USC Travels To Gainesville Regional; Plays St. John's On Friday
Dec. 3, 2007
2007 NCAA Women's Volleyball TournamentGainesville Regional - Gainesville, Florida
Friday, Dec. 7 (NCAA Regional Semifinal)No. 5 seed USC (27-4) vs. No. 12 seed St. John's (33-3) - 4:30 p.m.No. 4 seed Texas (26-3) vs. No. 13 seed Florida (29-2) - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8 (NCAA Regional Final)USC/St. John's winner vs. Texas/Florida winner - 4 p.m.(broadcast live on ESPNU)
All times local to game siteAll three matches will be broadcast free of charge on usctrojans.com
No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. kpg pct. dpg bpg ppg9 Taylor Carico So. S 5-11 1.10 .349 2.06 12.64 apg12 Diane Copenhagen Sr. OH 6-2 2.52 .248 2.90 0.27 2.775 Jessica Gysin Jr. OH 6-1 3.00 .220 2.20 0.49 3.4032 Zoe Garrett Fr. MB 6-3 1.82 .253 0.77 1.02 2.6210 Bethany Johansen Sr. MB/OPP 6-4 1.38 .365 0.39 1.07 2.017 Asia Kaczor Sr. OPP/OH 6-4 5.10 .302 2.24 0.68 5.833 Alli Hillgren So. L 5-8 --- --- 4.24 --- ---
The USC women's volleyball team (27-4) -- winners of six national championships -- will continue play in the 2007 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament this weekend at the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional. The No. 5 seed Trojans will face the No. 12 seed St. John's (33-3) in the first regional semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday (Dec. 7) with No. 4 seed Texas (26-3) playing host and No. 13 seed Florida (29-2) at 7 p.m. The winner of both matches will play in the regional final on Saturday (Dec. 8) at 4 p.m. Eastern for the right to advance to the NCAA Final Four in Sacramento.
Saturday's regional final match will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 1 p.m. Pacific.
USC in the Postseason
USC is making its 17th consecutive appearance and 25th overall in the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans hold a 55-20 overall record (.733) in NCAA play since 1981 with a 99-27 (.786) overall postseason record.
This is the first-ever meeting for USC in the postseason with St. John's. USC is 3-1 all-time in postseason play against Florida with the Trojans defeating the Gators, 3-1, in the 2003 national championship match for the last meeting between the two schools. USC is 1-0 all-time in the postseason against Texas with the only meeting taking place in 1976 in the AIAW Pool 1 with the Trojans winning, 2-0 (15-1, 15-6).
This is USC's third postseason appearance in the state of Florida and second in Gainesville. USC beat South Florida in a second-round match in 1996 (15-8, 15-5, 15-6) and lost to Florida at the 1998 East Regional (13-15, 15-12, 9-15, 9-15).
St. John's Notes
St. John's is 33-3 overall this season and advanced to the Gainesville Regional after recording a 3-0 win at home against Long Island last weekend (30-25, 30-25, 30-16) and 3-1 win over Delaware (23-30, 30-28, 31-29, 30-23). Head coach Joanne Persico-Smith is 292-163 in her 14th season at St. John's. The Red Storm are led by 6-2 senior middle/outside hitter Hui Ping Huang, who has 500 kills on the season (4.63 kpg) with 164 digs (1.52 dpg), 123 blocks (1.14 bpg) and 608.5 points (5.63 ppg). USC is 2-0 all-time against St. John's as the Trojans defeated the Red Storm earlier this season, 3-1 (30-28, 30-25, 22-30, 30-22), on Aug. 25 during the Trojan Invitational at the Galen Center.
