No. 5 USC Ends Lyon Center Run On Friday Against No. 4 UCLA
Oct. 17, 2006
The No. 5 USC women's volleyball team (18-1, 7-1) -- winners of six national championships -- hosts No. 4 UCLA (20-1, 7-1) in a Pac-10 Conference match for first place on Friday (Oct. 20) at 7 p.m. at the Lyon Center. Friday's match will be broadcast live via video webcast on usctrojans.com. Friday's winner also receives five points for its respective school for the Lexus Gauntlet standings, the annual competition between USC and UCLA.
Week In Review
No. 6 Stanford spoiled USC's perfect record and Galen Center debut last Thursday with a 3-0 sweep. Cynthia Barboza led four Cardinal players in double figures with 18 kills on the night while Asia Kaczor had 15 kills for USC in front of the crowd of 5,000.
The Women of Troy responded the following night with a 3-1 victory over No. 7 California. Kaczor led again with 24 kills while Diane Copenhagen had 19 kills. Freshman setter Taylor Carico had 51 assists and 13 digs for the Women of Troy.
No. 4 UCLA Notes
UCLA is 20-1 on the season and 7-1 in Pac-10 play after a 3-0 sweep against No. 7 Cal and a 3-2 loss to No. 6 Stanford last weekend at home. Head coach Andy Banachowski is 1,024-267 in his 40th season at UCLA. Middle blocker Nana Meriwether leads the Pac-10 Conference in hitting percentage (.486) and blocks (1.72 bpg). USC leads the all-time series with UCLA by a 47-39 margin. The Women of Troy have won 11 straight against the Bruins, dating back to the 2000 season.
Court of Dreams
The dream finally became reality on Oct. 12, 2006 as the brand-new Galen Center made its debut. The 10,258-seat arena is located 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 $50 million towards the project that will house the USC men's and women's volleyball and basketball programs.
Due to a scheduling conflict, the Oct. 20 match against UCLA will be played at the Lyon Center. It will be USC's final match at the on-campus facility with the completion of Galen Center.
On Nov. 25, 2005, USC head coach Mick Haley recorded his 1,000th collegiate win in the Women of Troy's 3-0 win against California. He earned his 900th win as a women's coach on Nov. 4, 2005, at Oregon State. His 29-year career includes seven years (combined men's and women's) 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.
-- Taylor Carico's current 12.32 apg average is the highest by a USC setter since Janice Mounts' 15.05 apg mark in 1998.
-- Eight nonconference opponents that USC defeated this season now have a combined 116-45 record including three Top 25 teams: No. 10 Utah (17-2), No. 14 Purdue (15-4) and No. 25 Tennessee (15-5). St. John's is 21-1 with its only loss to USC.
-- USC is 6-1 this season against ranked opponents.
-- In her seven matches this season against ranked opponents, junior opposite hitter/outside hitter Asia Kaczor has 136 kills (4.86) while hitting .300 with 60 digs (2.14 dpg) and 15 blocks (0.54 bpg).
-- In her seven matches this season against ranked opponents, freshman setter Taylor Carico has 38 kills (1.36 kpg) while hitting .361 with 353 assists (12.61 apg) and 66 digs (2.36 dpg).
-- USC was picked to finish fifth in the 2006 coaches' preseason poll behind Stanford, UCLA, Washington and California.
-- USC has won the Pac-10 Conference title six times, including the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
-- Six teams in the Pac-10 Conference (USC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Oregon and California) have a combined 96-14 record.
-- In the month of September, USC beat two undefeated teams with 9-0 records. The Women of Troy defeated St. John's on Sept. 9 in Columbia, S.C. and beat No. 14 Purdue on Sept. 15 at the Lyon Center.
-- Eight former Women of Troy players made at least one appearance this season on the AVP Tour. Jennifer (Kessy) Boss had the most success with several Final Four appearances while Keao Burdine and April Ross teamed up for a successful rookie campaign. Burdine and Ross finished ninth at the Sacramento Open and earned a seed at latter tour stops.
The Call for the Hall
Two members of the USC women's volleyball program will be inducted on Dec. 13 into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame in Omaha, Neb. Current USC head coach Mick Haley and former All-America player Sue Woodstra join former All-American and current Long Beach State women's assistant Debbie Green and former head coach Lisa Love in the AVCA Hall of Fame. Woodstra was a 1977 All-American at USC, leading the Women of Troy to the AIAW Championship. Currently, she is the head coach at Humboldt State.
The Power of the Pac-10
Five Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 25 in the 2006 CSTV/AVCA current poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 USC, No. 6 Washington and No. 8 California.
6-4 junior opposite/outside hitter Asia Kaczor (pronounced AH-shuh KA-chor) has been one of USC's top players this season. The native of Wroclaw, Poland, was the 2005 NJCAA Player of the Year at the College of Southern Idaho last year after leading the team with 605 kills on the season (4.96 kpg) and a .456 percentage. She recorded 89 service aces (0.73 apg), 25 assists, 62 blocks (0.51 bpg) and 307 digs (2.52 dpg). Kaczor has been a member of the Polish National Team program since 2000.
