No. 1-Ranked USC Volleyball Opens Pac-10 Play In Arizona

Sept. 17, 2002

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This Week
Sept. 17 vs. Czech Republic (Exh), 7 p.m.

Listen to audio broadcast at
Sept. 20 at Arizona State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 at #15 Arizona, 7 p.m.

The Facts
After a week off from competition, the No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team (6-0) resumes regular season play this week with one exhibition match and two Pac-10 matches. The Women of Troy host the Czech Republic National Team for an exhibition match on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Lyon Center. Fans can listen to the match on At the end of the week, the Trojans travel to face Arizona State (4-1) on Friday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in Tempe, then face No. 15 Arizona (5-3) on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. in Tucson.

The 2002 Trojans return 11 letterwinners and five starters from last year's squad which advanced to the NCAA Regional Final. Among the veterans, USC features the talent of All-Americans April Ross (Volleyball magazine third team) and Katie Olsovsky (AVCA second team), in addition to two other all-conference players (Keao Burdine, Alicia Robinson).

The Rankings
USC jumped to No. 1 in both the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll and Volleyball Magazine Poll this week. Stanford, which previously held the No. 1 spot, was defeated by Florida, 3-0, last week at the USA Credit Union Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. The Women of Troy earned a No. 5 final ranking in 2001 by both publications and entered the 2002 season at No. 3.

The Last Time...
The last time USC held the No. 1 spot in either poll was on Oct. 9, 2000. The Trojans were ranked No. 1 by Volleyball magazine for five straight weeks (Sept. 11-Oct. 9), but dropped four spots the following week to No. 5 after falling to Arizona, 3-0, in Tucson on Oct. 13.

The last time USC was ranked No. 1 by the AVCA was on Oct. 16, 1984, following a four-game win over previous No. 1 Pacific. USC completed the 1984 season with a 30-7 overall record and No. 5 ranking.

Trojans Sweep Through Early Season Tourneys
USC opened the 2002 season with the Radisson Hotel Roberts/Nike Classic tournament title, an upset victory, a conference player of the week and tournament MVP, a coaching milestone and two streak-breakers... what more could you want? USC's 3-0 win over Ball State (Aug. 31) ended the Cardinals 42-match home win streak - the third-longest active home win streak in Division 1. The 3-0 win over Pittsburgh (Sept. 1) gave Mick Haley his 800th career victory and the 3-0 win over Nebraska (Sept. 2) solidified USC's Top 5 standing and marked Nebraska's first 3-0 loss since 1997. USC finished in first place at the Radisson Hotel Roberts/Nike Classic, April Ross was honored as the tournament MVP and Pac-10 Player of the Week, and both Ross and Keao Burdine were named to the all-tournament team.

The following week the Women of Troy captured the BYU Mizuno Classic tournament title with wins over BYU, 3-0, Wake Forest, 3-1, and No. 6 Florida, 3-0. Sophomore outside hitter Keao Burdine was honored as tournament MVP, while junior outside hitter April Ross and sophomore middle blocker Emily Adams were named to the all-tournament team.

Other News To Note
* The Trojans played all three BYU Tournament matches in 24 hours (first match was at 7 p.m. on Thursday, final match was played at 7 p.m. on Friday).
* USC's win over sixth-ranked Florida, 3-0, on Sept. 6 was its second-victory over a top 10 opponent in five days after beating Nebraska, 3-0, on Sept. 2.
* At the BYU Mizuno Classic Emily Adams averaged 1.30 blocks and 2.6 kills per game, in addition to a .460 average attack percentage... she never hit below .438 throughout the tournament... She collected a career-high six blocks against BYU and posted a career-high 12 kills against Wake Forest.
* April Ross collected a career-high 26 kills and tied a career-high with three aces against Wake Forest (Sept. 6).

Arizona Connections
This week's trip to the state of Arizona marks a homecoming for sophomores Alicia Robinson and Emily Adams, who both grew up in Phoenix. Robinson prepped at Central High and was the 2000 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year. Adams prepped at Xavier College Prep where she was the 4A-5A Arizona Player of the Year as a senior. The two were club volleyball teammates throughout high school. They are the daughters of some well-known former Phoenix Suns, Truck Robinson and Alvan Adams, respectively.