Texas is 26-3 overall this season and advanced to the Gainesville Regional after recording 3-0 sweeps last weekend at home against Texas State (30-21, 30-20, 30-13) and LSU (30-21, 30-22, 30-23). Head coach Jerritt Elliott is 155-57 in his seventh season at Texas. The Longhorns are led by sophomore outside hitter Destinee Hooker, who had 412 kills this season (4.58 kpg) with 184 digs (2.04 dpg), 93 blocks (1.03 bpg) and 499.5 (5.55 ppg) and freshman outside hitter Juliann Faucette, who has 418 kills (4.54 kpg), 235 digs (2.55 dpg) and 477 points (5.18 ppg). USC is 4-2 all-time against Texas with the last meeting taking place on Sept. 1, 2000, with the Trojans earning a 3-0 sweep (15-6, 17-15, 15-4).
Florida is 29-2 overall this season and advanced to the Gainesville Regional by recording 3-0 sweeps at home over the College of Charleston (30-22, 30-28, 30-14) and Oklahoma (30-24, 30-24, 36-34). Head coach Mary Wise is 632-119 in her 17th season at Florida. The Gators are led by senior opposite Amber McCray, who has 328 kills this season (3.22 kpg) and 365.0 points (3.58 ppg) while senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth has 296 kills (2.90 kpg) with a .361 hitting percentage, 125 blocks (1.23 bpg) and 385.5 points (3.78 ppg). The Gators are without the services of leading kill and point leader Marcie Hampton, who was injured in the final regular season match against Long Beach State and will not play the remainder of the year. USC is 5-2 all-time against Florida. The Gators beat the Trojans in the last match between the two schools on Sept. 10, 2005, (23-30, 30-19, 30-27, 21-30, 15-12), at the UTSA Dome Rally in San Antonio, Texas.
USC hosted the first and second rounds of the 2007 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament and defeated Pepperdine, 3-0 (30-22, 30-23, 31-29), and No. 25 Long Beach State, 3-2 (28-30, 30-24, 30-25, 21-30, 15-11), to advance to the Gainesville Regional. Four players recorded double figures in kills against Pepperdine with senior Asia Kaczor using 19 kills for a .425 performance (19-2-40). Sophomore setter Taylor Carico had 45 assists with eight blocks while sophomore libero Alli Hillgren had 20 digs. The following night, the Trojans outlasted the 49ers as Kaczor recorded 34 kills and tied a career high with 17 digs. Carico delivered 60 assists with seven kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Freshman middle blocker Zoe Garrett had 12 kills and eight blocks while hitting .526 for the Trojans while junior outside hitter Jessica Gysin added 16 kills.
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.
USC mourned the loss of Lou Galen, who passed away on Nov. 12 at the age of 82.
The Power of the Pac-10
Six Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 10 in the 2007 CSTV/AVCA current poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 USC, No. 6 California, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Oregon and No. 10 Washington
Running With The Pac
USC finished third in the Pac-10 Conference with a 14-4 record. It is the 10th time in the last 12 years that USC has finished third or better in conference play.
Record Setter (And Hitter)
Asia Kaczor set several USC single-season records last weekend during the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament with all three records surpassing the ones she set last season. Kaczor currently has 587 kills (beating last year's 563 kills), 1,363 attempts (beating last year's 1,272 attempts) and 670.0 points (beating last year's 642.5 points).
Her 5.02 kills-per-game career average is currently a school record (Jennifer Kessy is second with a 4.33 kpg) as well as her 5.73 points-per-game career average (April Ross is second with a 4.53 ppg).
Sophomore setter Taylor Carico needs 62 assists to tie Janice Mounts' school record for most assists (1,490). Her 2,873 career assists place her fifth on USC's all-time list while her current 12.66 assists-per-game average puts her second behind Mounts (13.22 apg).
Do The Honors
On Oct. 29, senior Asia Kaczor was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week, along with being named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week as USC recorded wins at home over No. 9 Cal and No. 3 Stanford.
Against the Golden Bears, Kaczor had 24 kills and 17 digs to beat Cal, 3-2. In the 3-1 upset against No. 3 Stanford, Kaczor had a career-high 28 kills (7.00 kpg) and hit .328 for the match, adding five assists and 13 digs.
She became the fifth player in USC history to be named Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week and the first since Keao Burdine earned the honor on Nov. 17, 2003.
