No. 12 USC Opens NCAA Tournament Play Against No. 15 San Diego

Dec. 1, 2008

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2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball TournamentFirst and Second Rounds - Galen Center

Friday, December 5 - NCAA First RoundNo. 6 Hawai'i (28-3) vs. Belmont (25-7) - 5 p.m.No. 15 San Diego (23-4) vs. No. 12 USC (16-11) - 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 6 - NCAA Second RoundHawai'i-Belmont winner vs. San Diego-USC winner - 6 p.m.

All three matches will be broadcast live on usctrojans.comAll times local to game site

USC Probable StartersNo. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. kps pct. dps bps pps9 Taylor Carico Jr. S 5-11 0.79 .290 1.99 10.35 aps5 Jessica Gysin RJr. OH 6-1 3.15 .202 2.29 0.47 3.6532 Zoe Garrett So. MB 6-3 1.67 .299 0.61 0.86 2.373 Alli Hillgren Jr. L 5-8 --- --- 4.23 --- ---7 Alex Jupiter Fr. OH 6-3 3.26 .198 1.20 0.55 3.7621 Kimmee Roleder So. OPP 6-2 2.31 .219 1.77 0.56 2.858 Lauren Williams RFr. MB 6-4 2.10 .317 0.18 1.06 2.73

LOS ANGELES -- The No. 12 USC women's volleyball team (16-11) will host the first and second rounds of the 2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament this weekend, Friday-Saturday (December 5-6), at the Galen Center. No. 7 seed and Western Athletic champion Hawai'i (28-3) will play Atlantic Sun champion Belmont (25-7) on Friday at 5 p.m. while USC (16-11) will play West Coast champion San Diego (23-4) at 7 p.m. The winners of each match will play in second-round action on Saturday at 6 p.m.

All three matches will be broadcast with a free video webcast, courtesy of TrojanTV All-Access on usctrojans.com. Gametracker live stats will also be provided for all three matches.

First and Second Round Information
All-session tickets will be $15 for adults and $12 for students, seniors and children. Single-session tickets will be $10 for adults and $6 for students, seniors and children. Phone orders will be taken before Friday at (213) 740 GO-SC (4672) or at the door.

USC in the Postseason
USC is making its 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Women of Troy have made four NCAA Final Four appearances in the last six years. USC has a 101-28 (.783) overall postseason record and a 57-21 (.731) record in NCAA Tournament matches.

In postseason play, USC is 3-0 all-time against San Diego with the last meeting taking place at the 2004 regional semifinal in Louisville, Ky. and a 3-1 Trojan win. USC and Hawai'i are 3-3 all-time in the postseason series with Hawai'i defeating USC, 3-2, in the 2006 regional semifinal in Honolulu. If USC faces Belmont in the second round, it would be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

No. 15 San Diego Notes
San Diego finished the regular season with a 23-4 overall record, winning the West Coast Conference with a 12-2 record. Head coach Jennifer Petrie is 192-73 in her ninth season at San Diego. Junior outside hitter Amy DeGroot leads the Toreros with 381 kills (4.28 kps), a .259 hitting percentage, 220 digs (2.47 dps) and 47 blocks (0.53 bps) while sophomore right side Ali Troost has 208 kills (2.89 kps) with 101 digs (1.40 dps) and 38 blocks (0.53 bps). San Diego has 14.67 kills per set as a team this season while hitting .278 with a 14.58 digs per set and 2.17 blocks per set average. USC swept San Diego on Sept. 6 at the Galen Center (26-24, 25-17, 25-17) and is 6-0 all-time in the series.

Belmont Notes
Belmont finished the regular season with a 25-7 overall record, winning the Atlantic Sun Conference title with a 16-4 record. Head coach Deane Webb is 117-7 in his sixth season at Belmont. Senior outside hitter Cat Mundy leads the Bruins with 407 kills (3.45 kps), 247 digs (2.09 dps) and 40 blocks (0.34 bps) while junior right side/middle hitter Jenny Gray has 243 kills (2.01 kps) with 266 digs (2.20 dps) and a team-leading 92 blocks (0.76 bps). Belmont is averaging 13.19 kills per set this season while hitting .241 with 13.28 digs per set and 1.63 blocks per set. USC and Belmont have never faced each other in women's volleyball.

