Volleyball Signs Mexico's Bibiana Candelas

April 16, 2002

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Bibiana Candelas of Torreon, Mexico -- a six-year member of Mexico's team -- has signed a letter of intent with USC, head coach Mick Haley announced today.

'We're extremely excited that Bibiana is going to be joining our program,' said Haley, who has seen the last two USC recruiting classes (1999 & 2000) ranked No. 1 nationally by Volleyball magazine. 'The combination of Bibiana and Staci (Venski) is going to be outstanding. They are two of the best middle blockers out there and they will be perfect replacements after losing our only senior, All-American middle blocker Jennifer Pahl, to graduation next month.'

Candelas, a 6-foot-5 middle blocker, has a wealth of international experience. She first began playing for Mexico at age 11 and competed with the team at the 1997 NORCECA tourney. In 1999, she led Mexico to a berth at the Junior World Championships in Canada and individually placed fourth among the tournament's top scorers (kills-blocks-aces).

At age 15, Candelas was named MVP of the 2000 NORCECA tournament in Cuba. Mexico finished an unprecedented third, behind Cuba and the United States.

Candelas is USC's second and final signee for 2002-03. She will join 6-foot-3 middle blocker/outside attacker Venski (California City, Calif.), who signed with USC in the November early signing period.

The Women of Troy open the 2002 season in Muncie, Ind., at the Ball State Tournament which features Nebraska, USC and Ball State, Aug. 31-Sept. 2.

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