Kaczor's third Pac-10 honor of the season came on Nov. 19 after setting USC and Pac-10 records with 44 kills and 100 attempts in a five-game win against No. 5 Washington. She has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week five times during her career. Her most recent honor was the 42nd time that USC has received a Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.
We Must Protect This House!
After USC's 3-0 loss to Stanford on Oct. 12, 2006, the Trojans have won 25 straight matches at the Galen Center after the loss in the arena's debut.
A Perfect World
USC finished the 2007 season with a perfect 19-0 record at the Galen Center. It was the fifth time in school history that USC has gone undefeated at home with three of the previous four times taking place during national championship seasons (1977, 1980 and 2003).
In a five-game win over No. 5 Washington on Nov. 16 at the Galen Center, senior Asia Kaczor set USC and Pac-10 Conference match records with 44 kills and 100 attempts. Kaczor broke the previous conference mark of 43, held by UCLA's Natalie Williams against Hawai'i in 1991 and the school mark of 38, set by Jennifer (Kessy) Boss against San Diego on Dec. 6, 1997.
Her record-setting kill gave USC a 17-16 lead in game five before the Trojans clinched the match on the next point.
She hit .516 in game three of the Washington match by recording an amazing 18 kills in the game.
Pleading The Fifth
This season, USC is 7-0 in five-game matches with five of them played against Top 25 teams (No. 14 Duke on Aug. 31, at No. 20 Ohio State on Sept. 14, No. 9 California on Oct. 26, No. 5 Washington on Nov. 16 and No. 25 Long Beach State in an NCAA second round match on Dec. 1). The Trojans have rallied from an 0-2 deficit twice.
-- Seven opponents on USC's schedule this season are currently ranked in the Top 25: No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 California, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Oregon, No. 10 Washington, No. 13 St. John's and No. 25 Long Beach State.
-- Asia Kaczor is second in the Pac-10 Conference (as of Dec. 3) in points per game (5.83), second in kills (5.10) and tied for fourth in service aces (0.33 sapg).
-- Bethany Johansen is third in hitting percentage at .365 (148-29-326).
-- Taylor Carico is fifth in the Pac-10 with 12.64 assists per game.
-- Geena Urango is seventh in the Pac-10 with 0.32 service aces per game.
-- Alli Hillgren is sixth in the Pac-10 with 4.24 digs per game.
-- USC is second among Pac-10 Conference teams for digs (17.44 dpg).
-- USC has won 10 of its last 11 matches.
-- In USC's last 11 matches, Asia Kaczor has recorded 261 kills for a 6.21 kills-per-game average with a .321 hitting percentage and 292.5 points (6.96 ppg). Taylor Carico has 63 kills during the stretch (1.50 kpg) while hitting .400 (63-13-125) and 556 assists (13.24 apg).
-- USC has recorded 20 or more wins in 12 of the past 13 seasons and 25 wins in six of its last eight seasons.
-- USC is competing in an NCAA Regional for the seventh time in the past eight years.
-- Head coach Mick Haley has taken his respective squads to a regional 21 times out of 24 seasons. While at Texas, the Longhorns were at a regional 15 of 17 possible times (with national titles in 1981 and 1988) and six of seven times at USC (with national titles in 2002 and 2003).
-- With the Nov. 2 win against UCLA, Mick Haley recorded his 700th Division I win as a women's head coach. He also earned his 100th Pac-10 Conference win as the Trojans' head coach. With his win on Nov. 24 at Arizona State, Haley now has recorded 25 wins in a season a total of 17 times since 1982 while coaching at USC and Texas.
6-4 senior opposite/outside hitter Asia Kaczor (pronounced AH-shuh KA-chor) became USC's 28th All-American by earning AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-America second team honors after a dominating season last year.
She leads the team this season with a single-season school record 587 kills (5.10 kpg) and a school single-season record 670.0 points (5.83 ppg). She also has 42 service aces (0.33 sapg), 258 digs (2.24 dpg) and 78 blocks (0.68 bpg) and was named to the All-Pac-10 Conference Team for the second straight year.
