Fourth-Ranked USC Travels To Bay Area

Nov. 2, 2004

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This Week


at #11 California
Thurs., Nov. 4, 7 p.m. - Berkeley, Calif.
TV: FSN (FSW Live)
AUDIO: www.gostanford.com


at #12 Stanford
Fri., Nov. 5, 7 p.m. - Stanford, Calif.
LIVE STATS: www.calbears.com



The Facts
The fourth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (14-3, 9-2 Pac-10) -- the defending back-to-back NCAA and Pac-10 champion -- moved up one spot in this week's AVCA Coaches poll and looks to continue its climb in the Pac-10 race with key conference match-ups this week. The Women of Troy travel to face No. 11 California (12-7, 7-3 Pac-10) and No. 12 Stanford (15-6, 7-3 Pac-10) this Thursday, Nov. 4, and Friday, Nov. 5, in the Bay Area. USC is looking to even the series with the Bears after falling in Los Angeles in the first match-up of the season. This Thursday's 7 p.m. match will air live on FSN West and will be tape delayed on other FSN affiliate stations. The USC-Cal match-up can also be followed with live stats at www.calbears.com. Friday's match against the Cardinal will begin at 7 p.m. and can be followed with live audio at www.gocardinal.com.

USC is coming off a 3-1 victory over then-No. 24 Arizona on Oct. 29 and 3-0 win over Arizona State on Oct. 30. Senior outside hitter Keao Burdine enjoyed two outstanding performances, notching an identical 18 kills and 20.5 total points in both matches.

Burdine Starts Late-Season Climb
Keao Burdine's performance against the Arizona schools last week could be an indication of her signature last-season surge. Burdine, the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Championship MVP, has been known to peak in the latter half of the season. In 2003, she averaged 3.24 kills, 2.66 digs and 3.69 points per game in the first two months, then improved to 3.76 kpg, 3.46 dpg and 4.36 ppg in November and December.

Rankings
USC continues its climb, moving up to No. 4 in this week's USA Today/CSTV AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Women of Troy remain No. 5 in the Oct. 24 Volleyball magazine poll.

Polling Trends
The Women of Troy have spent 75 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10 (dating back to the start of the 2000 season) in the AVCA Coaches Poll. USC has also spent 55 of the last 57 weeks ranked in the top 5 (Trojans fell to No. 6 for two weeks this season, 10/11-18).

Only The Best Competition
Eleven of USC's 17 opponents this season have been ranked among the top 25. In comparison, current No. 16 UCLA (14-7) is next on the list having faced 10 ranked opponents.

Pac-10 Teams Remain at the Top
Six Pac-10 teams remain ranked among the top 25 in this week's poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 1 Washington, No. 4 USC, No. 11 California, No. 12 Stanford, No. 16 UCLA, and No. 22 Arizona. The Big 12 and Big Ten conferences are next on the list with four ranked schools apiece.

Second Half Of Conference Play
With only four weeks left to the 2004 Pac-10 season, Washington remains undefeated at 11-0, USC took sole position of the No. 2 spot at 9-2, California and Stanford are tied for third place at 7-3 and UCLA is fifth with a 7-4 record.

Adams' Attack Most Effective
Middle blocker Emily Adams continues to top the Pac-10 in attack percentage with a .441 (198-30-381) average. As of Oct. 24, she ranked third nationally in the category. Adams also ranks third in the Pac-10 in blocks per game (1.54).

Junior middle blocker Bibiana Candelas is right behind Adams, ranking second in the Pac-10 with a .393 attack percentage.

Keeping Them Down
USC has not allowed an opponent to hit .300 or above this season and has held 12-of-17 foes under .200. Even in losses to Illinois (Sept. 11) and Washington (Sept. 25), the Illini and Huskies were held to a .126 and .196 attack percentage, respectively.

The Last Time Out
vs. #24 Arizona (Oct. 29)
-- USC defeated No. 24 Arizona, 3-1 (30-20, 27-30, 30-32, 30-17), on Oct. 29 at the Lyon Center. Keao Burdine led the way for the Trojans with a match-best 18 kills and 20.5 points. The Women of Troy were on the verge of a sweep after winning games one and two, 30-20 and 30-27. Despite allowing Arizona to jump out to a 16-11 to start game three, USC fought back to take a lead and reached match point at 29-27. But USC squandered three opportunities to finish the match and watched as the Wildcats snuck past for a 32-30 win. In the end, game three was all the Wildcats had to give. The two teams kept it close at the start of game four, reaching a 10-10 tie. The Women of Troy pushed out to a four-point lead, 20-16, at that point, then out-scored Arizona 10-to-1 in the final stretch.

vs. Arizona State (Oct. 30) -- For the second-straight night, Keao Burdine led with 18 kills and 20.5 points as USC defeated Arizona State, 3-0 (30-16, 30-15, 30-20), on Oct. 30. Burdine led an overall strong offensive effort by the Women of Troy. USC hit .400 for the match with five players all finishing above .389. Junior transfer Nena Siljegovic made her first official appearance in the starting rotation, coming off the bench in the Trojans' 6-2 offense. After watching USC win games one and two with ease, ASU fought back in the final set, matching the Women of Troy point-for-point at the start. The Sun Devils took their first lead of the match at 15-14, only to have the Trojans rattle off seven straight points for a 21-15 advantage. USC outscored Arizona State 9-to-5 in the final stretch for the 30-20 win.

