Women's Volleyball Begins NCAA Tournament Play This Friday and Saturday

Dec. 4, 2002

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The Facts
The top-ranked USC women's volleyball team (25-1, 17-1 Pac-10) - selected as the tournament's top seed overall - received its 12th consecutive bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, and will be making its 20th overall appearance. USC - the 2002 Pac-10 Champion -- will host the West Region first and second Rounds on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Lyon Center. The Women of Troy will face 25th-ranked San Diego (25-7) in the first round on Friday at 5 p.m. If USC advances, the Trojans will play Saturday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Friday's Utah/Texas A&M match-up.

The winner of the second round advances to the West Regional (Round of 16) to be played Dec. 6-9 at campus sites that will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 8. The NCAA has announced that it will not award regional sites according to seeding this year.

Led by second-year head coach Mick Haley, the Women of Troy are coming off a 3-0 sweep over then No. 6-ranked UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 26) last week to complete the regular season.

Women of Troy Win 2002 Pac-10 Championship!
USC captured sole possession of the 2002 Pac-10 Championship with its sweep of the Arizona schools on the final week of conference play. This is the first-ever outright Pac-10 title for the Women of Troy who shared the 2000 championship with Arizona. USC has now won five conference titles (1976, 1977 and 1980 WCAA champions, 2002 Pac-10 co-champions) in its 26-year program history. With a 17-1 conference record this season, this also marks USC's best-ever performance in the Pac-10.

The Rankings
USC remains at No. 1 this week after wrapping up the regular season. The Trojans reclaimed the top spot on Nov. 18 after then-ranked No. 1 Stanford fell to Washington State. The Women of Troy had spent two weeks at No. 2 (after dropping a match to Stanford) and held the top spot for the previous seven week-period (the Women of Troy made their first jump to No. 1 on Sept. 16). USC earned a No. 5 final ranking in 2001 by both USA Today and Volleyball magazine (Volleyball is no longer producing a weekly poll as of Oct. 20) and entered the 2002 season at No. 3.

USC Posts Best Record In 25 Years
With a 25-1 record upon entering the NCAA Tournament, USC has secured its best record in 25 years. In 1977 the Women of Troy captured the AIAW National Championship and finished the season with a 38-0 record - the first undefeated record ever logged by a women's volleyball team in NCAA or AIAW history. Since then, USC's next-best mark (least amount of losses) came in 2000 when the Trojans went 29-3.

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.

Recent Matches
vs. #6 UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 26)
- In front of a the second largest volleyball crowd ever at UC Santa Barbara's Thunderdome, USC swept the sixth-ranked Gauchos 30-28, 30-20, 30-26 on Nov. 26 to complete the regular season. It was a back-and-forth battle at the start of game one remained knotted through 12-12 until a 7-1 USC run, fueled by consecutive blocks from Emily Adams and Lauren Killian, gave the Trojans the advantage. The Women of Troy withstood a late Gaucho rally that brought UCSB within one at 29-28, and captured the win, 30-28. Game two was much of the same as UCSB maintained a one-point edge at 15-14. That marked UCSB's final lead as the Women of Troy used a seven-point rally to go ahead by five at 21-16. The Gauchos managed to score four more points but were then held scoreless for the remainder of the game as the Trojans rolled to a 30-20 victory. USC used short two-point runs to gain a slight advantage in game three (17-14), but with a small run of their own the Gauchos knotted the score at 19-19. The teams matched each other point for point to a 24-24 tie. At that point, USC scored four-straight and used the momentum to take the 30-26 win. USC had numerous outstanding performances, including a 15-kill effort from Katie Olsovsky. Olsovsky hit .462 in the outing and collected four blocks.

2002 NCAA Tournament Notes
Sixteen first and second round matches will played Dec. 5 through Dec. 7 on the campuses of participating institutions. Winners will advance to regional tournaments held Dec. 12-15 on the campuses of qualifying teams to be selected on Sunday, Dec. 8. The four regional winners advance to the national championship hosted by the Sunbelt Conference, University of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation in New Orleans, La. The semifinal matches will be played on Dec. 19 and the championship game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 21. No. 1 USC (West), No. 2 Stanford (Pacific), No. 3 Nebraska (Central) and No. 4 Northern Iowa (East) were selected as the top seeds in each region.

For the first time since 1996, all four regional finals will be televised live the weekend of Dec. 13-15. The matches will air on local ESPN cable affiliates, regional sports networks and over-the-air stations around the country. ESPN2 will air the first tournament semifinal live Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. EST. and will broadcast the second semifinal (tape delayed) Dec. 20 at 1:30 p.m. EST. The national championship match will be broadcast live Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2. Veteran college volleyball announcers Chris Marlowe and Heather Cox will call the action for ESPN2.

USC History In The NCAAs
The Women of Troy are making their 12th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and their 20th overall since the tournament's inception in 1981. USC has only missed the tournament twice, in 1986 and 1990, after posting its only two losing seasons in program history. With a 33-18 (.647) all-time NCAA tournament record, USC has won one NCAA national championship and advanced to the Final Four on four occasions, including in 2002. Led by All-Americans Dana Smith and Cathy Stukel, the Trojans claimed the first-ever NCAA women's volleyball title in 1981. Entering the tournament as underdogs on a four-match losing streak, USC won when it counted by beating UCLA in the championship match after being down 2-1. The team ended the 1981 season with a 27-10 overall record and the title in hand. USC also won AIAW national titles in 1976, 1977 and 1980.

Pac-10 Dominance
A Pac-10 record eight teams will participate in the 2002 NCAA Tournament in quest of the conference's 10th NCAA title in 22 years of the tournament *** Since Pac-10 play began in 1986, the conference has sent at least half of the league's teams into NCAA play in 13 of the 17 championships *** Pac-10 champion USC and defending national champion Stanford earned top seeds *** Five Pac-10 teams are ranked in this week's USA Today/AVCA poll... USC tops the poll at No. 1, followed by Stanford at No. 3, Washington State at No. 11, Arizona at No. 16, and UCLA at No. 21 *** The Pac-10 holds an impressive 90-19 record (.826) this season against non-conference competition and are 25-15 (.625) against non-league foes in the NCAA Tournament 64-team field.

USC Has Four named To All-Conference First Team
USC's Emily Adams, Keao Burdine, Katie Olsovsky and April Ross were named to the 2002 All-Pac-10 first team. The Women of Troy's four first team selections are the most of any conference school and the most in USC history. Last season, the Trojans had three first team picks. This is the third career All-Pac-10 first team selection for Ross, the second straight for Olsovsky, who also received honorable mention honors as a freshman, and the first for Burdine and Adams. Burdine was an honorable mention pick in 2001. Junior setter Toni Anderson was also honored and selected to the 2002 All-Pac-10 honorable mention team.

Four Named Pac-10 All-Academic
Sophomore Emily Adams was named to this year's Pac-10 All-Academic second team. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor. Adams boasts a 3.64 cumulative GPA and is majoring in international relations. Also honored were senior Tracy Lindquist, junior Toni Anderson and sophomore Alicia Robinson, who were each named to the Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention list. Lindquist, a general studies major who will graduate in May, owns a 3.29 overall GPA. Anderson boasts a 3.11 overall GPA as a psychology major and Robinson, who is undecided on her major, owns a 3.25 GPA.

Opponent Notes

Sand Diego
(25-7, 10-4 for third place in West Coast Conference)
No. 25 San Diego is making its fifth NCAA appearance in the last six years. In the last four appearances, the Torreros advanced into the second round, most recently by beating UC Santa Barbara 3-2 in the opener in 2001. This season San Diego is led by senior outside hitter Noel Frohman (4.9 kpg, 3.39 dpg) and sophomore outside hitterDevon Forster (4.44 kpg, 3.50 dpg), who were both named to the All-WCC first team marking the second consecutive year the pair has received the honor. Debra Robertson, a fifth-year senior middle blocker from Cuppertino, Calif., was also named to the first team after leading the team with 1.03 blocks per game. Freshman setter Lindsey Sherburne was selected as the 2002 WCC Co-Freshman of the Year. She averaged 13.77 assists per game in conference play. Head coach Jennifer Petrie is in her fourth season at the helm of the Torrero program.

USC-San Diego Series Record - Friday's match will mark the fourth ever meeting between these two teams. USC is 3-0 all-time against the Torreros and once faced them in postseason play. In 1997 the Women of Troy defeated San Diego 3-0 in the second round of the NCAAs in Los Angeles.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
San Diego 17.3 .267 15.8 1.6 17.9 2.2
USC 17.7 .288 16.5 1.4 16.9 3.1

Texas A&M
(20-9, 12-8 for fifth place in Big XII Conference)

Texas A&M received its 10th consecutive at-large postseason berth. The Aggies are making their 14th overall NCAA appearance and enter the tournament riding a two-match winning streak after defeating both Texas and Iowa State in four games each to finish fifth in the Big 12 Conference with a 12-8 mark. Last year, A&M advanced to the NCAA regional finals before being eliminated by eventual national champion Stanford. Under 10th year head coach Laurie Corbelli, Texas A&M had two players placed on the 2002 all-conference first team. Outside hitter Laura Jones led the Aggies in kills (3.79), aces (0.38) and points (4.44) per game this season, while outside hitter Melissa Munsch led the team with 3.48 digs per game.

USC-Texas A&M Series Record - USC and Texas A&M have faced each other three times, with the Trojans winning all three match-ups. The first ever meeting took place in 1978 (USC won 2-0) and the teams last met in 1998 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Women of Troy defeated the Aggies 3-1 to advance.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Texas A&M 16.0 .245 14.5 1.6 16.9 2.4
USC 17.7 .288 16.5 1.4 16.9 3.1

Utah
(25-8, 10-4 for first place at Mountain West Conference Tourney)

This year marks the fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the Utes. Last season, the Utes defeated Texas Tech and Utah State in the first two rounds, before concluding the season with a loss in the Sweet 16 to eventual national champion Stanford. It was the first time in Utah volleyball history that a team had advanced to the Sweet 16. This year's squad, under 13th-year head coach Beth Launiere, is coming off an upset victory over then-No. 12 Arizona, 3-1, after capturing its second consecutive conference tournament championship. Junior middle blocker Kim Turner was named MWC co-Player of the Year after leading the conference in blocks with 1.88 stops per game. She also led the team with 3.84 kills per game. Senior outside hitter Sylva Strzinkova was named to the All-MWC first team after averageing 3.80 kills and 2.55 digs per game.

USC-Utah Series Record - USC is 5-1 all-time against the Utes. The first two meetings between these two teams was in 1979 when the Trojans defeated Utah 2-0 in each match. The last time USC and Utah faced each other was in 1994 when USC swept the Utes at a nonconference tournament. USC and Utah have never met in postseason play.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Utah 15.3 .229 13.9 1.8 13.5 3.4
USC 17.7 .288 16.5 1.4 16.9 3.1

Senior Salute
The Arizona State match on Nov. 22 marked the final regular season match for USC's three seniors - opposite hitter Lauren Killian, setter Tracy Lindquist and defensive specialist Julie Mariani. First recruited under former head coach Lisa Love, these three seniors have so far led the Women of Troy to three NCAA appearances, including the 2000 NCAA Final Four, and two Pac-10 Championships (2000, 2002). Lindquist has started and shared setting duties in every match since her freshman year and will likely finish her career at USC with nearly 2,700 assists, placing her among the Trojans' top five all time setters. Killian, the team's captain, is currently averaging a .300 career attack percentage - a mark that would put her among USC's career top 10. And as a freshman Mariani averaged a USC single-season record 0.47 service aces per game. She also finished the season with 50 total aces - a mark that ranks third among the Trojans' all-time season records.