Pac-10 Openers
Since the inception of the Pacific-10 Conference in 1986, the Women of Troy have gone 13-3 in conference openers. USC has opened the Pac-10 schedule against Arizona State a total of five times (1999, 1997, 1994, 1992, 1989) and is a perfect 5-0 against the Sun Devils in those matches.

A Much Anticipated Rematch
To most players on the 2002 USC squad, Saturday's USC-Arizona match-up has been circled on the calender since Dec. 7, 2001 - the day the Trojans were eliminated in the NCAA Pacific Regional Championship by the Wildcats in Los Angeles.

Trojans Welcome First International Recruit in 7 Years
Bibiana Candelas, a 6-5 middle blocker from Torre�n, Mexico, is the Trojans' first international recruit since Jasmina Marinkovic was recruited in 1995 from Uzice, Serbia by former USC head coach Lisa Love. Marinkovic went on to become a two-time All-American with the Women of Troy before graduating in May, 1999. Candelas missed the first two weeks of the 2002 season while competing with Mexico's National Team at the Women's Volleyball World Championships in Dresden, Germany. She arrived on campus on Monday, Sept. 9, and made her first appearance with the Women of Troy at the Cardinal & Gold scrimmage on Sept. 13.

Haley Gets Career Win No. 800
With a 3-0 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday (Sept. 1), USC gave second-year head coach Mick Haley his 800th collegiate career victory. Haley, who also spent four years as the U.S. Women's National Team coach, now boasts an 804-192-1 (.807) career record in 26 seasons in the college ranks.

Injury Update
Junior middle blocker Kelli Lantz, who sprained her right ankle during preseason practices and did not travel with the team the first two weeks of the season, will travel to Arizona this week. Lantz began practicing with the team last week and played in the Cardinal & Gold squad scrimmage on Sept. 13.

2002 Team Captains
This year's team captain, as voted on by the players, is senior Lauren Killian. Teams must have a captain on the floor at all times, so junior April Ross will act as the floor captain when Killian is not present.

2001 Recap
In his first season at the helm of the USC program, Mick Haley led his squad to a 25-4 overall record, second-place Pac-10 finish (16-2) and No. 5 final ranking, but fell 'an ankle short' of the team's ultimate goal of returning to the NCAA Final Four. Behind the efforts of senior Jennifer Pahl (All-Pac-10) and then-juniors April Ross (All-Pac-10) and Katie Olsovsky (All-Pac-10), the Trojans dominated the regular season, but were eliminated in the NCAA Regional Final by Arizona, 3-2. Up 1-0 in the match, Ross went down with an ankle injury in game two and the Wildcats took advantage to gain the comeback win and advance.

Reaching New Heights
The 2002 squad boasts the tallest lineup of hitters and blockers in recent history at USC. The Trojans' front line measures at a 6-foot-3 average height and as a team USC stands at 6-0.

A Trojan and a Bruin Get Together
Senior Tracy Lindquist and beach volleyball partner Chrissie Zartman (UCLA sophomore libero) represented the U.S. and captured the gold medal in late June at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World University Games in Guadeloupe of the French Antilles. At 5-7 and 5-5, respectively, Lindquist and Zartman were the shortest competitors in the tournament. In 1997, at ages 16 and 13, Lindquist and Zartman became the youngest players ever to receive an AAA beach rating.

Burdine Follows In Lindquists' Footsteps
Sophomore Keao Burdine stepped in for Tracy Lindquist and paired with UCLA's Chrissie Zartman for the 2002 Under-21 World Beach Volleyball Championship in Catania, Italy, not long after Lindquist and Zartman captured the world title. Although Lindquist is Zartman's long-time partner, she was too old to qualify for the under-21 event. Representing the United States, the new team advanced to the quarterfinal round (fifth place), but was eliminated by third-place finisher Maria Salgado Rufino and Talita Rocha of Brazil, 21-13, 21-15.

USC Takes Over USA Team
Head Coach Mick Haley has ensured himself one of the best trained teams in the country. For the second-consecutive summer, USC had six players (Katie Olsovsky, April Ross, Emily Adams, Tracy Lindquist, Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson) train with the Women's National A2 Team in Colorado Springs, Colo. - this is by far more than any other school (next on the list is Stanford and Nebraska with two apiece).

