USC Set To Close Out Regular Season This Weekend At Home
Nov. 22, 2005
The No. 13 USC women's volleyball team (15-9, 11-5) -- winners of six national championships -- concludes the 2005 regular season this weekend at home against No. 12 California (18-8, 10-6) on Friday (Nov. 25) and No. 5 Stanford (23-5, 12-4) on Saturday (Nov. 26) with both matches starting at 7 p.m. Saturday's match is also Senior Night as the Women of Troy will honor their three seniors: Bibiana Candelas, Nena Siljegovic and Staci Venski.
USC is bidding for its 15th straight postseason appearance with the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship bracket to be announced this Sunday (Nov. 27). The 64-team bracket will be announced between 11:30 a.m. and noon live on ESPNEWS.
USC is the consensus No. 13 team, according to the AVCA/CSTV and Volleyball Monthly polls. California is the consensus No. 12 team while Stanford is the consensus No. 5 team.
No. 12 California Notes
California is 18-8 on the season and fifth in the Pac-10 Conference with a 10-6 record. Head coach Rich Feller is 116-87 in his seventh season at California. Angie Pressey leads the Golden Bears with a team-high 4.14 kpg average while also recording a 2.67 dpg average. USC leads the all-time series with Cal by a 37-8 margin. The Golden Bears defeated the Women of Troy earlier this season, 3-2, on Sept. 24 in Berkeley.
No. 5 Stanford Notes
Stanford is 23-5 on the season and tied for second in the Pac-10 Conference with a 12-4 mark. Head coach John Dunning is 143-25 in his fifth season at Stanford. Stanford defeated rival California by a 3-2 score (30-24, 26-30, 30-27, 24-30, 15-10) last Friday. Junior outside hitter Kristin Richards has picked up the slack after Stanford lost freshman sensation Cynthia Barboza for the season due to a knee injury. Richards currently has 4.56 kpg and 3.61 dpg averages. Stanford leads the all-time series by a 45-18-1 margin. The Cardinal defeated the Women of Troy earlier this season, 3-1, on Sept. 23 in Palo Alto.
Opponent Comparisons Kpg Pct. Apg SApg Dpg BpgUSC 16.15 .236 14.76 1.08 19.00 0.83California 15.91 .240 14.64 1.61 16.19 2.87Stanford 16.52 .279 15.57 1.71 16.41 2.47
USC split Pac-10 road matches with a 3-2 loss at No. 6 Arizona and a 3-1 win at Arizona State.
In Saturday's win at Arizona State, Bibiana Candelas set a personal-best with a career-high 35 kills while Seilhamer set a new school record for most digs (39) in a four-game match. Seilhamer tied the record with 36 earlier this season. Venski added 21 kills against the Sun Devils.
Running With The Pac(k)
Debora Seilhamer leads the Pac-10 Conference with a 6.79 digs per game average (second in the nation)...Bibiana Candelas is second in the conference with a 4.70 kills per game average...Staci Venski is sixth with a 4.31 kills per game average...Candelas is second with a 5.39 points per game average...Venski is 10th with 4.81 points per game...Nena Siljegovic is sixth with 11.82 assists per game...Candelas is ninth with a .297 hitting percentage...Katelyn Bishop is tied for ninth with 0.32 service aces per game.
A New Home
This will be USC's final year at the Lyon Center before the Women of Troy move to the brand-new Galen Center for the 2006 season. The 10,260-seat arena is being built on the corner of Figueroa St. and Jefferson Blvd., adjacent to the USC campus. The arena is named after Lou and Helene Galen, who generously donated $35 million towards the project that will house the USC men's and women's volleyball and basketball programs.
