Women Of Troy Open Pac-10 Season At Home
Sept. 20, 2004
The defending back-to-back NCAA and Pac-10 champion USC women's volleyball team (5-1) hopes to start a new winning streak this week as it opens the 2004 Pac-10 season at the Lyon Center against Washington State (3-8) and third-ranked Washington (8-0). The second-ranked Women of Troy face the Cougars on Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m., then take on the Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. All matches can be followed with Live Stats at www.usctrojans.com. An audio broadcast of each match is also available by purchasing a 'School Pass' at www.usctrojans.com.
The Women of Troy were idle last week due to a last-minute decision to cancel travel plans to Columbia, S.C., for the Gamecock Invitational. Severe weather conditions in the Southeast prompted concern regarding the safety of team travel.
USC remains No. 2 in the USA Today/CSTV AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll after dropping on Sept. 13 following the loss at then-No. 16 Illinois. The Women of Troy still pulled in 13 of 65 first-place votes. The Women of Troy continue to be ranked No. 1 in the Volleyball magazine poll.
Sitting At The Top
USC's drop to No. 2 on Sept. 13 ended the Trojans' 23-week stay at the top of the AVCA poll. The Trojans have spent 51 weeks ranked in the top 5 and 69 weeks ranked in the top 10 (dating back to the start of the 2000 season).
Pac-10 Teams Crowd Rankings
Six of the 10 Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 16 in this week's polls, including No. 2 USC, No. 3 Washington, No. 10 UCLA, No. 12 Stanford, No. 14 Arizona and No. 16 California. The Big 12 Conference also has six teams in the polls (Nebraska, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Kansas, Texas, Colorado), but the highest ranked are the No. 7 Huskers.
Only The Best Competition
Four of USC's six opponents have been ranked and all have been among the top 16. In comparison, current No. 1 Minnesota (10-1) is the only other school in the top 10 to have already faced five ranked opponents (all in the top 15). Next on the list is No. 7 Hawai'i (8-0), who has also faced four ranked foes.
Trojans In Pac-10 Openers
USC is 14-4 (.778) in Pac-10 openers since 1986, but has not lost an opening match since 1998 at Stanford. The Women of Troy are 24-10 (.706) in the opening series. The last time the Trojans faced Washington State and Washington in the first week of conference play was in 2000. USC hosted the two teams in the same order and defeated both by 3-0 scores.
Win Streak Is Put To Rest
On Sept. 11 the NCAA closed its record books - USC's 52-match win streak came to an end. The streak, which began on Nov. 8, 2002, is the longest in the history of NCAA volleyball. The loss to Illinois also put an end to the Trojans' 48-match road win streak, spanning the same amount of time. Still alive is USC's home win streak, which currently stands at 21 consecutive home victories (Nov. 21, 2002 - ).
**The 52 straight wins is an NCAA record, but not a USC record. The Women of Troy won 56 straight matches from Nov. 27, 1976, through Sept. 27, 1978, as a part of the AIAW.
During The Streak
Not only did the Women of Troy win an impressive 52 consecutive matches, but during that time the team collected a 156-14 single game record (winning 91.8 percent of its games).
Freshman outside hitter Jessica Gysin suffered a severe sprained left ankle in the first week of training camp (Aug. 12). She is not expected back in the lineup until October.
This year's team co-captains, as voted on by the players, are seniors Emily Adams and Alicia Robinson. The is the first year Robinson has held the role and the second-consecutive year for Adams.
Ivan And Jeanne Keep USC From Gamecock Invitational
Due to safety issues and travel difficulties as a result of the severe weather conditions in the Southeast caused by Hurricane Ivan and the upcoming Hurricane Jeanne, USC did not participate in last week's Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C. The tournament, which also included teams from Notre Dame, Michigan State and host South Carolina, took place Sept. 17-19. 'We were concerned with the safety of our players and the risk we would be taking in our path of travel,' said USC senior associate athletic director Lisa Love. 'Additionally, our flight schedules to and from South Carolina could not be guaranteed. At the end of the day, we are responsible for the well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Their security is of the utmost concern to us.'
Fox Sports West has announced that it will air two of USC's matches this season LIVE - Friday, Oct. 8, vs. Stanford and Thursday, Nov. 4, at California. The network has been airing its volleyball matches on a tape delay basis for the past three seasons. The two matches will also be shown tape delayed on other Fox Sports Net affiliates. The Trojans' Nov. 26 match at Washington will only be shown tape delayed.
USC 'School Pass'
Audio broadcasts of all USC home volleyball matches are now available on the internet with the USC 'School Pass.' Subscriptions are $4.95 per month and can be ordered online at either www.usctrojans.com or sports.yahoo.com. The package includes all radio broadcasts of Trojan football, men's and women's basketball, women's and men's volleyball and baseball contests.