No. 6 Hawai'i Notes
Hawai'i enters this weekend's action as the No. 7 seeded team in the tournament. The Rainbow Wahine shared the Western Athletic Conference regular season title with New Mexico State, recording a 28-3 overall record and 15-1 conference mark. Head coach Dave Shoji, who has coached four national championship squads, is 981-172-1 in his 34th season at Hawai'i. Senior outside hitter Jamie Houston leads the Rainbow Wahine with 398 kills (4.06 kps), 176 digs (1.80 dps) and 75 blocks (0.77 bps) while junior middle blocker Amber Kaufman has 210 kills (2.06 kps) with 89 blocks (0.87 bps) and a team-leading 48 service aces (0.47 saps). UH has 14.76 kills per set this season while hitting .293 and recorded 2.29 blocks per set. Hawai'i leads the all-time series by a 19-16 margin.

Stop Playing Games
The NCAA adopted new rule changes for the 2008 women's volleyball season. All games will now be referred to as sets to reflect the terminology used in international volleyball along with sets 1-4 changed from 30 points to 25 points.

The Power of the Pac-10
Six Pac-10 teams are ranked in the latest CSTV/AVCA poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 2 Stanford, No. 5 Washington, No. 7 Oregon, No. 8 California, No. 9 UCLA and No. 12 USC.

The Streak
On Oct. 11, Washington snapped USC's school-record home winning streak at 32 matches, a streak that covered almost two years. USC broke the previous record of 30 consecutive home match victories on Sept. 26 with the five-set win over No. 4 UCLA.

The Women of Troy had a perfect 19-0 record last season at the Galen Center. It was the fifth time in school history that USC went undefeated at home.

USC is now 37-3 all-time at the Galen Center.

Fill 'Er Up
With back-to-back home matches that saw crowds of over 4,000 fans this season, USC is ranked 17th in the nation for attendance with a 1,632 average.

On Sept. 26, USC and UCLA drew the second-largest crowd in the brief history of the Galen Center (4,383) after the Ohio State match on Sept. 12 drew a crowd of 4,062 to the Galen Center, one day prior to the big USC-Ohio State football game at the Coliseum.

A crowd of 5,000 witnessed the arena's opening in Oct. 2006 between USC and Stanford.

Un-Four-Gettable
USC has made four NCAA Final Four appearances in the last six years (note: UCLA has made only one Final Four appearance in the last six years).

Really Young Guns
USC does not have a senior on its roster for the first time since 1999.

Doing The Honorable Thing
Jessica Gysin was named to the 2008 All-Pac-10 Women's Volleyball Team, the first time she has earned All-Pac-10 honors. Alex Jupiter and Lauren Williams were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.

It's All Academic
On Nov. 25, Taylor Carico and Alli Hillgren earned 2008 Pac-10 Conference All-Academic second team honors. Carico has a 3.59 GPA in social sciences and history while Hillgren has a 3.53 GPA in business.

Zoe Garrett and Geena Urango earned honorable mention recognition.

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, 2007, at the age of 82.

All-Time Great Night
The USC women's volleyball program honored two former players, Sue Woodstra and Debbie Landreth (Brown), on Sept. 4. A banner for each player will be permanently displayed at Galen Center.

Woodstra was one of USC's first All-Americans, leading USC to the 1977 national championship. She was inducted to the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2006 and was captain for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team that earned the silver medal. As the current head coach at Humboldt State, she took a leave of absence to be an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Women's Team that won the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

Brown, currently the head coach at Notre Dame, was a captain for USC's 1976 and 1977 national championship squads. She was a two-time winner of the Mikasa Award as the nation's best all-around player, along with being a two-time All-American. She served as co-captain for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team and is currently in her 18th season at Notre Dame afte six seasons as the head coach at Arizona State.

Last year, USC had its first All-Time Great Night as the program honored Paula Weishoff and Debbie Green.

Statapalooza
-- USC is 39th in the nation for blocks (2.46 bps).
-- USC is 42nd in the nation for assists (12.66 aps).
-- USC is 63rd in the nation for kills (13.44 kps).
-- USC is 82nd in the nation for hitting (.228).
-- Since the Galen Center's opening in 2006, USC has hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament three consecutive years.
-- USC became the 22nd program in the nation to record 800 wins. The Women of Troy recorded its 800th win on Nov. 15 against Arizona State.
-- Head coach Mick Haley earned his 200th victory as USC's head coach on Nov. 1 against Oregon State at the Galen Center.
-- Freshman outside hitter Alex Jupiter is on pace to become just the third freshman at USC since 1981 to lead the team in kills (Tracy Clark in 1982 and April Ross in 2000).
-- Junior setter Taylor Carico is sixth in the Pac-10 Conference for assists (10.35 aps).
-- On Nov. 21 at Stanford, Carico became the second Trojan all-time to record 4,000 career assists (Janice Mounts).
-- Junior libero Alli Hillgren is sixth in the Pac-10 for digs (4.23 dps).
-- Redshirt freshman middle blocker Lauren Williams is sixth in the Pac-10 for blocks (1.06 bps) and ninth for hitting percentage (.317).
-- In her last seven matches, Lauren Williams is hitting .438 (67 kills, 10 errors, 130 attempts).

