Women Of Troy Make Third Consecutive Trip To NCAA Regionals

Dec. 10, 2002

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

This Week
NCAA West Regionals - Santa Barbara, Calif.

Thursday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m.
USC vs. Michigan State
Audio: www.usctrojans.com

Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m.
USC/MSU vs. UCSB/Pepperdine
Audio: www.usctrojans.com
TV: Fox Sports West 2

The Facts
The top-ranked USC women's volleyball team (27-1, 17-1 Pac-10) - selected as the tournament's top seed overall - received its 12th consecutive bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, and will be making its third consecutive trip to the regionals this week. USC - the 2002 Pac-10 Champion -- will travel to Santa Barbara, Calif., for the West Region semifinals and finals to be played Thursday, Dec. 12, and Friday, Dec. 13, at UCSB's Thunderdome. The Women of Troy will face Michigan State (21-11) in the semis on Thursday at 5 p.m. If USC advances, the Trojans will play Friday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Thursday's Pepperdine/UC Santa Barbara match-up. The final will be televised live on FOX Sports West 2.

The four regional winners advance to the national championship hosted by the Sunbelt Conference, University of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation in New Orleans, La. The semifinal matches will be played on Dec. 19 and the championship match will take place on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Led by second-year head coach Mick Haley, the Women of Troy swept both No. 25 San Diego and Texas A&M in the first and second rounds to advance.

NCAA First Round Recap - def. #25 San Diego, 3-0
USC opened the 2002 NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 sweep (30-27, 30-15, 30-24) of 25th-ranked San Diego on Dec. 6. The Trojans were led by Katie Olsovsky who notched 10 kills and seven blocks, while hitting .533 on the night. Emily Adams and Keao Burdine also helped in the effort. Adams posted seven blocks, while Burdine collected 14 digs. The Toreros suffered on the attack, hitting .119 for the match, while USC posted a .319 attack percentage. Game one was close as each team struggled to take the lead. Thanks to two USD errors, the Trojans jumped ahead by three, 23-20, but San Diego did not stay far behind. The Toreros paced the Women of Troy and came within one at 27-26. At 28-27, a backrow attack was called on USD to give the Women of Troy game point and eventually the win, 30-27. Despite their efforts in the opener, the Toreros could not keep up with the Trojans in game two. USC held San Diego to a -.029 hitting percentage, while posting a .464 effort of their own. The Women of Troy took a two-game lead with a convincing 30-15 victory. USC led by as much as six points (16-10) at the start of game three, but a 7-1 San Diego rally changed the tone and knotted the score at 18, 19 and again at 22. Two points at a time, the Trojans managed to edge the Toreros for the final game win, 30-24.

NCAA Second Round Recap - def. Texas A&M, 3-0
With double-digit performances from April Ross and Keao Burdine, USC defeated Texas A&M, 3-0 (30-18, 30-21, 30-23), in the second round of the NCAAs on Dec. 7. Posting 12 kills apiece, Ross and Burdine led a dominant USC attack, which held Texas A&M to a .119 hitting percentage and only five team blocks. USC hit .327 on the night and collected 12 blocks. The Aggies only lead of the night came in the early points in game one, but the score was soon knotted at 8-8. USC then rattled off six consecutive points to go ahead 14-8. The Women of Troy extended the lead to nine and then finished off the game with a final 5-1 run thanks to an ace and four consecutive kills that led to the 30-18 win. Despite being held to a .021 attack percentage in the second game, Texas A&M paced the Women of Troy and trailed by only three points, 20-17, midway through the game. But the Aggies, unable to slow USC's offense, were stuck at the 17th point as USC notched five straight to extend its lead en route to the final 30-21 win. The final game was much of the same, as USC led by seven points, three times, before capturing the final 30-23 victory. The Women of Troy made only three attack errors in the final game.

USC Tries To Return To Final Four
After making its first trip to the NCAA Final Four in 15 years in 2000, the Women of Troy are looking to get back for a chance to advance to the championship match this year (USC was swept by Wisconsin in the 2000 semifinal). The Trojans' hopes last season were derailed when they fell 3-2 to Arizona in the regional final. USC was actually only three points away from a Final Four return as they led 12-9 in game five, but the Wildcats rallied for the upset victory. The Women of Troy were short-handed in the match after losing starting outside hitter April Ross to a severely sprained ankle in game two of the final.