Venski Forgoes High School Volleyball
Stacy Venski (California City, Calif.), a 6-3 middle blocker, did not play high school volleyball as a junior and senior. Instead, she chose to solely compete with her club volleyball team and during the summers she trained with the U.S. Youth and Junior National Teams. She was never eligible for most prep awards or accolades and made an early verbal commitment to USC.

April Ross Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
Outside hitter April Ross has been named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Aug. 26 -Sept. 2. She was also named the Radisson Hotel Roberts/Nike Classic MVP after guiding USC to three 3-0 victories, including a 3-0 upset sweep over No. 2 Nebraska. Ross posted double-double kill-dig performances in all three matches with 12 kills, 11 digs against Ball State, a match-high 17 kills, 10 digs against Pittsburgh and 11 kills, 11 digs against Nebraska. She posted a .333 attack percentage while collecting 40 kills (4.44 kpg), 32 digs (3.56 dpg) and five blocks (0.56 bpg). This is the second career weekly honor for Ross, USC's 28th player of the Pac-10 honor all-time.

NCAA Women Adopt Libero Position
The libero (pronounced 'LEE-bah-ro) is a designated backrow player, intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero is allowed to replace any player in the backrow without counting as a substitution and there is no limit to the number of libero replacements a team is allowed. The color of the libero's uniform must contrast from the color of her teammates' uniforms, but the libero's shorts must be the same as her teammates'. The libero plays only in the backrow but may not serve, block or attempt to block.

Head Coach Mick Haley
Mick Haley is in his second 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 in 2001. 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 boasts a 804-192-1 (.807) overall record, 553-141 (.797) NCAA Division I record and a 166-12 (.932) conference mark.

Opponent Notes

Arizona State (4-1) -- The Sun Devils enter the Pac-10 season with a 4-1 nonconference record and riding a four-match win streak. Arizona State fell to South Carolina, 3-1, to open the season, but has won its last four consecutive, including a 3-0 win over Creighton, 3-2 wins over Texas Tech and Clemson and an upset victory against then-No. 13 Pacific, 3-2, on Sept. 7. The win over Pacific was the first over a ranked opponent since the 2000 season. The team returns 10 letterwinners and all six starters from last year's squad that went 10-16 overall and finished seventh in the Pac-10 with a 5-13 conference mark. Fourteenth-year head coach Patti Snyder-Park is in her final season with the Sun Devils after announcing her retirement earlier this year. Junior transfer outside hitter Juliana Escobar currently leads the team with 4.59 kills and 3.09 digs per game.

USC-ASU Series Record -- USC and Arizona State will meet for the 53rd time in program history on Friday (Sept. 20). The Women of Troy own a 41-10-1 advantage in the series (.804) and have won the last 12 meetings. Last season, USC defeated the Sun Devils 3-0 in Tempe and 3-0 at home.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Arizona State 15.14 .244 13.27 2.14 14.68 1.48
USC 17.89 .307 17.00 1.26 16.95 2.95

#15 Arizona (5-3) -- After opening the season ranked as high as sixth in the AVCA Coaches Poll, Arizona has dropped to 15th by AVCA and 14th in Volleyball magazine thanks to a 5-3 nonconference record. Arizona opened 2002 with wins over UT-Arlington and American, but fell to Louisville 3-0 at the Louisville Invitational. The Wildcats followed with a win over New Mexico and losses to No. 2 Nebraska and No. 14 Pepperdine at their own Nike Invitational and, most recently, earned wins against St. Mary's and No. 21 Pacific at the Pacific Nike Classic. Freshman outside hitter Kim Glass was named the tournament MVP, as well as Pac-10 Player of the Week for her performance at the tournament in Stockton. Arizona returns four of six starters and nine total letterwinners from last year's squad, which advanced to the NCAA Final Four and completed the season with a 25-5 overall record and 14-4 Pac-10 mark (third place). Head coach David Rubio is in his 12th season in Tucson. Glass currently leads the team with 4.37 kills per game and a .317 attack percentage. Senior outside hitter Lisa Rutledge leads with 2.59 digs, while freshman middle blocker Bre Ladd leads with 1.11 blocks per outing.