Taylor Made
Junior setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) became USC's 29th All-American last year, earning 2007 AVCA All-America second team honors. She also earned Pac-10 All-Academic second team recognition. In her freshman season, she earned 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.

Carico needs 182 assists to break the USC career mark of 4,258 held by Janice Mounts (1995-98). Her 4,077 career assists place her second on USC's all-time list for career assists, behind Mounts. She moved into third after passing Christine Brightman (3,691) on Oct. 24 vs. Stanford and second after passing Toni Anderson (3,825) on Nov. 1 against Oregon State.

This season, she has 1,035 assists (10.35 aps) with 79 kills (0.79 kps), a .290 hitting percentage, 199 digs (1.99 dps) and 57 blocks (0.57 baps). She also received her second straight Pac-10 All-Academic second team honor, posting a 3.59 grade-point-average.

She had 53 assists on Sept. 4 in a 3-1 win over Oklahoma and recorded 34 assists in a 3-0 sweep of No. 21 San Diego on Sept. 6 at the Galen Center. On Sept. 12 against Ohio State, she had seven kills on a .636 hitting clip (7-0-11) with 31 assists and six digs in the 3-0 sweep of the Buckeyes.

During the match on Sept. 19 against Army, she moved into fourth place on USC's career list, passing Missy McCaw (3,319). She was named to the West Point Challenge all-tournament team.

In the Pac-10 opener on Sept. 26 against No. 4 UCLA, she tallied 51 assists in the five-set win, adding six kills, 12 digs and four blocks (one solo, three assists). She set her new season high with 59 assists in a five-set loss on Oct. 11 against Washington. She had seven kills, nine digs and three block assists against the Huskies.

Carico recorded 48 assists with five kills, six digs and two block assists in a five-set upset of No. 4 Cal on Oct. 25 at the Galen Center. In home matches against No. 7 Oregon and Oregon State (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), she had 51 assists and 14 digs against the Ducks, followed by 52 assists, 11 digs and five blocks against the Beavers.

She set the USC single-season record for total assists (1,597) last season and broke the previous record of 1,490 held by Janice Mounts (1998). She had 135 kills (1.07 kps average) with a 12.67 aps average, 253 digs (2.01 dps) and 67 blocks (0.53 bps) with a .338 hitting percentage.

She earned all-tournament team honors at the 2007 Trojan Invitational and the USC Classic. She posted 63 assists with four kills in a 3-2 win on Sept. 14 at No. 20 Ohio State. 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. Carico 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 a career-high 13 kills on Nov. 16 against No. 5 Washington and a then-career high 69 assists. She did not record an error in the match, hitting .722 against the Huskies.

During the 2007 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 recorded a career-high 71 assists with two kills, four digs and six block assists on Dec. 7 against No. 13 St. John's in the NCAA regional semifinal. In the 3-0 sweep over No. 4 seed Texas in the regional final, she had 41 assists, four kills, five digs and two blocks and in the five-set loss to No. 1 Stanford in the NCAA Semifinal, she had 56 assists with 11 digs while recording five kills and no errors for a .417 night (5-0-12).

As a freshman in 2006, she finished second on USC's single-season list for total assists (most ever by a freshman) and sixth for assists per set average. On Sept. 2 against No. 24 Utah, she collected 62 assists, three kills, eight digs and two block assists.

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.

Out Of This World
Freshman outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS) had her coming-out party at the Runza/AVCA Showcase against No. 4 Texas and No. 7 Nebraska. Jupiter, who was a 2008 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection, led the Trojans in kills for both matches with 17 against the Longhorns and 12 against the Huskers. She also had 13 digs and four service aces on the weekend.

This season, she has 329 kills (3.26 kps) with 12 service aces (0.12 saps), 121 digs (1.20 dps), 56 blocks (0.55 bps) and 380.0 points (3.76 pps). She has recorded double digit kills in 18 matches this season and was named to the Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team.