Women of Troy Win 2002 Pac-10 Championship!
USC captured sole possession of the 2002 Pac-10 Championship with its sweep of the Arizona schools on the final week of conference play. This is the first-ever outright Pac-10 title for the Women of Troy who shared the 2000 championship with Arizona. USC has now won five conference titles (1976, 1977 and 1980 WCAA champions, 2002 Pac-10 co-champions) in its 26-year program history. With a 17-1 conference record this season, this also marks USC's best-ever performance in the Pac-10.

The Rankings
USC held on to the No. 1 spot after wrapping up the regular season. The Trojans reclaimed the top ranking on Nov. 18 after then-ranked No. 1 Stanford fell to Washington State. The Women of Troy had spent two weeks at No. 2 (after dropping a match to Stanford) and held the top spot for the previous seven week-period (the Women of Troy made their first jump to No. 1 on Sept. 16). USC earned a No. 5 final ranking in 2001 by both USA Today and Volleyball magazine (Volleyball is no longer producing a weekly poll as of Oct. 20) and entered the 2002 season at No. 3.

USC Posts Best Record In 25 Years
With a 27-1 overall mark, USC has secured its best record in 25 years. In 1977 the Women of Troy captured the AIAW National Championship and finished the season with a 38-0 record - the first undefeated record ever logged by a women's volleyball team in NCAA or AIAW history. Since then, USC's next-best mark (least amount of losses) came in 2000 when the Trojans went 29-3.

2002 NCAA Tournament Notes
Sixteen first and second round matches were played Dec. 5 through Dec. 7 on the campuses of participating institutions. Winners advanced to regional tournaments held this week, Dec. 12-15, on the campuses of qualifying teams. The four regional winners advance to the national championship hosted by the Sunbelt Conference, University of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation in New Orleans, La. The semifinal matches will be played on Dec. 19 and the championship game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 21. No. 1 USC (West), No. 2 Stanford (Pacific), No. 3 Nebraska (Central) and No. 4 Northern Iowa (East) were selected as the top seeds in each region.

For the first time since 1996, all four regional finals will be televised live the weekend of Dec. 13-15. The matches will air on local ESPN cable affiliates, regional sports networks and over-the-air stations around the country. ESPN2 will air the first tournament semifinal live Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. EST. and will broadcast the second semifinal (tape delayed) Dec. 20 at 1:30 p.m. EST. The national championship match will be broadcast live Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2. Veteran college volleyball announcers Chris Marlowe and Heather Cox will call the action for ESPN2.

USC History In The NCAAs
The Women of Troy are making their 12th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and their 20th overall since the tournament's inception in 1981. USC has only missed the tournament twice, in 1986 and 1990, after posting its only two losing seasons in program history. With a 33-18 (.647) all-time NCAA tournament record, USC has won one NCAA national championship and advanced to the Final Four on four occasions, including in 2002. Led by All-Americans Dana Smith and Cathy Stukel, the Trojans claimed the first-ever NCAA women's volleyball title in 1981. Entering the tournament as underdogs on a four-match losing streak, USC won when it counted by beating UCLA in the championship match after being down 2-1. The team ended the 1981 season with a 27-10 overall record and the title in hand. USC also won AIAW national titles in 1976, 1977 and 1980.

Opponent Notes

Michigan State
(21-11, 11-9 for fifth place in Big Ten Conference)
Michigan State will make its first appearances in the Sweet 16 since 1996. The Spartans defeated Notre Dame, 30-28, 30-20, 30-23, in the NCAA second round on Dec. 8 to advance, and, with the win, also snapped Notre Dame's 36-match home court winning streak. In the first round, MSU defeated George Mason, 3-0. Senior middle blocker Angela Morley was named to the All-Big Ten first team this season. Morley set MSU's all-time total blocks and block assists records, while averaging a team-leading 1.34 blocks per game. Outside hitter Sara Villwock leads the team in kills (4.04 kpg) and digs (3.29 dpg) and setter Nikki Colson averages 13.14 assists per outing. Head coach Chuck Erbe is in his 10th season at the helm of the Spartan program, which he took over in 1993 - five years after leaving USC where he led the Trojans to four national championships.