Kaczor has posted over six kills a game in her 11 matches (6.21 kpg) and a 6.96 ppg average. Earlier this season, she became the first player in USC history to record 500 or more kills in a season twice.
She opened the season by being named to the all-tournament team for both the Trojan Invitational and the USC Classic. She tied a career-best with 27 kills on Aug. 31 against No. 14 Duke, adding 11 digs for her first double-double of the season. The following day, she hit .464 (15-2-28) against Mercer in her 15-kill performance.
She picked up Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors after being named tournament most valuable player at the Sports Imports Classic in Columbus, Ohio. She had a team-high 23 kills in a thrilling five-game win at No. 20 Ohio State with three aces and eight digs and followed that up with 16 kills and no errors (16-0-34) for a .471 performance against Purdue. Against the Boilermakers she also had nine digs and three block assists.
As USC opened the Pac-10 season this year, Kaczor posted 25 kills, 16 digs and six blocks in a 3-2 win on Sept. 21 against Arizona. At No. 10 Cal on Sept. 28, she had a team-high 19 kills with six digs and five blocks. Her team-high 20 kills aided a comeback from an 0-2 deficit for the five-game win on Oct. 2 against UC Irvine.
Against No. 19 Oregon on Oct. 12, she has 11 kills with 10 digs and three blocks in a 3-0 sweep of the Ducks. She recorded 23 kills and 13 digs in a 3-1 win on Oct. 18 at Washington State.
On Oct. 29, she was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week as well as being named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week after USC defeated No. 9 Cal, 3-2, and No. 3 Stanford, 3-1, at the Galen Center. She recorded 52 kills in two matches, including 28 kills against the Cardinal. She posted 17 digs against Cal and 13 digs against Stanford.
She had 21 kills and 10 digs on Nov. 2 in a 3-1 win against UCLA at the Galen Center. She recorded 25 kills in a four-game loss at No. 20 Oregon on Nov. 8 and tied a personal best with 31.5 points the following evening at Oregon State. Against the Beavers, she tied a school record with eight service aces as she registered 22 kills in the 3-0 sweep and hit .439 in the match (22-4-41).
Kaczor made history on Nov. 16 in a five-game win over No. 5 Washington, setting USC and Pac-10 match records with 44 kills and 100 attempts. She had 18 kills alone in game three while hitting .516 and finished the match with a .310 hitting clip (44-13-100).
She hit .545 (19-1-33) in a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 23 at Arizona. During NCAA Tournament play, she had 19 kills in a three-game sweep of Pepperdine and followed the next evening with 34 kills and tied a career best with 17 digs in a five-game win over No. 25 Long Beach State.
Last season, she earned All-Pac-10 honors after setting a school single-season record with 563 kills, surpassing the old record of 554 held by Jennifer Kessy in 1998. She finished with a 4.94 kills-per-game average and hit .300 on the season (563-181-1,272). In the process, she set school single-season records in addition for attempts (1,272), points (642.5) and tied the mark for points per game (5.64, tied with Bibiana Candelas in 2005).
Kaczor led the Pac-10 Conference in kills, kills per game, points and points per game, as well as tying for fourth in the Pac-10 for service aces per game and eighth in hitting percentage. She passed the previous single-season points record held by Bibiana Candelas (575.0 in 2005) on Nov. 25 against Oregon State. She had double-figure kills in 31 of 32 matches, along with three double-doubles (kills and digs) and recorded 20 or more kills in a match 11 times. Her numbers were just as impressive with a 5.20 kpg and 5.88 ppg average in Pac-10 matches, as well as a 5.19 kpg average and 5.67 ppg average in 14 matches last season against ranked opponents.
She 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, hitting .370 on the weekend, adding five digs and seven block assists. Her second most valuable player 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 also 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. On Sept. 21 at Oregon State, she hit .593 (18-2-27) with six digs, three service aces and three block assists and on Oct. 6 at Arizona State in a five-game win, she recorded season-highs with 27 kills and 31.5 points. She earned her second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on Nov. 13 after recording 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 recorded 26 kills and hit .500 against the Cardinal.