Mick Haley earned his 900th win in his collegiate career as a head coach on Nov. 4 at Oregon State. His 29-year career includes seven years at Kellogg Community College in Michigan (1973-79), 17 years at Texas (1980-96) and five years at USC (2000-Present). He also served as head coach for the U.S. Women's National Team from 1997-2000, including the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
The Power of the Pac-10
Six Pac-10 teams were ranked among the top 25 in the 2005 CSTV/AVCA current poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 3 Washington, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Arizona, No. 12 California, No. 13 USC and No. 16 UCLA.
Strength Of Schedule
USC has played another difficult schedule based on teams ranked in the CSTV/AVCA preseason poll, including four of the nation's top five teams: No. 2 Washington, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 Hawai'i and No. 5 Penn State. Six other Top 25 teams are also on the schedule: No. 8 Florida, No. 13 UCLA, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 17 Arizona, No. 19 California and No. 25 Pepperdine. Notre Dame, which entered the Top 25 rankings during the season, also was on this year's schedule.
In USC's 26 matches during the regular season, 15 opponents have been ranked in the Top 25.
'Seil' The Deal
Junior libero Debora Seilhamer (Ponce, Puerto Rico/ Colegio Ponceño) served as a freshman backup to former standout libero Nicole Davis and now has established herself as one the nation's top liberos. Seilhamer has 591 digs this season for a 6.79 per-game average. Her 1,245 career digs places her sixth on USC's all-time list and her 4.53 dpg career average is the best in school history (Katie Haller, 1990-93, had the previous record at 4.01 dpg).
She leads the Pac-10 Conference in digs per game and is second in the nation. She has a 7.29 dpg average in Pac-10 Conference matches and in her last nine matches, Seilhamer has a 7.82 dpg average (266 digs in 34 games).
She set a school record for most digs in a four-game match with 39 on Nov. 19 at Arizona State, surpassing a record she tied earlier this season (Sept. 9 against Notre Dame) with 36
On Oct. 28 against UCLA, she had 33 digs in a four-game win against the Bruins and did not have a serve receiving error in 31 attempts against her.
She earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after recording 57 digs in two matches (8.14 dpg average) on Oct. 21 and 22 against Arizona State and No. 8 Arizona. With 27 digs against ASU, she set a school record for most digs in a three-game match and, in the process, recorded her 1,000th career dig. She was perfect in 21 serving attempts against Arizona and did not record a reception error. On Nov. 12 against Washington State, Seilhamer set a new three-game school record with 29 digs against the Cougars.
She tied the school record on Sept. 9 against No. 19 Notre Dame for most digs (36) in a four-game match, tying a mark held by Megan McAllister (10/21/89) and Katie Haller (10/24/92). Seilhamer had 82 digs in three matches against Top 25 teams (Notre Dame, No. 6 Florida and No. 13 Texas A&M) at the UTSA Dome Rally (Sept. 9-11) and was named to the all-tournament team.
Last season, she set a USC single season record with 571 digs on the season and averaged a school-record 5.39 digs per game, which ranked her third in the Pac-10 Conference. Seilhamer earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention and set a USC record (and five-game record) with 45 digs in the match on Nov. 12 against UCLA.
Senior middle blocker Bibiana Candelas (Torreòn, Mexico/Colegio Ponceño) is a two-time All-American for the Women of Troy. This season, Candelas has a team-high 4.70 kills-per-game average with a .297 hitting percentage.
She tallied 19 kills on Sept. 2 against Western Michigan and earned All-Tournament honors at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic with 45 kills in three matches. On Sept. 11 in a four-game win over No. 13 Texas A&M, she tied a previous career high with 20 kills. She added a new career high with 23 kills on Sept. 16 in a 3-0 sweep against Pepperdine.
On Sept. 30, she set new career highs with 26 kills and 31.5 points in a 3-1 victory at UCLA. For her efforts, she was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in her career. She had another 26-kill performance on Nov. 4 at Oregon State in USC's 3-1 win.
She surpassed her career highs on Nov. 19 at Arizona State when she registered 35 kills and 39.0 points in USC's 3-1 win over the Sun Devils.