USC-Michigan State Series Record - Thursday's match will mark the fifth all-time meeting between USC and Michigan State. The Trojans have won all four match-ups and last defeated the Spartans 3-1 on Aug. 30, 1997, at the MSU/GOFF Classic in Lansing.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Michigan State 15.69 .246 14.40 1.46 14.12 2.93
USC 17.59 .290 16.39 1.40 16.90 3.20

(25-6, 14-0 for first place in West Coast Conference)

Pepperdine extended its win streak to 16 with wins over Cal Poly, 3-0, and UCLA, 3-1, in the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament last week. Pepperdine is making its sixth-straight NCAA appearance, 15th overall, and its fourth appearance in the last five years in the regionals. Last season, Pepperdine was eliminated by Florida in the regional semifinals in Lincoln, Neb. The Waves completed the 2002 regular season with their second consecutive undefeated conference season and ninth WCC championship. Pepperdine had four players selected to the All-WCC first team this season and swept the Player of the Year (Katie Wilkins), Freshman of the Year (Breegan Mulligan) and Coach of the Year (Nina Matthies) honors. Middle blocker Lyndsey Hache', setter Paola Rodriguez and middle blocker Stacy Rouwenhorst were also named to the first team. Wilkins leads the team with 4.57 kills per game, Hache' leads with 1.02 blocks per game and libero Christina Hinds averages a team-high 3.69 digs per outing.

USC-Pepperdine Series Record - USC owns a 29-7 (.806) all-time record against Pepperdine and has won the last nine consecutive matches. If the two teams meet in the regional final, it will mark the second match-up of the season. The Women of Troy defeated the Waves 3-0 on Oct. 8 in Malibu.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
Pepperdine 17.40 .293 15.67 1.51 16.99 2.31
USC 17.59 .290 16.39 1.40 16.90 3.20

UC Santa Barbara
(30-2, 18-0 for first place Big West Conference)

UCSB remains one of only four schools to compete in all 22 NCAA Championships dating back to the tournament's inception in 1981. Last season's five-game loss to San Diego marked UCSB's first opening-round exit from the tourney since 1992, but the Gauchos made up for it this season by defeating Fresno State (3-1) and Cal (3-0) to move into the Sweet 16. UCSB finished the regular season with its best-ever overall record and first outright Big West conference title. The Gauchos also made a clean sweep of the league's awards. Middle blocker Danielle Bauer was named Big West Player of the Year and was named to the all-conference first team. Also selected to the first team was outside hitter Courtney Guerra, outside hitter Erica Menzel and setter Brooke Niles. Middle blocker Megan Blackshire earned Big West Freshman of the Year accolades and head coach Kathy Gregory was named Big West Coach of the Year. Bauer leads the team with 4.72 kills and 1.17 blocks per game, while libero Kristin Nelson leads with 3.89 digs per game.

USC-UCSB Series Record - The Trojans and Gauchos will meet for the 36th time in program history and the second time this season if they face each other in the regional final. The Women of Troy are 26-9 (.743) all-time against UCSB and have won the last three matches, including a 3-0 win at the Thunderdome in the final regular season match of 2002 on Nov. 26.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	BpgUC Santa Barbara	17.43	.288	15.68	1.55	19.83	2.60USC	17.59	.290	16.39	1.40	16.90	3.20

USC and Chuck Erbe Reunite
Fourteen years ago he would have been sitting on the opposite bench for Thursday's USC-Michigan State match. Before arriving in Lansing, Mich., MSU head coach Chuck Erbe spent 12 seasons (1976-77, 1979-88) at USC where he compiled a 310-121-3 record and put USC women's volleyball on the map. Under his leadership, the Women of Troy captured AIAW National Championships in 1976, 1977 and 1980 and the first-ever NCAA National Championship in 1981. USC advanced to AIAW or NCAA Tournament play in 11 of his 12 years as head coach. Erbe's first two teams at USC won AIAW National Championships with a combined record of 72-1. His 1977 squad, which amassed a perfect 38-0 record, included six All-Americans and is still considered by many to be the best collegiate volleyball team ever assembled. During his tenure, USC players earned All-America honors 24 times, including current USC assistant coach and All-American Paula Weishoff who played for Erbe in 1980.

