that players such as April Ross (2000 AVCA second team All-American, Volleyball Freshman of the Year), Katie Olsovsky (Volleyball All-Freshman team) and Toni Anderson (Volleyball All-Freshman team) provided USC last season.

USC Takes Over U.S.A. Junior National Team
Sophomores Katie Olsovsky, April Ross and Toni Anderson and freshmen Alicia Robinson and Keao Burdine helped the U.S.A Junior National Team qualify for the World Championships with a third place finish at the Intercontinental Qualification Tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, this summer. Of the six United States starters, four were Trojans.

The Adams-Robinson Duo
Freshmen Emily Adams and Alicia Robinson are the second coming of the famous Adams-Robinson duo. Their fathers, Alvan Adams and Truck Robinson, played together on the NBA's Phoenix Suns for three seasons. Despite attending different high schools, Emily and Alicia grew up in the same city (Phoenix, Ariz.), were club volleyball teammates through high school and even began playing softball together in elementary school.

Did You Know?
* Jennifer Pahl, the team's only senior and a three-year starter, is an anthropology major who hopes to pursue a career as a primate curator (she wants to take care of monkeys!). She also uses her athletic skills and strong religious beliefs to travel the world. She spent her summer traveling with Uncharted Waters - a Christian sports ministry organization. With the team, she spent two weeks in Saoluis, Brazil. Last season, Pahl traveled to Sri Lanka, India, and Hong Kong with Athletes In Action.

* Junior Tracy Lindquist played on the AAA Pro Beach Volleyball circuit this summer with her sister, Katie (San Diego '99). The pair qualified for three open tournaments but did not accept any prize money to remain NCAA eligible. In 1999, Lindquist and with former partner Chrissie Zartman (now at UCLA) became the youngest players to ever receive an AAA beach rating at age 18. Keep in mind Tracy is only 5-7!

* Junior Lauren Killian comes from a long line of Trojans, including her mother and father, her brother, as well as 1 grandmother, 2 grandfathers (who each played basketball at USC), 1 great grandfather, 3 uncles, 1 aunt and numerous cousins. Her father, Don Killian III, was a member of the 1977 USC NCAA championship men's volleyball team. Her brother, Donny, transferred to USC from Pepperdine in 2001 and spent one season on the men's volleyball team. Donny also played three seasons with the Waves and advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1998 and 2000. With the Women of Troy's Final Four appearance last year, Killian joined her father and brother on the national stage.

* Defensive Specialist Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) owns a black belt in karate.

Opponent Notes
Cincinnati --
Under second-year head coach Reed Sunahara, Cincinnati returns nine letterwinners and four starters from last year's squad which posted a 24-10 overall record and 14-2 (1st AD) mark in conference play. The team advanced to the first round of the 2000 NCAAs before falling to Notre Dame 3-0. Cincinnati opened the 2001 season with two wins over San Francisco (3-0) and Wyoming (3-1) to claim the Molten Golden Gate Volleyball Classic tournament title. Junior middle blocker Bonita Wise was named tournament most valuable performer after recording 10 kills and a .348 hitting percentage in the championship match. Wise is averaging 3.14 kills and a .354 hitting percentage.

USC-Cincinnati Series Record -- This will be the first meeting between these two schools.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Cincinnati 14.29 .220 12.71 2.57 14.43 3.21
USC 16.33 .315 15.22 1.33 15.11 3.00

No. 10 Hawai'i (2-3) -- Hawai'i returns eight letterwinners and four starters this season. Last season the Wahine posted a 31-2 overall record, a 16-0 (1st) finish in the WAC and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals before falling to eventual-champion Nebraska. Currently ranked No. 10, Hawai'i has already endured multiple tests and suffered losses to No. 1 Nebraska (3-0), No. 3 Wisconsin (3-0) and No. 7 UCLA (3-0). The Wahine's two wins have come against No. 22 Kansas State (3-2) and Michigan (3-1). Hawai'i is led by sophomore outside hitter Kim Willoughby who is averaging 5.33 kills and 2.83 digs per game. At the net, the team is led by freshman middle blocker Melody Eckmeier who is averaging 1.22 blocks per game.

The last meeting... USC last visited the big island in 1999 for the Wahine Volleyball Challenge (Sept. 9-11). Hawaii won the four-game match 15-12, 13-15, 14-16, 10-15.

USC-Hawaii Series Record -- This series dates back to the program's inaugural year. The two teams first met in 1976 during regular season play. In 1977, the Trojans met Hawai'i in the championship final and defeated the Wahine, 3-1, for their second national title. The two teams have met five times in postseason play. Hawai'i owns the all-time advantage with a 17-14 (.452) series record and has won the last two meetings (1996 & 1999).

