2013 Preview: USC volleyball
A strong central core of returning starters anchor the Trojans' efforts for the 2013 season, with three seniors on the front lines for USC. With only one of USC's top five scorers departing, the Trojans aim for the postseason for the 23rd consecutive year. Veteran head coach Mick Haley work has been cut out for him with a solid recruiting class under the tutelage of the upperclassmen's experience.
» Three senior Women of Troy return for their final season and look to finish their careers strong. SR L Natalie Hagglund (pictured) is a two-time AVCA All-American first team honoree and was awarded Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week three times in her junior season. Her 613 digs last year were second overall in the Conference, and she currently sits at second all-time for the Trojans in career digs with 1,706 and digs per set with 4.70.
» SR MB Alexis Olgard is another three-year letterwinner, who led the team in blocks and recorded 33 solo blocks in 2012. Her .394 hitting percentage was second in the Pac-12. She will be joined by SO MB Alicia Ogoms, who had 83 total blocks of her own in her freshman run. The two give the Trojans a formidable presence at the net.
» The outside hitter position is taken care of between SR Sara Shaw and SO Samantha Bricio. Bricio led USC in points with 567 on the year, and her 491 kills were fourth in the Conference.
» With the exception of three players, the bench of nine players is comprised of freshmen with no prior collegiate playing experience. Should the Women of Troy need to rely on their reserves, they may face an issue with players who haven't faced the fast pace of Pac-12 volleyball stepping up to fill large roles.
» USC's non-conference schedule has nine road matches and only two home matches. Last year, USC was 17-1 at home, demonstrating their home court advantage, and this could be an issue for the Women of Troy.