If you don't have a School Pass, then you can follow all home Women of Troy matches with Live Stats now available on www.usctrojans.com.
Team News N' Notes
The loss to then-ranked No. 16 Illinois on Sept. 11 put an end to the Trojans' NCAA-record 52-match win streak. USC had not lost a match in nearly two years. It marked only the second loss since the start of the 2002 season.
USC finished in second place at the State Farm Illini Volleyball Classic, marking the first time since 2001 that the Women of Troy did not win a nonconference tournament.
USC became the first-ever team to win a second-straight NACWAA Volleyball Championship with wins over Georgia Tech and Minnesota on Sept. 27 and 28.
Player News N' Notes
Emily Adams and Keao Burdine were named to the State Farm Illini Volleyball Classic all-tournament team.
Numerous career-highs were set at the Illini Classic, including Staci Venski's nine blocks, Kimi Freeburg's two kills and two aces, Bibiana Candelas' eight blocks (ties), Alicia Robinson's 19 digs and Keao Burdine's four aces (ties).
For the first time in her USC career, Keao Burdine exhibited her powerful jump serve against Pepperdine on Sept. 5. She collected three aces for the match.
Emily Adams was named MVP of the Marriott Beach Classic - Pepperdine's three-day tournament, in which the USC match was included. Junior Bibiana Candelas earned all-tournament honors.
Bibiana Candelas earned her first MVP honor as a Trojan at the NACWAA Classic. Staci Venski collected her first all-tournament honor at the event and Keao Burdine was also honored to the team.
Debora Seilhamer set a NACWAA Tournament record with a career-high 19 digs in a three-game match against Georgia Tech (Aug. 27).
Washington State -- Washington State enters the Pac-10 season with a 3-8 nonconference record and riding a two-match losing skid. The Cougars have collected wins over Miami, Gonzaga and Radford. Under first-year head coach Brian Heffernan, WSU returned seven letterwinners, including four starters from last year's squad. The Cougars went 9-20 overall in 2003 and finished tied for seventh place in the Pac-10 with a 5-13 record. So far this season, the team is led by sophomore opposite hitter Kelly Rosin (4.02 kpg), sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Todd (1.14 bpg), senior libero Stacey Holbrook (4.21 dpg) and freshman setter Nicole Martin (11.28 apg).
USC-Washington State Series Record -- USC owns a 27-10 (.730) all-time record against Washington State and has won the last 11 consecutive meetings (last WSU victory was a 3-1 win in Los Angeles in 1998 and the last win in Pullman was a 3-2 victory in 1997).
USC-Washington State Common Connections
Washington State has two California natives on its roster - senior Stacey Holbrook (Newhall) and freshman Kristin Kelley (Pasadena).
Opponent Comparisons Kpg Pct. Apg SApg Dpg BpgWashington State 13.65 .190 12.30 1.51 14.02 2.15USC 16.00 .318 14.88 1.04 14.79 2.75
#3 Washington -- The Huskies are off to the best start in program history with an 8-0 record and a No. 3 national ranking. The team has swept all eight opponents, including most recently Montana and Boise State. Under third-year head coach Jim McLaughlin, Washington returned 10 letterwinners and four starters from 2003, including All-American outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic. Last year's squad finished 23-9 overall, 10-8 in the Pac-10 for fifth place, advanced to the NCAA Regional Final and completed the year ranked ninth. This season, the team is led by Tomasevic (4.52 kpg), junior middle blocker Darla Myhre (1.45 bpg), junior libero Candace Lee (5.08 dpg) and sophomore setter Courtney Thompson (14.08 apg).
USC-Washington Series Record -- USC owns a 30-9 (.769) all-time record against Washington and is riding a 12-match win streak going into this week's match (the Huskies last victory was a 3-2 win in Los Angeles in 1997 and their last win in Seattle was also a 3-2 victory in 1995).
USC-Washington Common Connections
Third-year Washington head coach Jim McLaughlin is a former USC men's volleyball coach. McLaughlin coached the Trojans from 1990 through 1996 and accumulated a 142-75 (.654) overall record. He led USC to its fourth NCAA title in 1990 and a NCAA runner-up finish in 1991.
The Huskies boast two California players on their roster - junior Erin Lui (Brentwood) and junior Jessica Veris (Manhattan Beach).
Washington junior Danka Danicic and USC junior Nena Siljegovic are both natives of Serbia of the former Yugoslavia. Washington senior Sanja Tomasevic hails from Montenegro, also of the former Yugoslavia.
Opponent Comparisons Kpg Pct. Apg SApg Dpg BpgWashington 16.58 .348 15.38 2.04 16.42 2.85USC 16.00 .318 14.88 1.04 14.79 2.75