Volleyball Travels to Texas A&M For Two-Day Tourney

Sept. 9, 2003

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This WeekMcDonald's/Texas A&M Invitational - College Station, Texas
Sept. 12 - vs. Centenary, 4 p.m. CST
Sept. 13 - vs. SW Missouri State, 10 a.m. CST
Sept. 13 - at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. CST

*Follow all tournament matches with Live Stats at http://sports.tamu.edu.*




The Facts

The top-ranked USC women's volleyball team (6-0) - the defending NCAA and Pac-10 champion - travels to College Station, Texas, this week for the McDonald's/Texas A&M Invitational, Sept. 12-13 at the Aggies' G. Rollie White Coliseum. The Women of Troy open the two-day, four-team round robin tournament against Centenary (3-6) on Friday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m. CST. On Saturday, Sept. 13, the Trojans face SW Missouri State (6-1) at 10 a.m. CST, then face Texas A&M (5-1) at 7 p.m. CST. All tournament matches can be followed with Live Stats on the internet at http://sports.tamu.edu. The Women of Troy are coming off their sixth-straight sweep, having defeated No. 8 Pepperdine, 30-26, 30-18, 30-19, on Sept. 3.

The Rankings
After entering the season at No. 1, the Women of Troy are holding on to the top spot. USC earned all 65 first-place votes to remain No. 1 on this week's USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll. The Women of Troy also hold the top spot in the Volleyball magazine preseason poll.

Knocking Down The Top 10
Just three weeks and six matches into the 2003 season, the Women of Troy have already faced four top 10 opponents. With arguably the nation's toughest schedule, USC has not only defeated, but swept its ranked foes up to this point, beating No. 2 Hawai'i (Aug. 22), No. 3 Florida (Aug. 21), No. 8 Northern Iowa (Aug. 30) and No. 8 Pepperdine (Sept. 3).

Taking a Break
USC gets a break from top 10 competition this week, marking the first week of the season the Trojans have not had to face a ranked opponent. The competition is expected to be difficult as the Women of Troy face teams like Big 12 power Texas A&M on the road.

Pepperdine Recap
Following a banner dropping ceremony in celebration of the 2002 title, USC capped off the evening with a 3-0 (30-26, 30-18, 30-19) victory over No. 8 Pepperdine - its fourth victory of the season over a top 10 opponent. The Waves gave the Women of Troy their biggest challenge yet, climbing their way to a four-point advantage, 25-2, in game one. Down by two, 26-24, USC came back to score six consecutive points and win the opening game, 30-26. Stunned by the outcome of the first game, Pepperdine was unable to regroup in the second game and fell 30-18. The two teams alternated points to reach an 11-11 tie to start game three. The Waves even took a two-point lead at 16-14 before the Women of Troy began to take over. USC tied the game at 16-16 and scored seven consecutive points to gain a 22-16 advantage which led to a 30-19 win. Bibiana Candelas had an impressive outing, accounting for eight (a career high) of the team's 12 total blocks.

Haley's Texas Ties
This week's tournament is a homecoming, of sorts, for head coach Mick Haley. Haley spent 17 years of his career in the state of Texas, but not in College Station. In nearby Austin, Haley led the Texas Longhorns, the Aggies' top rival, to two national championships during his tenure (1988 NCAA, 1981 AIAW) and 14 Southwest Conference titles.

SW Missouri State Connections
* The Bears' head coach Melissa Stokes is a California native. Stokes played at San Diego State ('91) then coached at San Pasqual High in Escondido, Calif.

Texas A&M Connections
* Texas A&M has three players that hail from California - senior middle blocker Tara Pulaski (Encinitas, Calif.), junior setter Lexy Beers (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and junior outside hitter Carrie Moreira (Stockton, Calif.).
* Beers prepped at Manhattan Beach's Mira Costa High, neighbor school to Bishop Montgomery in Torrance where Katie Olsovsky attended.
* Moreira prepped at Stockton's St. Mary's High, neighbor school to Lincoln High, also in Stockton, where Nicole Davis attended.

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.

Putting Up A Wall
USC's front line may be the most dominant in program history. By rotating Katie Olsovsky from middle blocker to right side hitter, head coach Mick Haley has found a way to have three blockers on the court at one time. With 6-foot-6 Emily Adams, 6-foot-5 Bibiana Candelas and the 6-foot-3 Olsovsky, the Trojans' opponents have had a hard time getting past the block. The trio is helping the Women of Troy average 3.89 blocks per game, while holding opponents to a .103 attack percentage.

