Women's Volleyball Opens 2001 Season

Aug. 27, 2001

This Week
Friday, Aug. 31 vs. Alumni at 6 p.m. - Lyon Center
Saturday, Sept. 1 at UC Irvine at 5 p.m. - Irvine, Calif.
Sunday, Sept. 2 vs. No. 4 Wisconsin at 3 p.m. - Irvine, Calif.

The Facts
The second-ranked USC women's volleyball team hits the court for the first time on Friday, Aug. 31, against the Alumni. The match will be played at the Lyon Center and will begin at 6 p.m. The following day, the Trojans travel to Irvine, Calif., for a two-day Invitational against the UCI Anteaters and then the fourth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in a rematch of last year's NCAA Semifinal match. The matches will be played at UCI's Crawford Hall on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 1-2) at 5 and 3 p.m., respectively.

The 2001 Trojans return 10 letterwinners and four starters from last year's squad which advanced to the NCAA Final Four. Among the veterans, USC features the talent of All-Americans Jennifer Pahl (Murrieta, Calif.) and April Ross (Newport Beach, Calif.), in addition to two other all-conference players (Katie Olsovsky, Toni Anderson). For the second year in a row, the Women of Troy welcome the nation's top-ranked recruiting class (Volleyball, Student Sports).

2000 Recap
Equipped with the nation's No. 1 freshman class (according to Volleyball and Student Sports), the 2000 USC squad spent five weeks ranked No. 1 by Volleyball and won a share of its first-ever Pac-10 Championship (tied with Arizona) with a 16-2 conference record. The Women of Troy were selected as the top seed of the NCAA Pacific Regional (also a program first) and swept through the first four NCAA matches, including a 3-0 win over defending national champion Penn State, to earn their first Final Four appearance since 1985. USC fell to Wisconsin, 3-0, in the semifinals to end the season.

2000 Highlights
* The Trojans won their first-ever share of the Pac-10 title (tying with Arizona), and their fourth overall conference title.
* Freshman April Ross was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.
* Interim Head Coach Jerritt Elliott was honored as the Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year (along with Arizona head coach David Rubio) for the second consecutive year and the Pacific Region Coach of the Year.
* USC had all six starters named to all-conference teams and two honored as Pac-10 all-academic.
* Ross and Jennifer Pahl were named to the AVCA All-Pacific Region team, while Ross was honored as the Pacific Region Freshman of the Year.
* The Trojans began the season with a program-record 38-game win streak, sweeping their first 12 opponents.
* Troy held on to Volleyball magazine's No. 1 ranking for five weeks throughout the season.
* With a 16-2 conference record, USC tied its best-ever Pac-10 record in program history (The Trojans went 16-2 in 1998 but finished second in conference play).
* The 16-2 record is USC's 10th consecutive winning mark in the Pac-10.

The Rankings
USC enters the 2001 season ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll, and No. 4 by Volleyball Magazine. The Trojans earned a No. 4 final ranking in 2000 by both publications.

Haley Begins First Season
Mick Haley begins his first official season as head coach of the Women of Troy. Though hired in 1999 to replace former head coach Lisa Love, Haley completed his term as head coach of the U.S.A. Women's National Team before joining the Trojans. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, he led the United States to an unexpected fourth-place finish. Haley coached Texas for 17 seasons (1980-1996) and led the Longhorns to two national championships. He owns a 522-137-1 (.792) Division I career record and a 773-188-1 (.801) overall mark.

Volleyball Makes Move To Lyon Center
USC women's volleyball is making a move back to a familiar place. After playing the last five seasons in the North Gym, the Women of Troy are returning to the Lyon Center in order to accommodate more fans in a more comfortable atmosphere. Home to women's volleyball from 1988 through 1996, the Lyon Center hosted many of USC's top volleyball teams. The campus recreation center, opened June of 1989, includes a 20,000 square foot playing surface (including a new Sport Court) and seats 1,300 fans. It is located off of McClintock and can be accessed by entering campus through Gates 5 or 8 off of Jefferson Boulevard at Parking Structure B.

NCAA Women Adopt Rally Scoring Format
The NCAA and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) have adopted the rally scoring format for the 2001 season. Matches will be played with rally scoring in a best three-out-of-five games. The winner will be the first team to 30 points in games one through four and 15 points in game five. All games must still be won by at least two points. Other rules changes that will affect the match include: the let serve (serves that hit the net and fall in bounds are in play), one toss per serve in eight seconds with no re-serves, no team serving between games and colored balls may be used but at least one-third of it must be white or light in color. Unlike the men, the women's game will not adopt the inclusion of the libero position. Women's college teams will continue to have 18 substitutions each per game.

Fab Freshmen Become Super Sophs
USC's Fab Freshmen of 2000 are looking to become Super Sophs of 2001! Last season, three of USC's six starters were first-year players (Toni Anderson, Katie Olsovsky, April Ross). Between the three of them, they led the team in kills, attacks, assists and service aces throughout the season.