She was named most valuable player at the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational (Sept. 4-6) after totaling 48 kills in 10 sets (4.80 kps) while hitting .367 for the tournament (48-12-98). She had one assist, three service aces, 10 digs, seven blocks (five solo, two assisted) and 57 points (5.70 pps).

During the West Point Challenge (Sept. 18-19), she was named to the all-tournament team after recording 34 kills in three victories. She led the Trojans with 17 kills, hitting .438 (17-3-32) with six digs and three blocks in a 3-0 sweep of host Army on an ESPNU national telecast.

Her first collegiate double-double came on Sept. 26 against No. 4 UCLA with 15 kills and a season-high 15 digs in the 3-2 victory. She had 10 kills and hit .320 with seven digs in a 3-0 sweep of Washington State on Oct. 10 and posted 19 kills and 10 digs in a five-set loss to No. 10 Washington the following night.

She had 15 kills and four blocks against No. 7 Oregon on Oct. 31 and followed that with a season-high 20 kills and three blocks (two solo) in a five-set win against Oregon State. Jupiter hit .364 (10-2-22) with 10 kills and two blocks on Nov. 14 against Arizona.

Family Gysin
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. In the summer of 2008, Gysin received a sixth year of eligiblity and has two years available to play.

This season, she has 312 kills (3.15 kps) with 227 digs (2.29 dps) and 47 blocks (0.47 bps), including 24 solo blocks. She earned 2008 All-Pac-10 Conference honors.

Gysin needs 19 kills to reach the 1,000-kill mark in her Trojan career.

She led the team in kills (12) in a 3-0 sweep of Ohio State on Sept. 12 at the Galen Center. She was named to the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational all-tournament team (Sept. 4-6) after posting double digit kills in all three matches, including 16 kills in a 3-1 win against Oklahoma.

Gysin was named most valuable player at the West Point Challenge (Sept. 18-19) after recording 23 kills in two matches. She had 13 kills and eight digs against Dartmouth and later that evening, posted 10 kills for a .474 hitting clip (10-1-19) with six digs and a solo block.

In the Pac-10 opener against No. 4 UCLA on Sept. 26, she led the Trojans with a team-high 16 kills and recorded a season-high 16 digs in the five-set victory. She tallied 16 kills and 18 digs in a five-set loss on Oct. 11 to No. 10 Washington.

Her team-high 18 kills aided the Women of Troy in a five-set upset over No. 4 Cal on Oct. 25 at the Galen Center. She had 17 kills and 14 digs in a five-set win over Oregon State on Nov. 1. She tied for the team lead with 14 kills, adding seven digs in a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 15 against Arizona State.

She was second on the team last year with 327 kills (3.00 kps) with 219 digs (2.01 dpg) and 54 blocks (0.50 bps). She recorded eight double-doubles during her sophomore season.

She was named to the Gainesville (Fla.) All-Regional Team during the 2007 NCAA Tournament after hitting .368 in matches against No. 13 St. John's and No. 3 Texas. She had 16 kills with three digs, three solo blocks and hit .359 (16-2-39) against St. John's and had 15 kills with two digs while hitting .379 (15-4-29) against Texas.

In her 2006 freshman season, she finished third on the team with 342 kills (3.03 kps) and 401 points (3.59 pps). She was second on the team with 293 digs (2.59 dps).

Where There's A Will, There's A Way
Redshirt freshman middle blocker Lauren Williams (Houston, Texas/Stratford HS) recorded 11 blocks (two solo, nine assisted) in her first two collegiate matches at the Runza/AVCA Showcase against No. 4 Texas and No. 7 Nebraska.

She has 204 kills this season (2.10 kps) with a .317 hitting percentage and a team-leading 103 blocks (1.06 bps) with 15 solo blocks and 88 block assists. She was named to the Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team.

She had seven kills along with four blocks (two solo, two assisted) in a 3-1 win against Oklahoma on Sept. 4. On Oct. 3 at Oregon State, she had 13 kills and hit .545 (13-1-22) in the five-set loss against the Beavers.

On Oct. 11 in a five-set loss to No. 10 Washington, Williams recorded a season-high 16 kills with six block assists while hitting .462 (16-4-26). She hit .477 in two matches at Arizona State and Arizona (Oct. 17 and 19). She had 13 kills in both matches. Against the Wildcats on Oct. 19, she recorded kills in her first 11 attempts and added six blocks (one solo, five assisted).

Williams recorded 12 kills and eight blocks (one solo, seven assists) in a five-set upset over No. 4 Cal on Oct. 25 at the Galen Center. She had nine kills and six blocks against No. 7 Oregon on Oct. 31, followed by a match with 15 kills and seven blocks against Oregon State.