USC-Arizona Series Record -- USC owns a 39-15 (.722) all-time record against Arizona, as the two teams face each other for the 55th time in school history on Saturday (Sept. 21). The Trojans have lost the last two meeting against the Wildcats, including a 3-2 defeat which ended USC's 2001 season at the NCAA Pacific Regional Final. USC has also had trouble at UA's McKale Center, losing the last two in Tucson.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Arizona 15.59 .246 13.63 1.89 13.00 2.63
USC 17.89 .307 17.00 1.26 16.95 2.95

Player Profiles

#1 Tracy Lindquist
Setter * Senior
Did You Know? At 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-5, respectively, Tracy Lindquist and partner Chrissie Zartman (UCLA) captured the first-ever World University Beach Volleyball Championship, held in Guadeloupe of the French Antilles this summer. They were the shortest two-man team in the tournament.
This Season (6 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Ball State (8/31): 21 assists, 5 digs... vs. Pitt (9/1): 19 assists, 1 ace, 6 digs... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 20 assists, 10 digs... at BYU (9/5): 20 assists, 1 ace, 5 digs... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 21 assists, 7 digs... vs. Florida (9/6): 22 assists, 2 aces, 9 digs...

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#2 Julie Mariani
Defensive Specialist * Senior
Did You Know?
Julie Mariani currently ranks sixth all-time (0.27 sapg) among USC's service ace career record holders.
This Season (4 matches played, 0 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): 3 digs... vs. Pitt (9/1): 2 digs... vs. Nebraska (9/2): DNP... at BYU (9/5): 1 ace... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 5 digs... vs. Florida (9/6): DNP...

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#3 Toni Anderson
Setter * Junior
This Season (6 matches played, 6 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): 28 assists, 2 aces, 4 digs... vs. Pitt (9/1): 32 assists, 2 aces, 11 digs... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 28 assists, 8 digs... at BYU (9/5): 24 assists, 5 digs, 1 block... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 2 kills, 42 assists, 9 digs... vs. Florida (9/6): 22 assists, 9 digs...

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#4 Nicole Davis
Libero * Junior
Did You Know?
Nicole Davis will forever be listed as USC's first-ever libero since the position was just introduced by the NCAA this season. Not only is she skilled on the volleyball court (an outside hitter in high school), Davis is a black belt in karate.
This Season (6 matches played, 5 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): 9 digs... vs. Pitt (9/1): 6 digs... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 13 digs... at BYU (9/5): 12 digs... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 16 digs... vs. Florida (9/6): 1 kill, 6 digs...

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#5 Kristen Anderson
Defensive Specialist * RS Freshman
This Season (0 matches played, 0 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): DNP... vs. Pitt (9/1): DNP... vs. Nebraska (9/2): DNP... at BYU (9/5): DNP... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): DNP... vs. Florida (9/6): DNP...

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#7 Bibiana Candelas
Middle Blocker * Freshman
This Season (0 matches played, 0 starts):
Missed the first two weeks of the season while competing with the Mexican National Team at the World Championships...

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#8 Keao Burdine
Outside Hitter * Sophomore
Did You Know?
During the summer, Keao Burdine made her debut on the beach with Tracy Lindquist's partner Chrissie Zartman (UCLA). The two advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2002 Under-21 World Beach Volleyball Championship in Catania, Italy.
This Season (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Ball State (8/31): Led with 15 kills, tallied a career-high .583 attack percentage, 10 digs, 1 block solo... vs. Pitt (9/1): 11 kills (.222), 10 digs, 1 block... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 12 kills (.214), 9 digs, 3 blocks... Named to the Radisson Hotel Roberts/Nike Classic all-tournament team... at BYU (9/5): 9 kills (.280), 6 digs, 1 block... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 8 kills (.167), 8 digs, 2 blocks... vs. Florida (9/6): 11 kills (.333), 2 aces, 10 digs... Named BYU Mizuno Classic MVP and placed on the all-tournament team...

