Win Or Go Home: USC Begins NCAA Tournament Play On Thursday

Nov. 28, 2006

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The Facts
The USC women's volleyball team (25-4) -- winners of six national championships -- will host first and second round action of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, Thursday and Friday (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), at Galen Center. BYU (24-5) and UC Santa Barbara (19-11) will play on Thursday at 5 p.m., followed by USC against Ole Miss (19-12) at 7 p.m. The winners for both matches will play a second round contest on Friday at 7 p.m. All three matches will be broadcast live via video webcast, along with Gametracker live stats, on usctrojans.com.

USC In The Postseason
USC is making its 29th postseason appearance, along with its 16th consecutive showing in the NCAA Tournament. The Women of Troy have won six national championships (1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 2002 and 2003). Last season, Pepperdine eliminated USC in the second round at the Lyon Center after the Women of Troy beat UC Santa Barbara in a first-round match.

Week In Review
USC closed out the regular season with two wins against Oregon and Oregon State at Galen Center.

In the 3-1 win against the Ducks, Debora Seilhamer set a new school record for most digs in a four-game match with 41, breaking her previous mark of 39 set last season against Notre Dame. Asia Kaczor led with a team-high 22 kills while Jessica Gysin had a double-double with 17 kills and 14 digs.

All 14 players on the USC roster played against Oregon State, the final regular season match for Seilhamer and three other seniors (Alli Dillon, Kimi Freeburg and Annie Montgomery).

Seilhamer served USC to a 12-0 lead in game two against the Beavers. Kelli Tennant had a season-high 10 kills and hit .444 for the match.

Ole Miss Notes
Ole Miss is 19-12 on the season, finishing fifth in the Southeastern Conference with a 10-10 record. The Rebels are making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Joe Getzin is in his fifth season at Ole Miss. Senior outside hitter Jaclyn Toohey leads the Rebels with 415 kills for a 4.07 kpg average while Kristen Carroll has 310 kills (2.74 kpg) and 255 digs (2.26 dpg). USC is 2-0 all-time against Ole Miss with both meetings coming in the 1977 and 1978 AIAW Tournaments.

BYU Notes
BYU is 24-5 on the season, finishing second in the Mountain West Conference with a 13-3 record. Head coach Jason Watson is 49-9 in his second season at BYU. Junior outside hitter Chelsea Goodman leads the Cougars with 418 kills (4.45 kpg) and 298 digs (3.17 dpg). USC is 9-5 all-time against BYU and 4-1 in postseason play. The Cougars won the last postseason meeting against the Women of Troy at the 1992 NCAA Regional Semifinal.

UC Santa Barbara Notes
UC Santa Barbara is 19-11 on the season, finishing third in the Big West Conference with an 8-6 record. Head coach Kathy Gregory is 784-327 in his 32nd season at UC Santa Barbara. Senior outside hitter Jamie Garbisch leads the Gauchos with 438 kills (3.98 kpg) and 307 digs (2.79 dpg). UCSB libero Emily Hendrickson has 581 digs for a 5.28 dpg average.

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.

Grand Victory
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.

Statapalooza
-- USC has not lost a first-round match in the NCAA Tournament since 1989 against Stanford (15 appearances since 1989).
-- This is the fifth straight year that USC has hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
-- The Nov. 3 win against Arizona was the 20th this season, making it the 10th time in the last 11 years that the Women of Troy have recorded 20 or more wins in a season.
-- Taylor Carico's current 12.71 apg average is the highest by a USC setter since Janice Mounts' 15.05 apg mark in 1998.
-- For the 2006 season, USC played 11 opponents that reached the NCAA Tournament. Along with six Pac-10 teams, USC defeated all five nonconference opponents: St. John's (30-4), Utah (27-3), Purdue (21-10), Pepperdine (16-11) and Tennessee (19-11).
-- USC is 8-4 this season against ranked opponents.
-- In her 12 matches this season against ranked opponents, junior opposite hitter/outside hitter Asia Kaczor has 238 (5.29 kpg) while hitting .286 with 87 digs (1.93 dpg) and 23 blocks (0.51 bpg).
-- In her 12 matches this season against ranked opponents, freshman setter Taylor Carico has 50 kills (1.11 kpg) while hitting .273 with 586 assists (13.02 apg) and 101 digs (2.24 dpg).
-- In her 12 matches this season against ranked opponents, senior libero Debora Seilhamer has 278 digs for a 6.18 dpg average.
-- USC was picked to finish fifth in the 2006 coaches' preseason poll behind Stanford, UCLA, Washington and California.
-- Six teams in the Pac-10 Conference (USC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Oregon and California) had a combined record of 64-2 in nonconference play this season.
-- 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.
-- USC's 3-0 win on Nov. 10 at No. 2 Stanford was the first time in three seasons that the Cardinal has been swept at their home facility. The Women of Troy was the last team to accomplish the feat with a win on Oct. 17, 2003.
-- 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.

Pac-10 Conference Awards
Taylor Carico was named Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year while Asia Kaczor and Debora Seilhamer were named All-Pac-10. Diane Copenhagen and Jessica Gysin received honorable mention recognition.

USC Finishes Fourth In Pac-10
The Women of Troy recorded a 14-4 mark to finish fourth in the Pac-10 Conference standings this season. USC has not finished lower than fourth place since the 1986 season (10th).

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. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 USC and No. 15 California.

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.