She had a combined 15 kills without recording an error in 30 attempts (.500) in matches at No. 5 Washington and Washington State (Nov. 7 and 9).

She hit .550 (12-1-20) on Nov. 21 at No. 2 Stanford and followed it with a .455 match (11-1-22) with four blocks at No. 7 Cal.

She played on the 2008 U.S. Women's A2 National Team and played on the 2007 Junior National Training Team.

King Of The Hill
Junior libero Alli Hillgren (Rancho Santa Fe/Francis Parker HS) recorded 508 digs (4.38 dpg) last season as a sophomore for the Women of Troy, playing in every match. She also earned Pac-10 Conference All-Academic second team honors.

This season, she has 427 digs (4.23 dps). She needs 47 digs in order to reach 1,000 digs in her Trojan career.

She was named to the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational all-tournament team (Sept. 4-6) after recording 50 digs in three matches (5.00 dps). She had 17 digs in a 3-0 sweep of No. 21 San Diego on Sept. 6.

In a 3-0 sweep of Dartmouth on Sept. 19, she had 18 digs (6.00 dps). She registered 24 digs in a five-set win over No. 4 UCLA on Sept. 26 at the Galen Center. On Oct. 11 in a five-set loss to No. 10 Washington, she recorded a season-high 34 digs (6.80 dps).

She had a career-high 36 digs (7.20 dps) on Oct. 26, 2007, against No. 9 Cal and followed it with 26 digs (6.50 dps) 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. She had 25 digs in a four-set win on Oct. 17 at Arizona State.

In the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament against Pepperdine, she had 20 digs in a three-set sweep. She had one ace and 26 digs in last night's five-game win over St. John's. In the five-set loss to Stanford in the NCAA Final Four, she tied a season high with two service aces and added 34 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.

You're Like Butter...'Cause You're On A Roll
Sophomore outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS) made 10 starts in 26 matches last season for the Women of Troy, recording 195 kills (2.71 kps) with 118 digs (1.64 dps) and 40 blocks (0.56 bps).

For the 2008 season, Roleder has 233 kills (2.31 kps) with 25 service aces (0.25 saps), 179 digs (1.77 dps) and 57 blocks (0.56 bps).

She hit .474 on Sept. 12 against Ohio State (9-0-19) with two assists, to aces and four digs in the 3-0 sweep. On Sept. 4 against Oklahoma, she had 14 kills with six digs and two aces. On the next night against Hofstra, she posted 10 kills with three aces and six digs.

On an ESPNU broadcast at Army on Sept. 19, she had six kills and no errors for a .600 hitting night (6-0-10) with four digs and a block assist. In the Pac-10 opener against No. 4 UCLA, she registered a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs.

At Oregon State on Oct. 3, she led the Trojans with a season-high 15 kills, hitting .306 in the match (15-4-36). She recorded a career-high six blocks (all assists) on Oct. 25 against No. 4 Cal. On Nov. 15 against Arizona State, she tied for the team lead with 14 kills and hit .407 (14-3-27), adding eight digs and one block.

She recorded her first collegiate double-double on Sept. 1, 2007, with 17 kills and 14 digs in a 3-0 sweep of Mercer. 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 led the team with 17 kills, hitting .382 (17-4-34), in a five-set win against No. 7 Oregon on Oct. 31 and posted a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs against Oregon State the following evening.

Roleder played last summer on the 2008 Women's A2 National Team and 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.

It's Greek To Me
Sophomore middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS), whose first name is derived from a Greek word meaning 'life', enters the 2008 season as the lead middle blocker for the Women of Troy.

This season, she has 155 kills (1.67 kps) for a .299 hitting percentage with 80 blocks (0.86 bps).

She tied her previous best of nine blocks on Sept. 18 against Hartford with one solo block and eight block assists in the 3-0 victory. In the Pac-10 opener against No. 4 UCLA, she had nine kills and hit .400 (9-1-20) in the five-set win with six digs and five blocks.

In a 3-0 sweep of Washington State on Oct. 10, she tied her career high with 13 kills, hitting .476 (13-3-21) in the process. She hit .389 (8-1-18) with eight kills, four assists, two digs and two blocks in a 3-0 sweep over Arizona State on Nov. 15.

Garrett received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors last season after recording 210 kills (1.81 kps average) and 118 blocks (1.02 bps avg) while hitting .262.