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 835-193-1 (.812) overall record, 584-142 (.804) NCAA Division I record and a 183-13 (.934) career conference mark.

Opponent Notes

Centenary (3-6) -- Head coach Jenny Hazelwood is in her second season at the helm of the Centenary program. Last season, she led the Ladies to a 13-30 overall finish and was named Independent Coach of the Year. This season, Centenary returns all six starters from the 2002 squad and welcomes three newcomers. Among the top returners are sophomore outside hitter Kelley Heckman and sophomore setter Lauren Sledge. This season the Ladies are 3-6 overall after starting with five straight losses, then winning their last three-of-four matches at home. Freshman outside hitter Ashley Templer is leading the team with 3.03 kills per game and transfer middle blocker Gretchen Conlin leads with 0.79 blocks per game. Sledge is splitting time at setter with freshman Stephanie Scanlan.

USC-Centenary Series Record -- Friday's match will mark the first-ever meeting between USC and Centenary.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Centenary 10.72 .091 9.62 2.45 14.83 1.21
USC 17.17 .317 15.94 1.61 14.78 3.98

SW Missouri State (6-1) -- Southwest Missouri State is coming off a 21-9 finish in 2002. The Bears posted a 15-3 league record to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference. Head coach Melissa Stokes is now in her eighth season with the Bears as she returned four starters and 10 total letterwinners from last year's squad. Among the top returners are senior middle blocker Linette White, senior outside hitter Erin Murphy and senior setter Chenille Bayless. The Bears are currently riding a six-match win streak after dropping the season-opener to Cincinnati. Most recently, SMS is coming off a 3-0 win over BYU at home. Murphy leads the team with 3.88 kills per game, while White is averaging a team-best 1.64 blocks per outing.

USC-SW Missouri State Series Record -- Saturday's match will mark the first-ever meeting between USC and SW Missouri State.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
SW Missouri State 16.32 .276 14.28 1.48 15.92 3.04
USC 17.17 .317 15.94 1.61 14.78 3.98

Texas A&M (5-1) -- Under the leadership of 11th-year head coach Laurie Corbelli, the Aggies are off to a 5-1 start in 2003. Last year's team finished with a 21-10 overall record and 12-8 mark in the Big 12 for fifth place. Texas A&M was eliminated by the Women of Troy in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies return five starters and 12 total letterwinners from last year's squad, including outside hitter Laura Jones, outside hitter/middle blocker Melissa Munsch and setter Lexy Beers. So far this season, the Aggies have upset 16th-ranked Louisville and fallen only to Michigan in Ann Arbor. Jones is leading the team with 4.81 kills per game and Munsch leads with an average of 1.38 blocks per outing. Beers is splitting time at setter with sophomore Kari Kelley.

USC-Texas A&M Series Record -- USC and Texas A&M have faced each other four times in program history. The Trojans are 4-0 against the Aggies in these matches, including last season's NCAA Second Round match-up in Los Angeles. The Women of Troy defeated the Aggies, 3-0, for the right to advance. The first ever meeting between these two teams took place in 1978 (USC won 2-0).

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Texas A&M 17.29 .248 15.81 1.48 16.86 2.74
USC 17.17 .317 15.94 1.61 14.78 3.98

Player Profiles

#1 Kimi Freeburg Setter * Freshman
This Season (6 matches played): vs. Florida (8/22): 11 assists, 3 digs... at Hawai'i (8/23): 4 assists, 3 digs... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 14 assists, 3 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 12 assists, 1 dig... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 12 assists, 3digs... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 16 assists, 4 digs...

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#2 Debora Seilhamer Defensive Specialist * Freshmen
This Season (6 matches played):
vs. Florida (8/22): played two games... at Hawai'i (8/23): 1 ace... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 4 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 3 digs... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 1 dig... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 1 dig...

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#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 (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 29 assists, 1 ace, 1 dig, 1 block... at Hawai'i (8/23): 38 assists, 6 digs, 1 block... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 30 assists, 4 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): tied career high with 3 kills and 1.000 attack pct., 35 assists, 3 digs... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 33 assists, 2 aces, 9 digs, 1 block... Named to USC-Holiday Inns All-Tournament team... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 28 assists, 2 kills, 1 ace, 8 digs, 3.0 points...