USC-Pepperdine Common Connections
Lauren Killian's brother, Donny Killian, played three season (1998-2000) with the Pepperdine men's volleyball team before transferring to USC *** USC men's tennis head coach Peter Smith, women's tennis head coach Richard Gallien and men's golf head coach Kurt Schuette all were former Waves head coaches *** Gallien, as well as women's tennis assistant coach Howard Joffe, also played tennis at Pepperdine *** Men's basketball assistant coach Damon Archibald spent one year as an assistant coach for the Waves.

USC-UC Santa Barbara Common Connections
USC sophomores Emily Adams and Keao Burdine both have brothers that play on the UCSB men's volleyball team. Justin Adams is a sophomore middle blocker, while Kawika Burdine is a freshman outside hitter *** UCSB defensive specialist Kristin Nelson is a former prep teammate of USC's Kristen Anderson at Manhattan Beach Mira Costa High *** UCSB senior outside hitter Courtney Guerra is a former Pac-10 player. She spent her freshman season (1999) at Cal and appeared in every match.

Pac-10 Dominance
A Pac-10 record eight teams earned bids to the 2002 NCAA Tournament and four still remain in the hunt for the conference's 10th NCAA title in 22 years of the tournament *** Since Pac-10 play began in 1986, the conference has sent at least half of the league's teams into NCAA play in 13 of the 17 championships *** Pac-10 champion USC and defending national champion Stanford earned top seeds *** Five Pac-10 teams are ranked in this week's USA Today/AVCA poll... USC tops the poll at No. 1, followed by Stanford at No. 3, Washington State at No. 11, Arizona at No. 16, and UCLA at No. 21 *** The Pac-10 holds an impressive 90-19 record (.826) this season against non-conference competition and are 25-15 (.625) against non-league foes in the NCAA Tournament 64-team field.

USC Has Four Named To All-Conference First Team
USC's Emily Adams, Keao Burdine, Katie Olsovsky and April Ross were named to the 2002 All-Pac-10 first team. The Women of Troy's four first team selections are the most of any conference school and the most in USC history. Last season, the Trojans had three first team picks. This is the third career All-Pac-10 first team selection for Ross, the second for Olsovsky, who also received honorable mention honors as a freshman, and the first for Burdine and Adams. Burdine was an honorable mention pick in 2001. Junior setter Toni Anderson was also honored and selected to the 2002 All-Pac-10 honorable mention team.

Four Named Pac-10 All-Academic
Sophomore Emily Adams was named to this year's Pac-10 All-Academic second team. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor. Adams boasts a 3.64 cumulative GPA and is majoring in international relations. Also honored were senior Tracy Lindquist, junior Toni Anderson and sophomore Alicia Robinson, who were each named to the Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention list. Lindquist, a general studies major who will graduate in May, owns a 3.29 overall GPA. Anderson boasts a 3.11 overall GPA as a psychology major and Robinson, who is undecided on her major, owns a 3.25 GPA.

Senior Salute
The USC-Arizona State match on Nov. 22 marked the final regular season match for USC's three seniors - opposite hitter Lauren Killian, setter Tracy Lindquist and defensive specialist Julie Mariani. First recruited under former head coach Lisa Love, these three seniors have so far led the Women of Troy to three NCAA appearances, including the 2000 NCAA Final Four, and two Pac-10 Championships (2000, 2002). Lindquist has started and shared setting duties in every match since her freshman year and will likely finish her career at USC with nearly 2,700 assists, placing her among the Trojans' top five all time setters. Killian, the team's captain, is currently averaging a .300 career attack percentage - a mark that would put her among USC's career top 10. And as a freshman Mariani averaged a USC single-season record 0.47 service aces per game. She also finished the season with 50 total aces - a mark that ranks third among the Trojans' all-time season records.

Sharing The SpotlightThe Women of Troy are once again the epitome of a 'Team' effort. It is hard to distinguish the best players on the squad, with three players averaging more than 3.07 kills per game, two players splitting the setting duties, three players averaging more than 3.03 digs per outing and both starting middle blockers tallying more than 1.28 blocks per game.