Team News N' Notes
• USC held Oregon to a .008 attack percentage on Oct. 22, marking the lowest total for a USC opponent this season.
• The Women of Troy dropped No. 6 in the Oct. 11 AVCA Coaches poll, putting an end to a 53-week stay in the top 5.
• USC's 3-0 loss to California on Oct. 9 marked its first sweep since 2001 (3-0 loss at Arizona) and its first sweep at home since 1999 (a 3-0 loss to Stanford in the North Gym).
• As a team, USC collected 38 block assists on Sept. 25 against Washington - the most ever at the Lyon Center.
• The loss to then-No. 3 Washington on Sept. 25 put an end to the Trojans' 22-match home win streak and 24-match conference win streak. Both streaks dated back to Nov. 21, 2002.
• USC's drop to No. 2 on Sept. 13 ended the Trojans' 23-week stay at the top of the AVCA poll.
• Hurricane Ivan kept USC from participating in the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C., Sept. 17-19, due to safety issues and travel difficulties.
• The loss to then-ranked No. 16 Illinois on Sept. 11 put an end to USC's 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. It also marked the first road loss after 48-straight wins.
• 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
• Head coach Mick Haley earned his 100th victory at USC with the team's 3-1 win over then-No. 14 Stanford on Oct. 8.
• Emily Adams was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Oct. 4 for her performances at Arizona State and then-No. 17 Arizona, Oct. 2 and 3.
• Emily Adams set a career-high and entered the record books with 18.0 total blocks, 16 block assists and 30.0 points against Washington (Sept. 25). The marks tie for third among USC match records for blocks, fifth for block assists and second for points.
• 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).



OPPONENT NOTES

No. 11 California -- The Golden Bears enter this week's matches with a 12-7 overall record and 7-3 mark in the Pac-10, thanks to a 3-2 victory over rival Stanford last week. The team is led by freshman outside hitter Angie Pressey (4.09 kpg), senior middle blocker Camille Leffall (1.13 bpg), sophomore libero Jillian Davis (5.43 dpg) and sophomore setter Samantha Carter (13.61 apg). Sixth-year head coach Rich Feller returned 11 letterwinners and six starters from the 2003 squad - the most successful in Cal history. Last year's team advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinal, finished at No. 12 in the polls and posted a 25-7 overall record and 12-6 record in the Pac-10 to tie for third place.

USC-California Series Record -- The Women of Troy own a 36-7 (.837) all-time record against Cal after falling 3-0 in the first meeting of 2004 in Los Angeles on Oct. 9. The surprising upset put an end to the Trojans' 23-match win streak against Cal. The Trojan-Bear match-ups have been dramatic over the last two seasons. In 2003, the match played in Berkeley became the only five-game victory the undefeated Women of Troy had to play en route to their second-straight national title.

USC-California Common Connections
• Cal head coach Rich Feller was an assistant coach to USC head coach Mick Haley with the U.S.A. Women's National Team in 1997-98.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	BpgCalifornia		16.74	.226	15.57	1.18	16.62	2.62USC			17.10	.308	15.56	1.05	16.69	2.91

No. 12 Stanford -- Stanford enters this week with a 15-6 overall record and 7-3 mark in the Pac-10. The Cardinal is tied for third in conference play after falling to rival California, 3-2, last week. Stanford is led by All-American outside hitter Ogonna Nnamani, who leads the Pac-10 with 5.62 kills and 6.29 points per game, sophomore middle blocker Liz Suiter, who ranks second in the Pac-10 with 1.54 bpg, sophomore outside hitter Kristen Richards (3.60 dpg) and freshman setter Bryn Kehoe (11.57 apg). Head coach John Dunning is in his fourth season on The Farm. Last year's squad finished 25-7 overall, 14-4 in the Pac-10 for second place and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinal to finish at No. 10 in the polls. The team returned 10 letterwinners and four starters from 2003.

USC-Stanford Series Record -- The Women of Troy have won eight of the last 10 meetings against the Cardinal, despite the fact that Stanford is one of only six programs that own a winning record (43-18-1, .705) against USC. Between the 1984 and 2000 seasons, the Women of Troy managed to only win three matches against the Cardinal, but have since started to make up for lost time. This season, USC beat Stanford at home, 3-1, on Oct. 8.

USC-Stanford Common Connections
• Freshman setter Bryn Kahoe was a prep teammate of USC freshman Sarah Florian at St. Ursula's Academy in Toledo, Ohio.
• Stanford junior outside hitter Courtney Schultz was a prep teammate of USC redshirt freshman setter Alex Dunphy at Harvard-Westlake High in North Hollywood, Calif.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	BpgStanford		15.59	.278	14.56	1.33	15.17	3.36USC			17.10	.308	15.56	1.05	16.69	2.91
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