This season, Kaczor leads the Women of Troy with 317 kills and a 4.59 kpg average. She is second in the Pac-10 Conference in kills, third in points per game (5.30) and tied for eighth in service aces (0.32 sapg). She has double-figure kills in 18 of 19 matches this season, along with three double-doubles (kills and digs).
Kaczor earned most valuable player honors at the 2006 CenturyTel Premier Tournament in San Marcos, Texas, after recording 42 kills (15, 14 and 13 kills respectively) in three matches. She hit .370 on the weekend, adding five digs and seven block assists. Her second MVP award came at the Gamecock Invitational (Sept. 8-9) in Columbia, S.C., after she had 43 kills (4.78 kpg) in three matches. She led the Women of Troy in kills in the 3-0 sweeps against Florida State and South Carolina, hitting .385 for the weekend with six service aces, 12 digs and seven block assists.
After recording 37 kills in two matches against No. 20 Pepperdine (Sept. 14) and No. 14 Purdue (Sept. 15), Kaczor earned her first-ever Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors. She hit .351 in the two matches, adding 29 digs for a 3.22 dpg average with three service aces and four block assists. Against Purdue at the Lyon Center, she tallied team-highs with 21 kills and 17 digs in the 3-1 victory.
She ripped 24 kills in USC's 3-1 win over No. 11 Tennessee on Sept. 3 at the Lyon Center. On Sept. 21 at Oregon State, she hit .593 (18-2-27) with six digs, three service aces and three block assists.
On Oct. 6 at Arizona State in a five-game win, she recorded season-highs with 27 kills and 31.5 points (as of Oct. 9, both marks are the highest so far of any player in the Pac-10 Conference this season). Against No. 7 California on Oct. 13 at Galen Center, she had a team-high 24 kills and hit .302 on the evening.
'Seil' The Deal
Senior libero Debora Seilhamer (Ponce, Puerto Rico/ Colegio Ponceño) has established herself as one of the top liberos in the nation. Seilhamer earned All-America second team status and All-Pac-10 honors last season after posting a school record 696 digs and 6.82 dpg average, surpassing both records she had set in her 2004 sophomore season.
She holds two school career records with 1,764 digs and a 4.91 dpg average (Katie Haller, 1990-93, is second with a 4.01 average) She passed Haller for the overall digs record on Oct. 6 at Arizona State with her 18th dig on the evening and finished with 28 for the match. Seilhamer is third all-time in the Pac-10 Conference behind UCLA's Chrissie Zartman (2,064) and Washington's Candace Lee (2,038).
This season, she has 414 digs for a 6.00 dpg mark, which is second-best in the Pac-10.
During the first weekend's opening matches in San Marcos, Texas, Seilhamer posted 67 digs for a 7.44 dpg clip. On Sept. 8, she had an impressive streak of 54 straight matches with double figure digs snapped at South Carolina. At the Gamecock Invitational (Sept. 8-9), she was named most outstanding libero.
On Sept. 21 in a 3-0 sweep at Oregon State, she had 24 digs in three games, followed by a 39-dig effort in a five-game win on Sept. 22 at Oregon. She posted 36 digs (9.00 dpg) in a 3-1 win against No. 4 Washington on Sept. 29 at the Lyon Center.
Seilhamer holds the school records for most digs in a three-game, four-game and five-game match. Her three-game record came on Dec. 3, 2005, with 30 against Pepperdine in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. She set a school record for most digs in a four-game match with 39 on Nov. 19, 2005, at Arizona State, surpassing a record she tied earlier in the season (Sept. 9 against Notre Dame) with 36.
Last year, 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 (which she later surpassed). She also recorded her 1,000th career dig in the match. 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, 2005, 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.
Seilhamer earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention in 2004 and set a USC record (and five-game record) with 45 digs in the match on Nov. 12 against UCLA.
The Capital of Denmark
Junior outside hitter Diane Copenhagen (Saratoga/St. Francis HS) opened the season with 34 kills and 23 digs in three matches to earn all-tournament team honors at the CenturyTel Premier Tournament in San Marcos, Texas.
She is second on the team this season with 274 kills and a 3.97 kpg average. She has 162 digs (2.35 dpg) and leads the team with 25 solo blocks.
Copenhagen had 23 kills, one off her career best, on Sept. 2 in a 3-1 win against No. 24 Utah at the Lyon Center. She added another all-tournament team selection at the Gamecock Invitational (Sept. 8-9) in Columbia, S.C. She also had 34 kills in two matches (Sept. 28-29) against Washington State and No. 4 Washington with a 16 kill, 15 dig performance against the Huskies.
This season, she has recorded double figures in kills in 17 of USC's 19 matches and has five double-doubles (kills and digs).
She had 18 kills and 17 digs on Oct. 6 in a five-game win at Arizona State, followed by a team-high 17 digs in a 3-0 sweep the next night at Arizona.