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Hawai'i 14.39 .205 13.83 1.44 14.83 2.44
USC 16.33 .315 15.22 1.33 15.11 3.00

Utah State (2-1) -- Under first-year head coach Burt Fuller (formerly an assistant at UCLA) Utah State returns seven letterwinners and three starters from the 2000 squad which completed the season with a 22-10 record, a 10-6 (4th) mark in conference play and advanced to the NCAA Second Round before falling to BYU, 3-0. The Aggies began the season with two wins over Murray State (3-0) and Arkansas (3-1), but are coming off a 3-1 loss to Colorado State. The team is led by outside hitter Erin Cartwright who is averaging 4.09 kills per game, Lisa Borom who has posted 2.73 digs per game and blocker Michelle Matheson who has averaged 1.00 blocks per game.

USC-Utah State Series Record -- These two teams have met seven times in program history - but the last meeting took place in 1981. USC owns a 6-1 advantage and has won the last six consecutive matches.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Utah State 15.55 .187 14.55 1.36 13.64 2.27
USC 16.33 .315 15.22 1.33 15.11 3.00

2000 Recap
Equipped with the nation's No. 1 freshman class (according to Volleyball and Student Sports), the 2000 USC squad spent five weeks ranked No. 1 by Volleyball and won a share of its first-ever Pac-10 Championship (tied with Arizona) with a 16-2 conference record. The Women of Troy were selected as the top seed of the NCAA Pacific Regional (also a program first) and swept through the first four NCAA matches, including a 3-0 win over defending national champion Penn State, to earn their first Final Four appearance since 1985. USC fell to Wisconsin, 3-0, in the semifinals to end the season.

Player Profiles (*match-high)

#1 Tracy Lindquist (Setter * Junior)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 23 assists, 9 digs... vs. UCI (9/1): 29 assists, 9 digs, 1 ace, 1.0 point.

#2 Julie Mariani (Defensive Specialist * Junior)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 1 dig... vs. UCI (9/1): 2 digs, 1.0 point.

#3 Toni Anderson (Setter * Sophomore)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): *33 assists, *15 digs, 2.5 points... vs. UCI (9/1): *38 assists.

#4 Nicole Davis (Defensive Specialist * Sophomore)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 1 ace, *15 digs, 1.0 point... vs. UCI (9/1): 2 aces, 9 digs, 2.0 points.

#5 Kristen Anderson (Defensive Specialist * Freshman)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): DNP... vs. UCI (9/1): DNP.

#6 Jaime Carroll (Defensive Specialist * Sophomore)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): DNP... vs. UCI (9/1): 1 dig.

#8 Keao Burdine (Outside Hitter * Freshman)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 17 kills (*.282), 1 ace, 8 digs, 2 blocks, 19.0 points... vs. UCI (9/1): 12 kills (.417), 2 aces, *13 digs, 14.0 points.

#9 Emily Adams (Middle Blocker * Freshman)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): DNP... vs. UCI (9/1): 3 kills (1.000), 3.0 points.

#12 Kelli Lantz (Middle Blocker * Sophomore)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): DNP... vs. UCI (9/1): 5 kills (.556), 1 block, 5.5 points.

#13 Alicia Robinson (Outside Hitter * Freshman)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 12 kills (.077), 3 digs, 1 block, 12.5 points... vs. UCI (9/1): 13 kills (.310), 3 digs, 2 blocks, 14.0 points.

#14 April Ross (Outside Hitter * Sophomore)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): *22 kills (.250), 1 ace, 9 digs, 5 blocks, *25.5 points... vs. UCI (9/1): 11 kills (.476), 6 digs, 2 blocks, 12.0 points.

#15 Lauren Killian (Opposite Hitter * Junior)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 6 kills (.267), 2 digs, 5 blocks, 8.5 points... vs. UCI (9/1): 10 kills (*.714 - no errors), 4 digs, 7 blocks, 13.5 points.

#26 Jennifer Pahl (Middle Blocker * Senior)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 6 kills (.250), 2 digs, *10 blocks, 11.0 points... vs. UCI (9/1): *15 kills (.600), 3 digs, *8 blocks, *19.5 points.

#33 Katie Olsovsky (Outside Hitter * Sophomore)
vs. Wisconsin (9/2): 6 kills (.062), 1 ace, 9 digs, 4 blocks, 9.0 points... vs. UCI (9/1): 7 kills (.176), 7 digs, 5 blocks, 9.5 points.

Now on Pac-12 Network
9:30 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
Get Pac-12 Networks
Unable to get Pac-12 Network?
Contact your provider ▶
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder