Women Of Troy To Host Two-Day Tournament At Lyon Center

Aug. 26, 2003

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Holiday Inns of the Greater Los Angeles Area Volleyball Tournament


Aug. 29
5 p.m. - South Carolina vs. #8 Northern Iowa
7 p.m. - #1 USC vs. Ball State (listen on www.usctrojans.com)


Aug. 30
10 a.m. - #8 Northern Iowa vs. Ball State
Noon - #1 USC vs. South Carolina (listen on www.usctrojans.com)
5 p.m. - Ball State vs. South Carolina
7 p.m. - #1 USC vs. #8 Northern Iowa (listen on www.usctrojans.com)


The Facts
The top-ranked 2003 USC women's volleyball team (2-0) - the defending NCAA and Pac-10 champions - opens the home schedule this week when it hosts the Holiday Inns of the Greater Los Angeles Area Volleyball Tournament at the Lyon Center. The Women of Troy welcome Ball State, South Carolina and eighth-ranked Northern Iowa in a two-day round robin tournament. The Trojans play one match on Friday, Aug. 29, against Ball State at 7 p.m., then face South Carolina and Northern Iowa on Saturday, Aug. 30, at Noon and 7 p.m., respectively. All USC matches can be heard live on the internet at www.usctrojans.com.

The Women of Troy captured the NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic Championship last week in Honolulu, Hawai'i. USC defeated third-ranked Florida and second-ranked Hawai'i, both by 3-0 scores. Keao Burdine was named to the all-tournament team, while April Ross was honored as tournament MVP.

This season, USC returned 10 letterwinners and all seven starters (including the libero) from last year's Pac-10 and NCAA Championship squad. Head coach Mick Haley enters his third season at the helm of the Women of Troy program.

The Rankings
USC pulled in 64 of the possible 65 first-place votes to out-distance second-place Hawai'i and earn the top ranking in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Women of Troy also earned the top spot in the Volleyball magazine preseason poll.

NACWAA/State Farm Classic Recap
With 3-0 victories over Florida and Hawai'i at last week's NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic, USC became the first team to ever sweep through the prestigious preseason event. The Trojans held the two ranked teams to a combined .142 attack percentage (Florida-.178, Hawai'i-.109) and outblocked the Gators and Wahine, 23.0 to 15.0. April Ross (MVP) and Keao Burdine were the only two USC players to earn all-tournament honors, but the Women of Troy also benefited from the outstanding play of setter Toni Anderson, libero Nicole Davis (18 digs against Hawai'i) and middle blockers Emily Adams (seven blocks against Hawai'i), Bibiana Candelas (career high 12 kills and five blocks against Hawai'i, career high four aces against Florida) and Katie Olsovsky (hit .375 in both matches). Olsovsky who played both in the middle and on the right side.

The championship match will be broadcast by ESPN2 on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 2:30 p.m. EST.

2002 Recap
Last year's USC women's volleyball team, boasting five-of-six returning starters, clinched sole possession of the 2002 Pac-10 title with a 17-1 conference record. The Trojans got past the first four rounds of the NCAA Tournament with ease and took care of Florida in the NCAA Semifinal in four games. After splitting victories with Stanford during the regular season, USC captured a four-game win over the Cardinal in the final for its first NCAA Championship in more than 20 years. The Women of Troy were 31-1 overall. USC's efforts were led by April Ross (All-America, All-Pac-10), Emily Adams (All-America, All-Pac-10), Katie Olsovsky (All-Pac-10, NCAA All-Tournament) and Keao Burdine (All-Pac-10, NCAA Championship MVP).

Can They Do It Again?
That's the question for the Women of Troy as they embark on the 2003 season. It is a question they have not had to answer in more than 20 years after capturing their previous national championship in 1981 - the first-ever NCAA title awarded in the sport. Now, following one of the greatest seasons in the history of Trojan volleyball that culminated in the program's fifth national championship, the 2003 squad will try to duplicate the effort in hopes of a repeat. It would be the third time USC had back-to-back national crowns (also in 1976-77 and 1980-81).

Haley: Ball State Hall of Fame Inductee
Mick Haley graduated from Ball State is 1965 with a bachelor's degree in education. During his time in Muncie, he was a setter on the men's volleyball team (1962-65) and helped lead the Cardinals to the 1964 and 1965 Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association title. He was the MIVA's MVP in 1965 and made the All-MIVA second team in 1964. Haley was inducted into the Ball State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

More Ball State Connections
* Kimi Freeburg is very familiar with Ball State and Muncie, Ind. Freeburg prepped at nearby New Castle (Ind.) Chrysler High and played six years for the Munciana club volleyball team.
* Current women's volleyball USC director of operations Nikki Allen graduated from Ball State in 2003 and was a four-year volleyball letterwinner for the Cardinals.
* The Cardinals' head coach Randy Litchfield is also a graduate of Ball State and formermen's volleyball letterwinner. Litchfield graduated in 1984.

USC vs. USC
So which one is the real 'USC' - Southern California or South Carolina? In addition to the similarity in name, the two schools also share similarities in leadership. South Carolina's current athletic director is Mike McGee, who spent nine years as Southern California's athletic director (1984-93) before moving to Columbia, S.C. The West Coast and East Coast USC's will face each other this Saturday, Aug. 30.

Emily Adams: One Inch Taller, One Year Wiser
Junior co-captain Emily Adams was the biggest surprise on last year's national championship squad. After making limited appearances as a freshman, Adams burst onto the volleyball season in 2002 and dominated at middle blocker. She went from bench-warmer to an AVCA All-America first team selection. Last season she finished third nationally with a .423 attack percentage and was honored as a Honda Award volleyball finalist. Now she's one year older and one inch taller! Adams was recently measured at 6-6, making her the tallest player to ever play for the Women of Troy.

April Ross Enters Final Season Looking For Second Title
Senior team co-captain April Ross was one of five freshmen who joined the Women of Troy in 2000 and have since made a dramatic impact on the USC volleyball program. As newcomers, all five players said that they wanted to lead USC to a national championship, but Ross went one step further. In her freshman bio questionnaire she wrote that she wanted to 'win a couple of NCAA championships.'

Famous Fathers
This season, USC has two new additions to its roster of famous fathers. Joining Alvan Adams (Emily's father and 14-year veteran of the NBA) and Truck Robinson (Alicia's father and 10-year veteran of the NBA) is Mike Montgomery (father of freshman Anne Montgomery) and Marv Dunphy (father of freshman Alex Dunphy). Montgomery is the men's basketball head coach at Stanford, while Dunphy is the men's volleyball head coach at Pepperdine.

Bibiana Candelas No Longer A Secret Weapon
A 6-foot-5 standout on the Mexican National Team, sophomore Bibiana Candelas enters her second year at USC. Last season, many considered Candelas the 'secret weapon' on an already deep and talented USC squad. After missing the first two weeks of the season while competing with Mexico, Candelas was not cleared to start competing until late October, missing the majority of the regular season. But Candelas joined the squad in time to provide a much-needed spark for the Women of Troy as they headed into the NCAA Tournament. Candelas only played 15 matches, but averaged 2.0 kills, 0.43 blocks and 2.28 points per game, in addition to a .352 attack percentage. Though she's not a 'secret' anymore, look for her to make a dramatic impact this season.

The Latin Influence
Bibiana Candelas is no longer the only international player on the USC roster. This year she is joined by freshman defensive specialist/libero Debora Seilhamer, who hails from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Both players prepped at Colegio Ponce�o in Puerto Rico for one year (2001-02).

Time To Take Notice
It's time to take notice of senior setter Toni Anderson and junior outside hitter Keao Burdine - two players who have been overlooked the past two seasons, but whose contributions are noteworthy.

Anderson may be one of the best setters in collegiate volleyball, but many of her individual contributions have gone unnoticed due to the Trojans' 6-2 system. Sharing setting duties with former setter Tracy Lindquist for the past three years, Anderson has helped drive the Women of Troy to success but sacrificed individual accolades for the benefit of the team. The two setters finished second nationally with 16.29 assists per game in 2002, while Anderson averaged 8.42 assists per game and was named to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team.

Like Anderson, Burdine is the type of player who has flown under the radar, but her contributions are unmatched. Next to Ross, she is the most powerful force for the Women of Troy at the outside hitter position. Last season, the 6-foot-1 Burdine finished second on the team in kills (3.28 kpg) and service aces (0.28 sapg), and finished third in digs (2.98 dpg) and points (3.81 ppg). She earned her first All-Pac-10 first team honor and was selected to the AVCA All-Pacific Region honorable mention team. Burdine made her presence known when she combined for 3.9 kills, 0.5 aces, 3.0 digs and 4.6 points per game in the final two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and was named NCAA Championship MVP.

USC Represents U.S.A.
For the third consecutive year, USC was well represented on the national volleyball scene. Nine of the Trojans' 10 returning players were all selected for various national team programs in the summer of 2003. April Ross, Emily Adams and Katie Olsovsky competed with the U.S.A. Women's National team. All three trained in Colorado Springs, Colo., while Olsovsky continued competing with the team at the Pan American Games. Toni Anderson, Nicole Davis, Keao Burdine, Alicia Robinson (who did not accept an invitation due to injuries) and Staci Venski were invited to train with the U.S.A. A2 Women's National Team coached by USC assistant coach Paula Weishoff in Lake Placid, N.Y. Bibiana Candelas rejoined Mexico's National Team for the summer and competed at the Pan American Games.

2003 Team Co-Captains
This year's team co-captain, as voted on by the players, are senior April Ross and junior Emily Adams. The is the first year Ross has held the role, but the fourth-year starter has served as a floor captain for the team since her freshman year.

Reaching New Heights
The 2003 squad boasts the tallest lineup of hitters and blockers in recent history at USC (and equals the average height of the 2002 squad). The Trojans' hitters and blockers average 6-foot-3 and as a team USC stands at 6-0.

Head Coach Mick Haley
Mick Haley is in his third season as head coach of the Women of Troy. In 2002, he collected his fifth career national title (three NCAA Division I titles, two JC titles) just two years after arriving at Troy. Haley guided the Women of Troy to the program's first NCAA championship in more than 20 years and became just the second coach in NCAA history to win a national title at two universities (John Dunning is the other). 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 831-193-1 (.812) overall record, 580-142 (.803) NCAA Division I record and a 183-13 (.934) career conference mark.

Opponent Notes

Ball State -- Ball State opens its season this week in Los Angeles. Under 15th-year head coach Randy Litchfield, the Cardinals return three starters and seven total letterwinners from last season. The 2002 squad posted a 25-8 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where it fell to Louisville, 3-0, in the opening round. BSU posted a 17-1 mark in conference play and won the Mid-American regular season and tournament championship. Among the top returning starters are sophomore outside hitter Sara Obras (3.92 kpg), sophomore middle blocker Melissa Oliver (0.76 bpg) and junior setter Stacie Baldwin (10.45 apg). Ball State also welcomes five newcomers this season.

USC-Ball State Series Record -- Friday's match will mark the second-ever meeting between USC and Ball State. The two teams met for the first time last season, when the Trojans defeated the Cardinals 3-0 to open the season at the Radisson/Hotel Roberts Nike Classic in Muncie, Ind. This marks the second straight season Ball State starts the year off against USC.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Ball State (2002) 15.44 .215 14.02 1.28 16.84 2.37
USC 16.67 .265 15.33 1.50 16.50 3.83

South Carolina -- South Carolina opens the 2003 season this week in Los Angeles. The Gamecocks are coming off a 22-7 finish to the 2002 season in which they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. After defeating American in the opening round of the tournament, 3-1, South Carolina was eliminated by North Carolina, 3-1. Under 11th-year head coach Kim Christopher, the team returns two starters and a total of five letterwinners from 2002. Among the top returners are junior middle blocker Niece Curry (3.38 kpg, 1.15 bpg) and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Morgan (2.65 kpg). South Carolina will have to integrate six newcomers this season.

USC-South Carolina Series Record -- Saturday's match will mark the first-ever meeting between the Trojans and Gamecocks.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
South Carolina (2002) 16.17 .279 14.21 2.25 14.72 2.60
USC 16.67 .265 15.33 1.50 16.50 3.83

#8 Northern Iowa -- Eighth-ranked Northern Iowa is the favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference title in 2003 as they begin the season this week in Los Angeles. The Panthers return five starters and nine total letterwinners from last year's squad which finished 34-3 overall and advanced to the NCAA Regional. UNI defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 3-1, and Missouri, 3-2, in the first two rounds, then were eliminated by Washington State, 3-0, in the Sweet 16. Last year's squad finished 17-1 in conference play to garner its fifth-consecutive MVC crown. Under fourth-year head coach Bobbi Peterson, Northern Iowa welcomes three newcomers this season. Among the top returners are senior middle blocker Molly O'Brien (4.15 kpg, 1.27 bpg), sophomore outside hitter Rachel Tink (2.66 kpg) and senior setter 12.80 assist per game.

USC-Northern Iowa Series Record -- Saturday's match will mark the first-ever meeting between the Trojans and Panthers.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Northern Iowa (2002) 16.60 .288 14.97 1.59 13.82 2.93
USC 16.67 .265 15.33 1.50 16.50 3.83

Player Profiles

#1 Kimi Freeburg Setter * Freshman
This Season (2 matches played): vs. Florida (8/22): 11 assists, 3 digs... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 4 assists, 3 digs...

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

#2 Debora Seilhamer Defensive Specialist * Freshmen
This Season (2 matches played):
vs. Florida (8/22): played two games... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 1 ace...