Sharing The Spotlight
The Women of Troy are once again the epitome of a 'Team' effort. It is hard to distinguish the best players on the squad, with three players averaging more than 3.13 kills per game, two players splitting the setting duties, three players averaging more than 3.0 digs per outing and both starting middle blockers tallying more than 1.23 blocks per game.

Black Unis Make Four Appearances
The Women of Troy improved to 4-0 while wearing their black uniforms this season after defeating UC Santa Barbara, 3-0, on Nov. 26. The Trojans, who have always worn cardinal uniforms on the road and white at home, decided to sport the new unis this season for selected matches including Arizona (Sept. 21), Stanford (Oct. 4) and UCLA (Nov. 15).

Opponents Have Difficulty Measuring Up To Adams
At 6-foot-5, sophomore middle blocker Emily Adams is hard to match on the other side of the net. She leads the team - and ranks second in the Pac-10 and third in the nation - with a .409 attack percentage. On the block, she leads the team and ranks third in the conference with a 1.30 blocks per game average.

Burdine and Ross Provide 1-2 Punch
Junior outside hitter April Ross is never alone out on the floor. If it's not Ross getting every dig, outside attack and kill, it's sophomore outside hitter Keao Burdine. On a team that has six attackers who can get their share of kills against any opponent, Ross and Burdine are the Women of Troy's 1-2 punch. Together they account for 6.93 kills, 6.07 digs, 0.59 service aces, 1.01 blocks and 8.44 points per game. The two have tallied 734 of USC's 1,931 total points this season (40 percent).

USC Second In NCAA Assists Thanks To Setting Duo
As of Nov. 24, the Trojans rank second in the nation in team assists with a 16.54 assist per game average (0.11 behind first-place Hawai'i). Ironically, the Women of Troy don't have a setter ranked in the Top 25 nationally or even among the Top 5 in the Pac-10. This is because USC uses two setters. Running a 6-2 offense, USC boasts the talent of both Toni Anderson and Tracy Lindquist and, while they sacrifice individual accolades, together they lead the nation's No. 1 team. Anderson and Lindquist average 8.57 and 6.47 assists per game, respectively.

Trojans Welcome First International Recruit in 7 Years
Bibiana Candelas 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, a 6-foot-5 middle blocker from Torre�n, Mexico, missed the first two weeks of the season while competing with the Mexican National Team at the World Championships in Dresden, Germany. She arrived on campus on Sept. 9 and began practicing with the team, but did not start competing with the team until she received full clearance from the NCAA on Oct. 24.

Southland Dominance
As it is in most years, six Southern California teams (USC, UCLA, Pepperdine, San Diego, Long Beach State and UCSB) advanced to the 2002 NCAA Championships. Between USC, UCLA and Long Beach State are seven NCAA titles and 13 national championships. A Southern California team has also reached the semifinals (Final Four) in 16 of 20 NCAA Championships (including the last four consecutive).

Outstanding Crowd Witnessed Outstanding Match-Up
Nearly 2,200 fans (2,115 to be exact) witnessed an outstanding match-up against the Trojans and Stanford Cardinal on Saturday (Nov. 2) at the Lyon Center. It was the largest crowd to ever watch a USC volleyball match played at the Lyon Center thanks to an additional 500 seats that were added for the match and a standing-room only group of 300-plus.

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.

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 prep awards or accolades and made an early verbal commitment to USC.

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).

