Volleyball Travels To No. 3 Washington, Washington State

Nov. 23, 2004

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THIS WEEK


at #3 Washigton
Fri., Nov. 26, 7 p.m. - Seattle, Wash.
TV: Fox Sports Net (tape delay)
LIVE STATS: www.gohuskies.com


at Washington State
Sat., Nov. 27, 7 p.m. - Pullman, Wash.



The Facts
The sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (18-4, 13-3 Pac-10) -- the defending back-to-back NCAA and Pac-10 champion -- wraps up the regular season this week with matches at No. 3 Washington (23-1, 15-1 Pac-10) and Washington State (4-25, 1-15 Pac-10). The Women of Troy take on the Huskies on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. in Seattle, then travel to face the Cougars on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. in Pullman. The USC-Washington match will be tape delayed on Fox Sports Net and aired on FSN affiliate stations beginning on Saturday, Nov. 27 (please check local FSN stations for specific dates and times). The match can also be followed with Live Stats at www.gohuskies.com.

This week's matches will also determine final Pac-10 standings. Washington clinched a share of the 2004 title with its win over California last week, but left the door open for the Women of Troy by losing to Stanford. In order for USC to claim a share of the championship, it must win both matches this week and the Huskies must also fall to UCLA.

The Trojans are coming off 3-0 victories over both Oregon (30-23, 30-23, 30-18) and Oregon State (30-28, 30-25, 30-16) last week in its final home matches of 2004.

Rankings
USC remains at No. 6 in this week's USA Today/CSTV AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Women of Troy moved to No. 6 in the Nov. 15 Volleyball magazine poll.

Polling Trends
The Women of Troy have spent 78 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10 (dating back to the start of the 2000 season) in the AVCA Coaches Poll.

NCAA Selection Show
The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee will select the 64-team field, including at least one team from each of the eight districts. A total of 31 conferences have been granted automatic qualification, including the Pac-10 Champion, and the remaining teams will be selected at large. The selection show will be televised live on ESPN News on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 6:45 p.m. EST.

Adams Earns All-Academic Honors
For the second straight year, Emily Adams has been named to the 2004 Academic All-District VIII first team. In 2003, Adams was also selected to the all-region first team and went on to earn national Academic All-American second-team honors. This season, Adams is one of seven athletes (6-of-7 are from the Pac-10) selected from District VIII. All first team selections will be included on the national women's volleyball Academic All-American ballot and first, second and third team national winners will be announced on Dec. 3. Adams is an international relations major with a 3.65 cumulative grade point average.

Adams was also named to the Pac-10 All-Academic first team, the conference announced on Monday, Nov. 22. This is Adams' third-straight Pac-10 academic honor (she was named first team in 2003 and second team in 2002). Alicia Robinson, Bibiana Candelas, Kimi Freeburg and Debora Seilhamer were also honored to the Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention team.

Only The Best Competition
Fourteen of USC's 21 opponents this season have been ranked among the top 25 - the most among all other top 25 schools. In comparison, current No. 16 UCLA (17-9) is next on the list having faced 13 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. 3 Washington, No. 6 USC, No. 7 Stanford, No. 14 California, No. 16 UCLA, and No. 21 Arizona. The Big 12 and Big Ten conferences are next on the list with four ranked schools apiece.

Last Shot At Conference Title
USC must not only rely on its own performance, but also that of rival UCLA this week against Washington and Washington State. If USC beats both teams, and UCLA also beats the Huskies, the Women of Troy would share the Pac-10 Championship (their third straight) with Washington. The Women of Troy are currently tied for second place with Stanford at 13-3.

USC At the End of The Season
USC has not lost a match in the final week of the regular season since 1999 (3-1 loss to UCLA). ••• Since 2000, USC has not lost more than one match in November, going 29-3 (.906) overall. ••• The last time USC faced Washington and Washington State in the final week of Pac-10 play was in 2000. ••• The last time the Trojans faced a top-5 opponent in the final week was against then-No. 4 Stanford in 1998. ••• The last time USC faced a higher-ranked opponent in the last week was against then-No. 6 UCLA in 1999 (USC was 15th).

Keeping Them Down
Stanford is the only opponent to hit above .300 against the Women of Troy in 2004. Aside from the Nov. 5 match-up with the Cardinal, USC has held 16-of-21 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.

Adams' Attack Most Effective
Middle blocker Emily Adams continues to top the Pac-10 in attack percentage with a .421 (243-40-482) average. As of Nov. 14, she ranked fourth nationally in the category. Adams also ranks second in the Pac-10 and 26th nationally in blocks per game (1.55).

USC has three players among the Pac-10's top 10 in attack percentage, including junior Bibiana Candelas who ranks third (.398) and Staci Venski who ranks ninth (.324).