A 10-kill performance came on Oct. 18 at Washington State where she also registered a season-high 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. On Oct. 25 against No. 4 Cal, she posted nine kills and seven blocks.

In the Trojans' five-game win on Dec. 1 against No. 25 Long Beach State in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, she had 12 kills with five assists, eight blocks and three digs while hitting .526 in the match (12-2-19). She posted seven kills and seven blocks on Dec. 7 in the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional against No. 13 St. John's and four kills (no errors) and two blocks the following night against No. 3 Texas.

G-Unit
Sophomore libero/outside hitter Geena Urango (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors last season for the Women of Troy.

This season, she has 35 kills (0.36 kps), 12 service aces (0.12 saps) and 144 digs (1.48 dps).

She had a service ace and 14 digs in a five-set win against Oregon State on Nov. 1.

Urango recorded 112 kills (0.90 kps) and 347 digs (2.80 dpg) in her freshman season.

She finished in a tie for sixth place in the Pac-10 Conference with 40 service aces (0.32 saps) and recorded four aces in a match twice (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.

She was on the 2008 U.S. Beach Volleyball Training Team for the SWATCH FIVB World Championship. She also played two years for the U.S. Youth National Team (2005-06) and also played on the Junior National Team.

'Bate' And Switch
Freshman setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) has appeared in 22 matches this season as a backup to Taylor Carico, mirroring when both players were playing at Mira Costa High.

She has 76 assists (2.11 aps) and 19 digs (0.53 dps) this season.

In a 3-0 loss at No. 10 UCLA on Nov. 28, Bateman entered the match in the third set and recorded 14 assists for the Trojans.

New Kids On The Block
Volleyball Magazine rated USC's 2008 recruiting class as the third-best in the nation with two Fab 50 players comprising the group of six players. 5-11 setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) and 6-3 outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach/Redondo Union HS) are the freshman Fab 50 selections. Also joining the team this season are 5-8 defensive specialist Paige Obradovich (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS) and 5-11 libero/outside hitter Kati Cattaneo (Santa Barbara/Dos Pueblos HS).

USC picked up two transfers: 6-0 junior outside hitter Emilie Stewart (Seal Beach/Los Alamitos HS) and 6-2 middle blocker Audrey Eichler (Pacific Palisades/Harvard-Westlake HS). Stewart played two seasons at Fordham, recording 141 kills (1.96 kps) with 172 digs (2.39 dps) and 35 blocks (0.49 bps) while Eichler spent one season at Boston College, where she was second on the team with 308 kills (2.68 kps) and recording 97 blocks (0.84 bps).

New Kids On The Block - The 2009 Edition
USC signed 6-2 outside hitter Katie Fuller (Olivenhain/La Costa Canyon HS) to a national letter-of-intent to play for the Trojans in 2009

Fuller is a 2008 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection and rated as the No. 9 prospect in the nation by Prep Volleyball.com.

'Katie is an outstanding young prospect who is playing on one of the top high school teams in the nation as a big contributor,' said Mick Haley. 'We look forward to her coming in here and challenging for a position right away. Her size is certainly one of the things that is good about her. She can play left side or right side so she will be versatile in our offense.'

Fuller earned 2007 San Diego Union Tribune All-San Diego section second team honors as a junior and was named to the 17 and Under All-Tournament Team at the 2008 USA Junior Girls Volleyball Championships. Her club team finished third at the Junior Olympics. She also earned North County Times all-county first team honors.

As of Nov. 1, La Costa Canyon was ranked as the No. 2 team in the nation in the ESPN RISE Girls Volleyball National FAB 50 poll with a 27-1 record. Her high school squad won the CIF San Diego championship.

Returning to the Family
Assistant coach Tim Nollan is making his second tour of duty with the USC women's volleyball program after four seasons as an assistant at Pepperdine. He replaces Todd Dagenais, who was named head coach at Central Florida last summer.

Nollan was a volunteer assistant for the 2003 national championship squad at Troy and graduated from USC with a bachelor's degree in 2000 before earning his master's degree at Pepperdine in 2007.

As a lead recruiter, Nollan helped in landing three Top 10 recruiting classes while at Pepperdine.

Olympic Pride
Four former USC women's volleyball players were present at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Former libero Nicole Davis played for the United States team that won the silver medal while two-time All-American Asia Kaczor played for her native Poland team. Former All-American Bibiana Candelas represented her native Mexico in the beach volleyball competition. Former All-American Sue Woodstra was an assistant coach for the United States indoor women's volleyball team.

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