Sophomore setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) has built upon her success from last year after garnering All-Pacific Region Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year honors, as well as being named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. She recorded 1,445 assists for a 12.68 apg average to go with 123 kills (1.08 kpg), a .339 hitting percentage, 26 service aces (0.23 sapg), 255 digs (2.24 dpg) and 83 blocks (0.73 bpg) last season.
This season, she has an 12.64 apg average on 1,428 assists along with 233 digs (2.06 dpg) for the Trojans. She also has 124 kills (1.10) with a .349 hitting percentage and 57 blocks (0.50 bpg) and recently received All-Pac-10 Conference honors for the first time.
Her 1,428 assists for the season place her third on USC's single-season list. She is 17 away from tying her total of 1,445 assists last year for second place and 62 from tying the school record, held by Janice Mounts (1998).
On Nov. 8, Carico moved into seventh place on USC's all-time list for career assists, passing Sue Peters (1989-92) and on Nov. 24, she moved into fifth place after a 46-assist match at Arizona State to move past Monika Cavaliere (2,747) and Tracy Lindquist (2,766).
She earned all-tournament team honors at the 2007 Trojan Invitational and the USC Classic. On Aug. 31 against Duke, she recorded 68 assists in a thrilling five-game win over the Blue Devils.
She posted 63 assists with four kills in a 3-2 win on Sept. 14 at No. 20 Ohio State. Against Arizona on Sept. 21, she had 59 assists, three kills and 14 digs in the 3-2 victory. In a 3-1 win at No. 10 Cal on Sept. 28, she registered five kills to go with 52 assists, eight digs and three blocks.
On Oct. 2 in a 3-2 win against UC Irvine, she had six kills with 57 assists, three blocks and seven digs. She recorded five kills and five blocks in a 3-0 sweep of No. 19 Oregon on Oct. 12 at the Galen Center.
At Washington State on Oct. 18, Carico had six kills, adding 60 assists, seven blocks and four digs in a 3-1 win over the Cougars. She registered 10 kills while hitting .444 with 65 assists, six digs and three blocks on Oct. 26 in a 3-2 win over No. 9 Cal. She answered that the following night with nine kills (.533 hitting, 9-1-15) against No. 3 Stanford in a four-game victory with 56 assists and eight digs.
Against No. 9 UCLA on Nov. 2, she had seven kills with 52 assists and 14 digs in the 3-1 victory. She recorded career highs on Nov. 16 against No. 5 Washington with 13 kills and 69 assists. She did not record an error in the match, hitting .722 against the Huskies.
In this year's NCAA Tournament, she had 45 assists, eight digs and one ace in a 3-0 sweep against Pepperdine and 60 assists with seven kills, 10 digs, four blocks and one ace against No. 25 Long Beach State.
She finished second on USC's single-season list for total assists (most ever by a freshman) and sixth for assists per game average last season. On Sept. 2 against No. 24 Utah, she collected 62 assists, three kills, eight digs and two block assists. At No. 20 Pepperdine on Sept. 14, 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).
Carico 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. In the second round of the NCAA Tournament against No. 22 BYU, she had five kills (with no errors for a .714 hitting night) with 44 assists, three digs and four blocks.
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.
The Capital of Denmark
Senior outside hitter Diane Copenhagen (Saratoga/St. Francis HS) is a co-captain this season, coming off a junior year where she earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition in the process. She recorded 455 kills on the year with a .233 hitting percentage and led the team with 42 solo blocks.
Despite an abdominal injury which caused her to miss seven matches, Copenhagen played several matches in the back row before returning to her normal position.
This season, she has 209 kills with 241 digs (2.90 dpg) and 22 blocks. On Nov. 24, she recorded her 83rd career solo block which moved her into a tie for 10th place on USC's single-season list with Lonise Norfleet (1987-90) and a solo block on Dec. 1 against No. 25 Long Beach State moved her into 10th place by herself.