Senior Salute
This week will mark the final regular season matches for USC's three seniors - Emily Adams, Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson. In their four-year career at Troy, these players have guided the Women of Troy to a 107-9 (.922) overall record and 64-6 (.914) conference mark. They have won two NCAA and Pac-10 Championships (2002, 2003) and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight as freshmen. To top off their long list of accolades, Adams, Burdine and Robinson also became the first four-year letterwinners to never lose to crosstown rival UCLA when USC collected its ninth-straight win over the Bruins on Nov. 12.

The Last Time Out
vs. Oregon (Nov. 19)
-- Behind 13 kills from Bibiana Candelas and 11 from Sarah Florian, USC swept Oregon, 30-23, 30-23, 30-18, on Nov. 19. The Trojans out-hit the Ducks, .382 to .151 and had 55 digs to their opponents 27. Coach Mick Haley utilized his bench extensively against the over-matched Ducks, resting Keao Burdine for the entire match and playing Emily Adams only in the final game. It was the first time all season either senior missed even a game. Freshman blocker Katelyn Bishop made the most of her time. Entering the match with only six matches played, she posted season highs in kills (nine) and digs (seven). Setter Nena Siljegovic, who had also only played in six matches, had 13 assists in two games. USC led 11-10 in the first game before putting together a 10-2 run to provide separation. Candelas had a dominating night with an attack percentage of .722 (13-0-18), coming within .011 of reaching the USC Top 10 for attack percentage in a match.

vs. Oregon State (Nov. 20) -- Bibiana Candelas had 10 kills to lead a balanced offense that featured four other players with at least eight kills as USC swept Oregon State, 30-28, 30-25, 30-16, in its home finale on Nov. 20. USC exploited a significant height advantage to outblock Oregon State, 11 to 3.5, and outhit the Beavers, .397 to .133. Sarah Florian, Staci Venski and Alicia Robinson all had nine kills apiece. Robinson and Debora Seilhamer had 12 digs each and Florian had 10. In a tight first game, USC led 16-13 before Oregon State used a 5-0 run to lead by two. Troy led again at 25-22 only to see the Beavers knot the game again. It was still 29-28 USC when the Beavers were called for being illegally over the net, giving USC a narrow win and a 1-0 lead. The second game was equally tight with Oregon State leading 20-19. But a 6-0 run that featured a pair of blocks and a kill by Emily Adams gave USC control. The final game was a different story as the Trojans pounced on their opponents with an early 13-6 lead, stretched it to 24-9 and never looked back.

Team News N' Notes
• With a win at Cal on Nov. 4, USC notched the 700th victory in program history.
• 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
• Emily Adams, Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson became the first four-year letterwinners to never lose to UCLA when they posted a ninth-straight win over the Bruins on Nov. 12.
• Debora Seilhamer set a USC record with 45 digs against UCLA on Nov. 12. The mark also ranks second all-time in the Pac-10 and gave her, her first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.
• Staci Venski had a career-high 18 kills and Keao Burdine accounted for a career-high 19 digs against California on Nov. 4.
• 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

#3 Washington -- The Huskies are coming off a 3-1 win over California last week to clinch a share of their first-ever Pac-10 title. But Washington also endured its first loss of the season when it fell 3-2 to Stanford on Nov. 18. The loss dropped Washington from No. 1 to No. 3 in this week's poll and its overall record to 23-1 overall and 15-1 in the Pac-10. Returning All-American Sanja Tomasevic, who still leads the team with 4.62 kills per game, has not started the last 11 matches due to injury. Since then, freshman outside hitter Cristal Morrison has stepped into the role, leading the team with 4.39 kills per game. Under third-year head coach Jim McLaughlin, junior middle blocker Darla Myhre leads the team with 1.44 blocks per game, junior libero Candace Lee averages a team-best 5.63 digs per game and sophomore setter Courtney Thompson leads with 14.82 assists per outing.

USC-Washington Series Record -- USC owns a 30-10 (.750) all-time record against Washington, but saw its 12-match win streak come to an end when the Huskies claimed a 3-2 win in Los Angeles on Sept. 25. USC has not lost in Seattle since falling 3-2 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		17.45	.304	16.22	1.57	17.94	2.61USC			17.18	.297	15.80	1.06	17.18	2.89

Washington State -- With a 4-25 overall record and 1-15 mark in the Pac-10, Washington State has lost its last six-straight matches and its last 19-of-20 overall, including 3-0 losses to California and Stanford last week. The team's only Pac-10 victory was a 3-2 win over Oregon on Oct. 28. Under first-year head coach Brian Heffernan, the Cougars are led by sophomore opposite hitter Kelly Rosin (3.64 kpg), sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Todd (3.65 kpg, 1.12 bpg), senior libero Stacey Holbrook (3.47 dpg) and freshman setter Nicole Martin (10.72 apg).

USC-Washington State Series Record -- USC owns a 28-10 (.737) all-time record against Washington State and has won the last 12 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). The Women of Troy defeated the Cougars 3-0 on Sept. 24.

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	BpgUSC			17.18	.297	15.80	1.06	17.18	2.89Washington State	13.10	.162	11.89	1.27
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