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#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 (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 6 digs... at Hawai'i (8/23): 18 digs, 3 assists... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 4 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 2 assists, 17 digs... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 8 digs... Named to USC-Holiday Inns All-Tournament team... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 10 digs, 1 assist...

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#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 (2 matches played): vs. Florida (8/22): DNP... at Hawai'i (8/23): DNP... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 2 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): played 1 game... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): DNP... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): DNP...

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#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 (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 6 kills, .455 (6-1-11), 2 assists, career-high 4 aces, 3 blocks, 12.5 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): career-high 12 kills, .524 (12-1-21), 2 assists, 1 dig, career-high 5 blocks, 15.0 points... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 9 kills (.615), 5 blocks, 12.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 9 kills (.471), 1 ace, 1 dig, 4 blocks, 12.5 points ... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 6 kills (.462), 2 assists, 5 blocks, 9.0 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 7 kills (.385), 2 assists, 1 ace, 2 digs, career-high 7 blocks, 12.5 points...

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#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 (5 matches played, 5 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 12 kills, .200 (12-6-30), 2 assists, 1 ace, 7 digs, 1 block, 13.5 points... at 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... vs. Ball St. (8/29): did not play, resting sore elbow... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 6 kills (.130), 2 aces, 6 digs, 8.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 18 kills (.289), 9 digs, 4 blocks, 20.5 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 11 kills (.367), 6 digs, 3 blocks, 12.5 points...

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#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 (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 7 kills, .400 (7-1-15), 4 digs, 5 blocks, 9.5 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): 9 kills, .148 (9-5-27), 3 digs, 7 blocks, 13.5 points... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 15 kills with no error for a career-high .500 attack percentage - a mark which ties for fourth place among USC's all-time individual match records, 1 dig, 6 blocks, 18.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 12 kills (.524), 2 aces, 4 digs, 5 blocks, 18.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 6 kills (.200), 1 ace, 3 digs, 5 blocks, 10.0 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 9 kills (.304), 2 assists, 1 ace, 2 digs, 2 blocks, 11.0 points...

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#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... vs. Ball St. (8/29): DNP... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): DNP... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): DNP... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): DNP...

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#12 Kelli Lantz Middle Blocker * Senior
This Season:
Has yet to play this season while rehabilitating a back injury.

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#13 Alicia Robinson Outside Hitter * Junior
This Season (6 matches played):
vs. Florida (8/22): 2 kills, -.222 (2-4-9), 1 dig, 2.0 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): 1 kill, -.182 (1-3-11), 2 blocks, 2.0 points... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 9 kills, career-high .818 attack percentage (9-0-11), 1 ace, 7 digs, 4 blocks, 12.5 points ... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 4 kills (.083), 3 blocks, 6.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 2 kills (-.111), 1 dig, 2 blocks, 3.0 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 6 kills (.462, no errrors), 1 dig, 1 block, 6.5 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 (6 matches played, 6 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 10 kills, .364 (10-2-22), 1 ace, 9 digs, 2 blocks, 12.0 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): 10 kills, .308 (10-2-26), 16 digs, 3 blocks, 12.0 points... Named NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic MVP... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 9 kills (.381), 3 aces, 3 digs, 1 block, 12.5 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 15 kills (.400), 1 assist,k 4 digs, 1 block, 16.5 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 10 kills (.231), 1 ace, 7 digs, 2 blocks 13.0 points... Named USC-Holiday Inns Tournament MVP... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 10 kills (.129), 2 aces, 9 digs, 2 blocks, 13.5 points...

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#21 Staci Venski Middle Blocker * Sophomore
This Season (5 matches played):
vs. Florida (8/22): 4 kills, career-high .800 (4-0-5), 4.0 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): DNP... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 3 kills (.600), 1 assist, 3.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 4 kills (.429), 1 dig, 2 blocks... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 1 kill (-.167), 1 point... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): played one game...

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#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 (6 matches played, 6 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... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 6 kills (.400), 5 digs, 4 blocks, 8.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): did not play games 2 and 3 after twisting left ankle, 2 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 3 digs, 3.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 8 kills (.500), 1 assist, 4 digs, 2 blocks, 9 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 7 kills (.312), 3 digs, 5 blocks, 10.0 points...

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