At the Trojan Invitational, she registered two double-doubles, including a 12-kill, 13-dig effort in a sweep of Loyola Marymount where she hit .393 (12-1-28). She recorded 21 kills and 11 digs against No. 14 Duke on Aug. 31 at the Galen Center.
On Sept. 7 at Utah, she led the Women of Troy with 19 kills and 14 digs, hitting .366 (19-4-41) in USC's 3-1 victory. She recorded two double-doubles at the Sports Imports Classic in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 14 and 15 with 18 kills and 15 digs against No. 20 Ohio State and 11 kills with 14 digs vs. Purdue.
With 13 kills and 12 digs on Sept. 21 against Arizona, Copenhagen recorded her 1,000th career kill. On Nov. 2 against UCLA, she had 14 digs. Another double-double came on Nov. 16 against No. 5 Washington, where she recorded 11 kills and a season-high 17 digs.
After 10 kills and 14 digs on Nov. 23 at Arizona, she registered 17 kills, the most since Sept. 21, and 10 digs at Arizona State. She recorded back-to-back double-doubles in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament with 11 kills and 17 digs in a three-game sweep of Pepperdine and 11 kills and a season-high 18 digs against No. 25 Long Beach State.
She recorded double figures in kills in 29 of 32 matches and had nine double-doubles (kills and digs) last year. Copenhagen 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 recorded 23 kills, one off her career best, on Sept. 2 in a 3-1 win against No. 24 Utah at the Lyon Center. She later added another all-tournament team selection at the Gamecock Invitational (Sept. 8-9) in Columbia, S.C. and 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.
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 had 30 kills in six games during the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Galen Center, leading the Women of Troy with a team-high 16 kills on Dec. 1 against BYU. In those two matches, she hit .393 against Ole Miss and .325 against BYU.
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.
It took two years before USC fans could witness the exploits of redshirt junior outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS). Hailed as one of the top high school players in 2004, Gysin battled injuries in her first two seasons. She sprained her ankle in 2004 and suffered a left knee injury in 2005.
She has 288 kills this season (3.00 kpg) with 211 digs (2.20 dpg) and has eight double-doubles.
On Aug. 25 against St. John's, she recorded a career-best 17 digs against the Red Storm and had 15 kills against No. 14 Duke on Aug. 31.
She recorded her third double-double of the season on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal with 14 kills and 16 digs. One of her best efforts came on Oct. 2 against UC Irvine when she posted a season-high 19 kills and a career-high 19 digs in the five-game win.
Gysin added another double-double on Oct. 5 at No. 5 UCLA with 11 kills and 15 digs. She had 16 kills and 15 digs on Oct. 18 at Washington State and followed with a 10-kill, 16-dig performance at No. 5 Washington. With USC's home wins on Oct. 26 and 27 against No. 9 Cal and No. 3 Stanford, Gysin had 18 and 16 kills, respectively.
In a second-round match last weekend against No. 25 Long Beach State, she had 16 kills and three blocks.
Last year, she finished third on the team with 342 kills (3.03 kpg) and 401 points (3.59 ppg). She was second on the team with 293 digs (2.59 dpg).
Bethany's Block Party
Senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Bethany Johansen (San Jose/UC Santa Barbara) led the Trojans in blocks last year after spending the first two years of her career at UC Santa Barbara. Johansen recorded 126 blocks for a 1.11 bpg average. She was fourth on the team with 220 kills for a 1.93 kpg average and her .286 hitting percentage on the season placed her eighth among Pac-10 Conference players.
This season, she has a 1.07 bpg average on a team-leading 115 blocks (20 solo, 95 assisted) and has a .365 hitting percentage. Her hitting percentage places her third in the Pac-10 Conference as of Dec. 1. She was named to the Trojan Invitational all-tournament team.
Four times this season, she has registered 10 kills in a match and had seven blocks against St. John's (Aug. 25). At No. 20 Ohio State on Sept. 14, she had nine kills, six block assists and four digs.