Top Of The World
Bibiana Candelas is one of three USC players who played for teams that qualified for the 2006 World Championships. Candelas helped the Mexican National Team this summer by advancing at the NORCECA qualifier. Former setter Toni Anderson and libero Nicole Davis aided the United States National Team by winning the NORCECA qualifying tournament.
Senior outside hitter Staci Venski (California City/Mojave HS/Calabasas HS) has gelled into one of the team's key players for the 2005 season. She has a 4.31 kills per game average this season, along with a 0.75 blocks per game average.
This season, Venski has seven 20-kill performances which includes a career-high 23 kills against No. 22 UCLA on Oct. 28 at the Lyon Center. Against the Bruins, she had only one attacking error against 55 attempts for a .400 hitting night.
She had a previous career-high 22 kills against No. 5 Penn State on Aug. 31 at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, and tied it again on Oct. 22 against No. 8 Arizona in USC's 3-1 win. She registered 20 kills against No. 19 Notre Dame on Sept. 9 and No. 13 Texas A&M on Sept. 11 at the UTSA Dome Rally in San Antonio, Texas.
She hit .384 for the weekend on Oct. 7 and 8 in three-game sweeps at home against Oregon State and Oregon. She had 17 kills against OSU without an attacking error.
After two years of waiting patiently, Venski earned a full-time starting role last year, starting in 28 of 29 matches. She averaged 2.70 kills, 0.61 digs, 0.66 blocks and 3.06 points per game.
The Capital of Denmark
Sophomore outside hitter Diane Copenhagen (Mountain View/St. Francis HS) has a 3.32 kills per game average this season for the Women of Troy, along with 3.11 digs per game. She led the team with 14 kills in the season opener on Aug. 27 against Cal Poly and 17 kills on Aug. 30 against No. 5 Penn State. Copenhagen set a career-high with 24 kills in a five-game loss to No. 6 Florida on Sept. 10 at the UTSA Dome Rally in San Antonio.
Copenhagen played at the 2005 U-20 FIVB World Championships in Ankara, Turkey, with the U.S. Junior National Team. Team USA finished in a tie for 11th place.
The Pahl Bearer
Freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Kelli Tennant (Temecula/Chaparral HS) lists former USC All-America middle blocker Jennifer Pahl (1998-2001) as her biggest sports hero. Tennant is wearing Pahl's number (26) as a tribute to her. Pahl grew up near Tennant in Murrieta, Calif.
Tennant has contributed in her 2005 freshman season, averaging 1.91 kills per game and 0.89 blocks per game.
I Am A Real American
Senior setter Nena Siljegovic (Simi Valley/Royal HS/Moorpark College) is in her first season as a starter after transferring to USC last year. Siljegovic has an 11.82 apg average this season. Her family defected from Serbia in 1998, spending one year in Austria before emigrating to the United States in 2000. Siljegovic and her entire family will officially become United States citizens next year.
A True Trojan Family
Freshman outside hitter Kathleen Gilmour (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) comes from a long line of Trojans - a list that far exceeds that of just former Trojan athletes. The Gilmours, including brothers J.T. and Marcus, who both played on the USC men's volleyball team, keep a detailed list of their own Trojan family history that includes 40 family members who have all attended USC. The lists dates back to Kathleen's great-great grandfather, Andrew Morrow ('23), and the first USC relative, her great-great uncle, Charles Morrow ('21).
Redshirt freshman Jessica Gysin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in July and will be out for the entire 2005 season...senior defensive specialist Jessica Mihm had surgery on her left elbow and is out for the rest of the season...redshirt freshman Kathleen Gilmour is listed as week-to-week due to a stress fracture in her right leg.
It's All Academic
Junior Alli Dillon (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson HS) was named to the 2005 Pac-10 All-Academic second team on Nov. 21 after earning a 3.73 grade-point-average. Dillon is majoring in occupational therapy.