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

#3 Toni Anderson Setter * Senior
Did You Know?
Toni Anderson currently ranks sixth on USC's career record list with 2,612 career assists.
This Season (2 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 29 assists, 1 ace, 1 dig, 1 block... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 38 assists, 6 digs, 1 block...

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

#4 Nicole Davis Libero * Senior
Did You Know?
A black-belt in karate, Nicole Davis will always be known as the first women's player to ever play the position of libero at USC.
This Season (2 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 6 digs... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 18 digs, 3 assists...

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

#5 Anne Montgomery Defensive Specialist * Freshman
Did You Know?
Anne Montgomery's father, Mike Montgomery, is the men's basketball head coach at Stanford
This Season: vs. Florida (8/22): DNP... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): DNP...

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

#7 Bibiana Candelas Middle Blocker * Sophomore
Did You Know?
A standout and seven-year member of the Mexican National Team, Bibiana Candelas is the tallest and regarded as the most-dominant player in Mexico.
This Season (2 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 6 kills, .455 (6-1-11), 2 assists, career-high 4 aces, 3 blocks, 12.5 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): career-high 12 kills, .524 (12-1-21), 2 assists, 1 dig, career-high 5 blocks, 15.0 points...

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

#8 Keao Burdine Outside Hitter * Junior
Did You Know?
Keao Burdine made her presence known last season when she combined for 3.9 kills, 0.5 aces, 3.0 digs and 4.6 points per game in the final two rounds of the NCAA Tournament to be named NCAA Championship MVP - the third USC player to ever earn the honor, along with Tracy Clark in 1982 and Cathy Stukel in 1981).
This Season (2 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 12 kills, .200 (12-6-30), 2 assists, 1 ace, 7 digs, 1 block, 13.5 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 13 kills, .163 (13-6-43), 1 ace, 8 digs, 2 blocks, 15.5 points... Named NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic All-Tournament...

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

#9 Emily Adams Middle Blocker * Junior
Did You Know?
At 6-foot-6, Emily Adams is the tallest player to ever play for the Women of Troy.
This Season (2 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 7 kills, .400 (7-1-15), 4 digs, 5 blocks, 9.5 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 9 kills, .148 (9-5-27), 3 digs, 7 blocks, 13.5 points...

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

#10 Alex Dunphy Setter * Freshman
Did You Know?
Alex Dunphy's father, Marv Dunphy, is the men's volleyball head coach at Pepperdine and a Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee who has guided the Waves to three national titles in 20 seasons. He was also the former head coach of the U.S. Men's Volleyball National Team (1985-88). His U.S. team captured the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
This Season: Did not travel to NACWAA/State Farm Tourney while nursing injuries...* * * * * * * * * * * * *

#12 Kelli Lantz Middle Blocker * Senior
This Season:
Did not travel to NACWAA/State Farm Tourney while nursing injuries...

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

#13 Alicia Robinson Outside Hitter * Junior
This Season (2 matches played):
vs. Florida (8/22): 2 kills, -.222 (2-4-9), 1 dig, 2.0 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 1 kill, -.182 (1-3-11), 2 blocks, 2.0 points...

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

#14 April Ross Outside Hitter * Senior
Did You Know?
April Ross currently ranks among USC's top 10 career leaders in kills per game (3.75), attacks (2855), service aces (102), service aces per game (0.25), digs (940) and digs per game (3.03). As a three-year starter, Ross will leave USC as one of its all-time greatest players. Last season she earned her first AVCA All-America first team honor and third consecutive All-Pac-10 first team honor.
This Season (2 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 10 kills, .364 (10-2-22), 1 ace, 9 digs, 2 blocks, 12.0 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 10 kills, .308 (10-2-26), 16 digs, 3 blocks, 12.0 points... Named NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic MVP...

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

#21 Staci Venski Middle Blocker * Sophomore
This Season (1 match played:
vs. Florida (8/22): 4 kills, career-high .800 (4-0-5), 4.0 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): DNP...

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

#33 Katie Olsovsky Outside Hitter * Senior
Did You Know?
Katie Olsovsky is currently among USC's career leaders in attack percentage (first, .367), solo blocks (eighth, 83), block assists (seventh, 292), total blocks (seventh, 375) and blocks per game (1.26, tied with teammate Emily Adams for fifth).
This Season (2 matches played, 2 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 7 kills, .375 (7-1-16), 10 digs, 4 blocks, 9.0 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 7 kills, .375 (7-1-16), 1 dig, 3 blocks, 8.5 points...

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