She recorded six block assists on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal in USC's 3-1 victory. On Oct. 5 at No. 5 UCLA, she had 10 kills and hit .714 (10-0-14) with six blocks. She had seven blocks (one solo, six assisted) against No. 19 Oregon on Oct. 12 at the Galen Center. On Oct. 27 against No. 3 Stanford, she hit .636 (7-0-11) in a 3-1 win over the Cardinal.
On Nov. 30 in an NCAA first-round match against Pepperdine, she had 10 kills and hit .450 (10-1-20) in the three-game sweep over the Waves.
She recorded double figures in kills eight times during the 2006 season. On Sept. 1 against Fresno State, she had eight blocks (one solo, seven assists) against Fresno State. She registered a season-high 12 kills while hitting .478 (12-1-23) and adding eight blocks (four solo, four assists).
She had 10 kills without recording an error for a .526 performance (10-0-19) on Sept. 21 at Oregon State and on the following evening at Oregon, registered a career-high 13 blocks (three solo, 10 assists) and 11 kills.
King Of The Hill
Sophomore Alli Hillgren (Rancho Santa Fe/Francis Parker HS) is USC's starting libero this season, replacing two-time All-American Debora Seilhamer, who set the USC and Pac-10 Conference career mark for digs. As a defensive specialist in her 2006 freshman season, Hillgren played in 24 matches. She recorded four service aces (0.11 sapg) and 18 digs (0.47 dpg) overall and registered a season-high five digs on Aug. 25, 2006, against North Texas.
This season, she has 437 digs for a 4.24 dpg average and in her past 11 matches, Hillgren has posted a 5.93 digs-per-game average. She is ranked sixth in the Pac-10 Conference as of Dec. 3 for digs per game.
On Oct. 2 against UC Irvine, she recorded 24 digs in the five-game win against the Anteaters and had a 7.00 dpg average with 21 digs on Oct. 12 in a 3-0 sweep over No. 19 Oregon.
She had a career-high 36 digs (7.20 dpg) on Oct. 26 against No. 9 Cal and followed it with 26 digs (6.50 dpg) against No. 3 Stanford. She had 31 digs in a four-game win against No. 9 UCLA on Nov. 2 at the Galen Center. Against No. 5 Washington on Nov. 16, she posted 26 digs in the five-game victory.
Against Pepperdine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, she had 20 digs in a three-game sweep.
Freshman Geena Urango (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) started as a libero this season, but has seen action recently as an outside hitter and received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors.
Urango has 109 kills (0.98 kpg) and 322 digs (2.90 dpg) for the Trojans.
With 36 service aces this season, her 0.32 sapg average places her seventh in the Pac-10 Conference as of Dec. 1. She has recorded four aces in a match twice this season (Sept. 1 vs. Mercer and Sept. 15 vs. Purdue).
She recorded 21 digs on Sept. 7 at Utah in a four-game victory and posted a season-high 31 digs in a five-game win on Sept. 14 at No. 20 Ohio State. She had three aces and 10 digs on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal.
On Oct. 11 against Oregon State, she tallied a season-high 10 kills, hitting .304 in the match and adding nine digs. She posted nine kills in back-to-back matches on Oct. 18 at Washington State and Oct. 19 at No. 5 Washington, recording 19 digs against the Cougars and 10 digs against the Huskies.
She recorded a season-high 21 kills, taking 47 swings against No. 9 Cal in a 3-2 win on Oct. 26 at the Galen Center. Urango posted her first collegiate double-double on Nov. 2 against No. 9 UCLA with 17 kills and 12 digs in the 3-1 victory.
It's Greek To Me
Freshman middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS), whose first name is derived from a Greek word meaning 'life', is making an immediate impact this season for the Women of Troy.
Garrett has 193 kills (1.82 kpg) on the season with 108 blocks (1.02 bpg) and received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors.
On Aug. 25 against St. John's, she had 13 kills and hit .591 in the match (13-0-22).