Freshman Class Ranked No. 1 (Again)
For the second year in a row, the USC women's volleyball program has landed the nation's top recruiting class, according to Volleyball and Student Sports Magazine. The Women of Troy's 2001 recruiting class -- which includes Emily Adams, Alicia Robinson, and Keao Burdine -- will only add to the depth and talent that players such as April Ross (2000 AVCA second team All-American, Volleyball Freshman of the Year), Katie Olsovsky (Volleyball All-Freshman team) and Toni Anderson (Volleyball All-Freshman team) provided USC last season.

USC Takes Over U.S.A. Junior National Team
Sophomores Katie Olsovsky, April Ross and Toni Anderson and freshmen Alicia Robinson and Keao Burdine helped the U.S.A Junior National Team qualify for the World Championships with a third place finish at the Intercontinental Qualification Tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, this summer. Of the six United States starters, four were Trojans.

The Adams-Robinson Duo
Freshmen Emily Adams and Alicia Robinson are the second coming of the famous Adams-Robinson duo. Their fathers, Alvan Adams and Truck Robinson, played together on the NBA's Phoenix Suns for three seasons. Despite attending different high schools, Emily and Alicia grew up in the same city (Phoenix, Ariz.), were club volleyball teammates through high school and even began playing softball together in elementary school.

Did You Know?
* Jennifer Pahl, the team's only senior and a three-year starter, is an anthropology major who hopes to pursue a career as a primate curator (she wants to take care of monkeys!). She also uses her athletic skills and strong religious beliefs to travel the world. She spent her summer traveling with Uncharted Waters - a Christian sports ministry organization. With the team, she spent two weeks in Saoluis, Brazil. Last season, Pahl traveled to Sri Lanka, India, and Hong Kong with Athletes In Action.

* Junior Tracy Lindquist played on the AAA Pro Beach Volleyball circuit this summer with her sister, Katie (San Diego '99). The pair qualified for three open tournaments but did not accept any prize money to remain NCAA eligible. In 1999, Lindquist and with former partner Chrissie Zartman (now at UCLA) became the youngest players to ever receive an AAA beach rating at age 18. Keep in mind Tracy is only 5-7!

* Junior Lauren Killian comes from a long line of Trojans, including her mother and father, her brother, as well as 1 grandmother, 2 grandfathers (who each played basketball at USC), 1 great grandfather, 3 uncles, 1 aunt and numerous cousins. Her father, Don Killian III, was a member of the 1977 USC NCAA championship men's volleyball team. Her brother, Donny, transferred to USC from Pepperdine in 2001 and spent one season on the men's volleyball team. Donny also played three seasons with the Waves and advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1998 and 2000. With the Women of Troy's Final Four appearance last year, Killian joined her father and brother on the national stage.

* Defensive Specialist Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) owns a black belt in karate.

Opponent Notes
UC Irvine -- Under second-year head coach Charlie Brande, UC Irvine returns three starters and four letterwinners from the 2000 squad which finished the season with a 9-20 overall record and 1-15 conference mark (ninth place) in the Big West. Guiding the team is junior outside hitter Chanda McLeod (3.0 kpg), sophomore outside hitter Brenda Waterman (1.7 kpg) and junior middle blocker Erika Denison (1.0 kpg, 0.4 bpg). The Anteaters welcome five newcomers this season.

USC-UCI Series Record -- USC has never lost a match to UCI in seven meetings. In 2000, the Women of Troy defeated the Anteaters 15-10, 15-5, 15-4 in Irvine on Oct. 3.

Wisconsin -- The fourth-ranked Badgers enter this week's tournament with two matches under their belt. Wisconsin was upset by No. 12 Pacific 3-1 to open the 2001 State Farm Classic in Stockton, Calif., then defeated No. 5 Hawaii 3-0. The 2001 squad features returning All-American middle blocker Sherisa Livingston, junior outside hitter Erin Byrd and senior setter Lizzy Fitzgerald. In two matches, Livingston has accounted for 5.29 kpg, Byrd has tallied 4.71 kpg and 0.57 bpg, and Fitzgerald has averaged 16.43 apg. In 2000, the Badgers advanced to the NCAA Championships and finished the season with a 33-5 overall record and 18-2 (first place) conference mark in the Big Ten. The team returns 11 letterwinners and three starters.

The last meeting... It was Wisconsin that ended the Trojans dream season in 2000. USC met the Badgers in the NCAA Semifinal match on Dec. 14 in Richmond, Vir., where Wisconsin managed to sweep the Women of Troy, 3-0, to advance to the NCAA finals.

USC-Wisconsin Series Record -- With six meetings in program history, USC and Wisconsin have split the wins (3-3). Wisconsin has won the last two.

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