She was third on the team last year with a 3.85 ppg average, along with 314 kills (3.27 kpg). She set a career-high with 24 kills in a five-game loss to No. 6 Florida on Sept. 10, 2005, 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 as Team USA finished in a tie for 11th place.
Freshman setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) has held the reins since day one as the team's No. 1 setter and improved with every match. She has 850 assists (12.32 apg) this season with 71 kills (1.03 kpg), 161 digs (2.33 dpg) and 49 blocks (0.71 bpg).
On Sept. 2 against No. 24 Utah, she collected 62 assists, three kills, eight digs and two block assists. On Sept. 14 at No. 20 Pepperdine, Carico came up big for the Women of Troy in a pressure-filled, five-game victory over the host Waves with two block assists and two kills.
Against No. 4 Washington on Sept. 29, she had 51 assists in the four-game victory with six kills (no errors for a .400 night), 11 digs, two service aces and two blocks (one solo, one assist).
She recorded a season-high 67 assists and 20 digs in a five-game win on Oct. 6 at Arizona State.
Carico won the 2005 Andi Collins Award as the nation's top senior high school setter according to PrepVolleyball.com. She was named CIF Co-Player of the Year and state most valuable player in her senior season.
On the club level, she won most valuable player honors for the 18 Open Division this summer at the Junior Olympics and was a member of the 2004 and 2005 Youth National Team.
It has taken two years, but USC fans finally get a chance to see the exploits of redshirt sophomore outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS). Hailed as one of the top high school players in 2004, Gysin has battled injuries in her first two seasons. She sprained her ankle in 2004 and suffered a left knee injury in 2005.
She is third on the team with 208 kills and a 3.01 kpg average. She also has 170 digs (2.46 dpg) and has recorded six double-doubles for kills and digs this season, including 11 kills and 10 digs on Sept. 3 against No. 11 Tennessee and a 14 kill, 13 dig match on Sept. 15 against No. 14 Purdue.
On Sept. 29 against No. 4 Washington, Gysin had a career-high 20 kills (20-6-48, .292) with five digs and one solo block.
Gysin started out of the blocks in fine fashion with 13 kills, seven digs and two solo blocks in USC's 3-0 win on Aug. 26 at Texas State. After leading USC with a team-high 14 kills on Sept. 9 against St. John's with a .406 hitting performance, she earned all-tournament team honors at the Gamecock Invitational.
Bethany's Block Party
Junior middle blocker/opposite hitter transfer Bethany Johansen (San Jose/UC Santa Barbara) added an experienced player to USC's lineup this season and she has steadily improved at the season has progressed. She has a .319 hitting percentage (151-40-348) and 83 total blocks (1.34 bpg).
As of Oct. 16, Johansen is sixth in the Pac-10 Conference for hitting percentage and ninth in blocking.
On Sept. 3 against No. 11 Tennessee, she had a season-high 11 kills and added three block assists in USC's 3-1 victory. Against Fresno State on Sept. 1, she recorded a then career-high eight blocks against the Bulldogs (1 solo, seven assists). She had another eight-block performance (four solo, four assists) on Sept. 15 against No. 14 Purdue.
At Oregon State on Sept. 21, she hit .526 (10-0-19) and responded the next evening at Oregon with a career-high 13 blocks (three solo, 10 assists) and 11 kills.
Last season with the Gauchos, she led the team with a .375 hitting percentage, posting 137 kills (1.40 kpg) with 66 blocks (0.67 bpg) and 24 digs (0.24). She was named to the 2005 Big West Conference All-Academic team.
Bishop in the Middle
Junior middle blocker Katelyn Bishop (Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute South HS) is another key player in the middle for the Women of Troy. She led the team last year with a 0.97 blocks-per-game average.
This season, she has 46 total blocks for a 0.94 bpg average to go with 46 digs (0.94 dpg).
The Pahl Bearer
Sophomore 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.
This season, she has 30 kills (0.83 kpg) and 34 blocks (0.94). In a 3-1 win over No. 7 California on Oct. 13, she had a career-high four service aces.
Tennant earned 2005 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors after recording 188 kills (1.84 kpg) and 84 blocks (0.82 bpg). She finished fourth on the squad with a 2.52 ppg average.
For the 2006 season, seniors Alli Dillon (Long Beach/Wilson HS) and Kimi Freeburg (New Castle, Ind./New Castle Chrysler HS) will serve as team co-captains. Both Dillon and Freeburg are setters with Dillon getting additional play as a defensive specialist. Dillon played in 87 matches during her first three seasons (she transferred to USC after her 2003 freshman season at San Jose State) while Freeburg appeared in 78 matches for the Women of Troy.
Two USC players this season have fathers with high-profile careers. Senior Annie Montgomery's dad, Mike, is the former head coach for the NBA's Golden State Warriors and longtime head coach at Stanford while freshman Chelsea Wilson's dad, Doug, is executive vice president and general manager for the NHL's San Jose Sharks.