Polish Power
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 511 kills and a 4.96 kpg average and was named to the Pac-10 All-Conference Team. She leads the Pac-10 Conference in kills as well as points per game (5.63), along with being sixth in service aces (0.29 sapg) and seventh in hitting percentage (.307). She has double-figure kills in 28 of 29 matches this season, along with three double-doubles (kills and digs). She has recorded 20 or more kills in a match 10 times this season. Her numbers are just as impressive with a 5.20 kpg and 5.88 ppg average in Pac-10 matches this season, as well as a 5.29 kpg average and 5.72 ppg average in 12 matches this season against ranked opponents.

Her 511 kills place her second on USC's single-season list, behind Jennifer Kessy (554 in 1998). Her total of 580.0 points this season is a school record since the points system was instituted in 2001. She passed the previous record held by Bibiana Candelas (575.0 in 2005) on Nov. 25 against Oregon State.

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. She followed that performance with a team-high 23 against No. 4 UCLA in a 3-1 loss on Oct. 20 at the Lyon Center.

In back-to-back matches on Nov. 3 and 4 at Galen Center, she had 44 kills against Arizona and Arizona State (6.29 kpg) while hitting .430, along with 17 digs.

She earned her second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on Nov. 13 after recorded 49 kills for an amazing 8.17 kpg average in two 3-0 sweeps on the road at No. 2 Stanford and No. 12 California. She had 26 kills and hit .500 against the Cardinal. At No. 6 UCLA on Nov. 17, she led the Women of Troy with 18 kills.

'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 2,009 digs and a 5.11 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 659 digs for a 6.40 dpg mark, which is second-best in the Pac-10. On Nov. 27, she earned her second All-Pac-10 honor. Her 659 digs gives her the school's top three season records for most digs (696 in 2005 and 571 in 2004).

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.

She recorded 28 digs in back-to-back matches in a 3-1 loss at No. 5 Washington on Oct. 26 and 3-0 sweep at Washington State on Oct. 27. Her 18 digs on Nov. 10 at No. 2 Stanford gave her over 1,900 career digs.

On Nov. 24 against Oregon, she recorded 41 digs in a four-game win to set a new school record. She followed that performance with 23 against Oregon State and passed the 2,000 career dig mark against the Beavers.

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 408 kills and a 3.96 kpg average. She has 252 digs (2.45 dpg) and leads the team with 38 solo blocks and received All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition.

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 25 of USC's 27 matches and has nine 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. On Oct. 26 at No. 5 Washington, she led the Women of Troy with 20 kills and had 14 kills and 12 digs the following night in a 3-0 sweep at Washington State.

Her eighth double-double of the season came on Nov. 10 in a 3-0 sweep at No. 2 Stanford as she had 14 kills with 14 digs, hitting .306 in the match.

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.

Taylor Made
Freshman setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) has held the reins since day one as the team's No. 1 setter and played well enough to be named Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, along with being named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. She has 1,309 assists (12.71 apg) this season with 108 kills (1.05 kpg), 232 digs (2.25 dpg) and 72 blocks (0.70 bpg). She has recorded the most assists by a freshman at USC and is sixth on USC's single-season list for most season assists.

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. She had 58 assists and seven digs in a 3-1 loss to No. 4 UCLA on Oct. 20 at the Lyon Center.

On Nov. 4 against Arizona State, she had a season-high eight kills (.500 hitting night) with 47 assists and 10 digs in the 3-0 sweep of the Sun Devils.

In a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 10 at No. 2 Stanford, Carico had 47 assists with four kills, 10 digs and five block assists.

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.

Family Gysin
It has taken two years, but USC fans finally get 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 309 kills and a 3.03 kpg average, receiving All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition. She also has 262 digs (2.57 dpg) and has recorded nine 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 and recorded 13 kills and 16 digs in the second match against the Huskies on Oct. 26 in Seattle.

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.

She had 17 kills and 14 digs in a 3-1 win against Oregon on Nov. 24 at Galen Center.

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. She leads the team with 116 blocks (19 solo and 97 assists for a 1.16 bpg average).

As of Nov. 27, Johansen is tied for ninth in the Pac-10 Conference for hitting percentage (.287) and 10th 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.

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 64 kills (1.08 kpg) and 58 blocks (0.98). In a 3-1 win over No. 7 California on Oct. 13, she had a career-high four service aces and had eight kills against No. 4 UCLA on Oct. 20. In the regular season finale against Oregon State, she recorded a season-high 10 kills and hit .444 in the match.

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.

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 71 total blocks for a 0.97 bpg average to go with 61 digs (0.84 dpg).

Team Co-Captains
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.

Famous Dads
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.

Injury Report
Senior Annie Montgomery has been sidelined for the entire season with a lower back injury, although she did serve a couple of points on Senior Day in USC's 3-0 sweep on Nov. 25 against Oregon State.

Class of 2007
The USC women's volleyball program signed four top high school players for the 2007 season. The players are 6-3 middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS), 6-2 outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS), 5-10 outside hitter/libero Geena Urango (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) and 6-4 middle blocker Lauren Williams (Houston, Texas/Stratford HS).

'This gives us a great set of players to back us up and provide depth for the 2007 season,' said USC head coach Mick Haley. 'I think each one of these players can challenge for playing time immediately. We now add a quality left side hitter, two solid middle/right side players who can fill the blocking and attacking spots and a wonderful playmaker.'

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