Haley Coaches 1,000th Match, 800th NCAA Match And Wins 800th
The Oct. 5 USC-Cal match-up marked Mick Haley's 800th career NCAA match as head coach. It was the latest of a long list of notable accomplishments for Haley this season. On Sept. 28, against Washington, Haley coached his 1,000th career match. Earlier this season, Haley collected his 800th career victory when USC defeated Pittsburgh, 3-0, on Sept. 1. Haley, who also spent four years as the U.S. Women's National Team coach, now boasts an 814-192-1 (.809) career record in 26 seasons in the college ranks.

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 822-193-1 (.810) overall record, 571-142 (.801) NCAA Division I record and a 182-13 (.933) conference mark.

Former Women of Troy Receive Top Honors
Debbie Green To Be Inducted To USC Hall of Fame:
Debbie Green, regarded as America's greatest women's volleyball setter, is among 24 Trojan luminaries that have been selected to the sixth class of USC's Athletic Hall of Fame and they will be honored at a gala black tie induction dinner on May 3, 2003, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Green was a two-time All-American (1976-77) and led the Women of Troy to AIAW national championships both of those years (the 1977 team recorded the first-ever undefeated season in collegiate women's volleyball, 38-0).

Debbie Landreth Brownn To Receive Prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award: Debbie Landreth Brown, the 1977 Player of the Year in collegiate women's volleyball while at USC, has been named a recipient of a prestigious 2003 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.The award recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since completing their college athletic careers 25 years ago. Brown is USC's eighth winner of this prestigious award (and first Trojan women). A two-year letterwinner (1976-77), Brown led the Women of Troy to a pair of AIAW national championships and a 72-1 record. She won All-American first team honors both seasons.

News To Note
Nicole Davis tied her career high with 24 digs against UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 26) *** Emily Adams tied her career high with 19 kills against Arizona State (Nov. 21) *** Emily Adams set a new career high with nine total blocks against Arizona (Nov. 20) *** The Women of Troy held the Bears to the lowest point total for a USC opponent this season (50) in a 3-0 win on Nov. 1 *** Lauren Killian set a career high with 16 kills against Stanford (Nov. 2) *** Nicole Davis tied her career high with 24 digs against Stanford (Nov. 2) *** Keao Burdine posted a career-high five blocks against Washington State (Oct. 26) *** Emily Adams collected a career-high three service aces and seven blocks against Washington (Oct. 25) *** Keao Burdine tied a career high with three aces against the Huskies *** Keao Burdine collected a career-high 16 digs against UCLA (Oct. 18) *** Keao Burdine posted a career-high .625 hitting mark with 10 kills off of 16 attacks and no errors against Oregon (Oct. 12) *** Emily Adams was named Pac-10 Player of the Week (Oct. 7) after leading the Trojans to wins over Stanford and Cal. She hit .491 with 33 kills (3.30 kills per game) and nine blocks, six digs and two service aces in a pair of five-game victories *** USC's 3-2 wins over Stanford (Oct. 4) and Cal (Oct. 5) marked the Trojans first five-game back-to-back effort since defeating the Arizona schools on the road in 1995 *** Emily Adams posted a career-high 19 kills against Cal (Oct. 5) *** Nicole Davis collected a career-high 24 digs against Stanford (Oct. 4) *** April Ross tied a career high with 26 kills against Cal (Oct. 5) *** Katie Olsovsky was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 23 after hitting .625 with just two errors, recording 17 kills (3.40 kpg) and a team-leading seven blocks (1.40 bpg) for a grand total of 21.5 points as the Women of Troy swept both Arizona schools on the road *** April Ross was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 3 after being named the Radisson Hotel Roberts/Nike Classic MVP by 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 matches *** Katie Olsovsky hit .733 (11-0-15) against Arizona (Sept. 21) - the mark ranks sixth among USC's all-time individual match records, tying a .733 performance she posted last season against Cal. Since her freshman season she has recorded three hitting performances ranked among USC's top-10 *** April Ross tied a career high with four aces against Arizona State (Sept. 20) *** April Ross collected a career-high 26 kills against Wake Forest (Sept. 6).

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