At the Sports Imports Classic in Columbus, Ohio, she hit .538 (7-0-13) against No. 20 Ohio State with two assists, three digs and two block assists and .500 (8-1-14) against Purdue with two digs and two block assists.
Despite the team's 3-0 loss at No. 2 Stanford on Sept. 27, she hit .500 with seven kills (7-0-14) and followed up with six kills, three blocks and a service ace on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal. On Oct. 2 against UC Irvine, she had 11 kills with two blocks and two digs.
She posted six blocks, including three solos, against Oregon State in a 3-0 sweep on Oct. 11 at the Galen Center. A 10-kill performance came on Oct. 18 at Washington State where she also registered nine blocks (one solo, eight assisted).
Garrett had six blocks in back-to-back wins against No. 5 Washington and Washington State on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Galen Center. She recorded six block assists and one solo block on Nov. 23 at Arizona.
In the Trojans' five-game win on Dec. 1 against No. 25 Long Beach State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, she had 12 kills with five assists, eight blocks and three digs while hitting .526 in the match (12-2-19).
You're Like Butter...'Cause You're On A Roll
Freshman outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS) had her coming-out party on Sept. 1 as she led the Trojans to a 3-0 sweep of Mercer with her first collegiate double-double (17 kills and 14 digs).
She missed six matches from Oct. 18-Nov. 8 with a foot injury and saw limited action on Nov. 9 at Oregon State.
She has 194 kills this season (2.81 kpg) with 118 digs (1.71 dpg) and 40 blocks (0.58 bpg).
On Sept. 15 against Purdue at the Sports Imports Classic, she had 13 kills and 10 digs in the 3-0 sweep of the Boilermakers.
In her first career Pac-10 match, Roleder had a season-high 18 kills and hit .469 (18-3-32) in a 3-0 sweep of Arizona State. She hit .316 on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal, recording 18 kills with seven digs and two solo blocks.
She had 13 kills, 11 digs and four blocks on Oct. 5 at No. 5 UCLA.
Roleder was a member of the 2007 U.S. Junior National Team that finished fourth at the Junior World Championship. She was the fifth-best spiker, recording 60 kills and a .389 hitting percentage and finished seventh overall among all players in scoring with 76 points.
Bishop Takes Rook
Senior middle blocker Katelyn Bishop (Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute South HS) has been a steady player for USC during her career, averaging almost a block a game in her sophomore and junior seasons.
This year, Bishop has 57 kills (1.02 kpg) and 27 blocks (0.48 bpg) for the Women of Troy.
Setting Out To (Chel)Sea
Sophomore defensive specialist/setter Chelsea Wilson is seeing more action this season as a setter and has 90 assists overall.
She had a career-best 19 assists on Sept. 1 against Mercer.
Her father, Doug, is executive vice president and general manager for the NHL's San Jose Sharks.
All-Time Great Night
With the debut of the Galen Center, the USC women's volleyball program honored two former players this season. Paula Weishoff was honored on Thursday (Oct. 11) during the Oregon State match while Debbie Green was honored on Saturday (Nov. 17) against Washington State. A banner for each player will be permanently displayed at Galen Center.
Weishoff, who was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1998 and considered as one of the sport's top middle blockers, was a three-time Olympian and named most valuable player at the 1992 Olympics. After playing for USC in 1980, she was a 16-year member of the U.S. National Team and later served as an assistant coach at USC for seven years before her current position as head coach at Concordia University in Irvine.
Green, who was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1995 and considered as one of the sport's top setters, was a member of USC's first two national championship squads in 1976 and 1977. She was also named to the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2004 and was a two-time Olympian (1980 and 1984). She is serving as an assistant coach at Long Beach State for the women's volleyball program.
Serving The Nation
Sophomore Taylor Carico and freshmen Zoe Garrett and Kimmee Roleder played for the 2007 U.S. Junior National Team as the squad finished fourth at the Junior World Championship in Thailand. Garrett finished second in blocking overall among all players while Roleder finished fifth in spiking and seventh with 78 points.