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#9 Emily Adams
Middle Blocker * Sophomore
Did You Know?
At 6-foot-5, Emily Adams is one of the four tallest players to ever play for USC - the group includes 6-5 All-American Cica Baccelli (1991-92), 6-5 Amber Oliver (1996-99) and 6-5 teammate Bibiana Candelas.
This Season (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Ball State (8/31): 9 kills, career-high .667 attack percentage and 5 blocks... vs. Pitt (9/1): 6 kills (.278), 2 digs, 3 blocks... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 6 kills (.250), 2 blocks... at BYU (9/5): 7 kills (.438), 1 ace, 3 digs, career-high 6 blocks... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): career-high 12 kills (.455), 1 ace, 4 digs, 3 blocks... vs. Florida (9/6): 7 kills (.500), 4 blocks... Named to the BYU Mizuno Classic all-tournament team...

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#12 Kelli Lantz
Middle Blocker * Junior
This Season (0 matches played, 0 starts):
Sprained right ankle during practice on Aug. 28 and sat out for the first six matches...

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#13 Alicia Robinson
Outside Hitter * Sophomore
Did You Know?
Alicia Robinson is the daughter of NBA 10-year veteran Truck Robinson (a three-year Phoenix Suns teammate of Alvan Adams, Emily's father). Alicia Robinson and Emily Adams have known each other since elementary school.
This Season (6 matches played, 6 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): 4 kills (.000), 2 digs, 1 block... vs. Pitt (9/1): 10 kills (.444), 1 dig, 1 block... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 12 kills (.231), 2 blocks... at BYU (9/5): 8 kills (.235), 1 dig, 3 blocks... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 10 kills (.192), 2 digs, career-high 6 blocks... vs. Florida (9/6): 6 kills (.000), 2 digs, 1 block...

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

#14 April Ross
Outside Hitter * Junior
Did You Know?
April Ross currently ranks among USC career record-holders in service aces (4th, 0.28 sapg), kills (5th, 3.83 kpg) and digs (5th, 3.05 dpg). Ross was the Gatorade National Prep Player of the Year in 2000.
This Season (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Ball State (8/31): Led with 11 digs, also had 12 kills (.348) and 2 blocks... vs. Pitt (9/1): led with 17 kills (.387), 10 digs, 1 block... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 11 kills (.267), 11 digs, 2 blocks... at BYU (9/5): 7 kills (.182), 1 ace, 11 digs, 1 block... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): career-high 26 kills (.512), 3 aces, 12 digs, 4 blocks... vs. Florida (9/6): 22 assists, 2 aces, 9 digs... Named to BYU Mizuno Classic all-tournament team...

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#15 Lauren Killian
Opposite Hitter * Senior
Did You Know?
Lauren Killian was one of two athletes to be named to the USC Provost's Oversight Committee on Athletic Academic Affairs for the 2001-02 academic year. The committee met directly with USC President Steven Sample to discuss student affairs.
This Season (6 matches played, 0 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): 7 kills (.333), 3 blocks... vs. Pitt (9/1): 8 kills (.438), 2 blocks... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 8 kill (.400), 1 dig... at BYU (9/5): 8 kills (.357), 4 blocks... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 3 kills (-.143), 5 digs, 2 blocks... vs. Florida (9/6): 9 kills (.353), 1 dig, 1 block...

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

#21 Staci Venski
Middle Blocker * Freshman
This Season (4 matches played, 2 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): 1 kill (.333), 1 block... vs. Pitt (9/1): DNP... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 1 kill... at BYU (9/5): made first collegiate start, 7 kills (.353), 1 dig, 2 blocks... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 5 kills (.250), 2 dig, 2 blocks... vs. Florida (9/6): DNP...

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

#33 Katie Olsovsky
Outside Hitter * Junior
Did You Know?
Katie Olsovsky currently ranks fifth among USC career record-holders in blocking with a 1.23 average.
This Season (6 matches played, 4 starts):
vs. Ball State (8/31): 9 kills (.357), 5 digs, 2 blocks... vs. Pitt (9/1): 10 kills (.643), 7 digs, 4 blocks... vs. Nebraska (9/2): 5 kills (.286), 1 dig, 6 blocks... did not start against BYU and Wake Forest due to illness... at BYU (9/5): 3 kills (.375)... vs. Wake Forest (9/6): 5 kills (.364), 4 digs, 5 blocks... vs. Florida (9/6): 4 kills (.059), career-high 5 aces, 3 digs, 4 blocks...

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