Black Unis Make Four Appearances
The Women of Troy improved to 4-0 while wearing their black uniforms this season after defeating UC Santa Barbara, 3-0, on Nov. 26. The Trojans, who have always worn cardinal uniforms on the road and white at home, decided to sport the new unis this season for selected matches including Arizona (Sept. 21), Stanford (Oct. 4) and UCLA (Nov. 15).

Opponents Have Difficulty Measuring Up To Adams
At 6-foot-5, sophomore middle blocker Emily Adams is hard to match on the other side of the net. She leads the team - and ranks second in the Pac-10 and third in the nation - with a .412 attack percentage. On the block, she leads the team and ranks third in the conference with a 1.35 blocks per game average.

Burdine and Ross Provide 1-2 Punch
Junior outside hitter April Ross is never alone out on the floor. If it's not Ross getting every dig, outside attack and kill, it's sophomore outside hitter Keao Burdine. On a team that has six attackers who can get their share of kills against any opponent, Ross and Burdine are the Women of Troy's 1-2 punch. Together they account for 6.86 kills, 6.07 digs, 0.63 service aces, 1.00 blocks and 7.98 points per game. The two have tallied 742 of USC's 2,063 total points this season (36 percent).

USC Second In NCAA Assists Thanks To Setting Duo
As of Nov. 24, the Trojans rank second in the nation in team assists with a 16.39 assist per game average (0.11 behind first-place Hawai'i). Ironically, the Women of Troy don't have a setter ranked in the Top 25 nationally or even among the Top 5 in the Pac-10. This is because USC uses two setters. Running a 6-2 offense, USC boasts the talent of both Toni Anderson and Tracy Lindquist and, while they sacrifice individual accolades, together they lead the nation's No. 1 team. Anderson and Lindquist average 8.44 and 6.42 assists per game, respectively.

Southland Dominance
As it is in most years, six Southern California teams (USC, UCLA, Pepperdine, San Diego, Long Beach State and UCSB) advanced to the 2002 NCAA Championships. Between USC, UCLA and Long Beach State are seven NCAA titles and 13 national championships. A Southern California team has also reached the semifinals (Final Four) in 16 of 20 NCAA Championships (including the last four consecutive).

Head Coach Mick Haley
Mick Haley is in his second 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 in 2001. 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 boasts a 822-193-1 (.810) overall record, 571-142 (.801) NCAA Division I record and a 182-13 (.933) conference mark.

Top Honors Go To Former Women of Troy
Debbie Green To Be Inducted To USC Hall of Fame:
Debbie Green, regarded as America's greatest women's volleyball setter, is among 24 Trojan luminaries that have been selected to the sixth class of USC's Athletic Hall of Fame and they will be honored at a gala black tie induction dinner on May 3, 2003, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Green was a two-time All-American (1976-77) and led the Women of Troy to AIAW national championships both of those years (the 1977 team recorded the first-ever undefeated season in collegiate women's volleyball, 38-0).

Debbie Landreth Brown To Receive Prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award: Debbie Landreth Brown, the 1977 Player of the Year in collegiate women's volleyball while at USC, has been named a recipient of a prestigious 2003 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.The award recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since completing their college athletic careers 25 years ago. Brown is USC's eighth winner of this prestigious award (and first Trojan women). A two-year letterwinner (1976-77), Brown led the Women of Troy to a pair of AIAW national championships and a 72-1 record. She won All-American first team honors both seasons.

News To Note
Keao Burdine collected a career high four aces against Texas A&M (Dec. 7) *** Nicole Davis tied her career high with 24 digs against UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 26) *** Emily Adams tied her career high with 19 kills against Arizona State (Nov. 21) *** Emily Adams set a new career high with nine total blocks against Arizona (Nov. 20) *** The Women of Troy held the Bears to the lowest point total for a USC opponent this season (50) in a 3-0 win on Nov. 1 *** Lauren Killian set a career high with 16 kills against Stanford (Nov. 2) *** Nicole Davis tied her career high with 24 digs against Stanford (Nov. 2) *** Keao Burdine posted a career-high five blocks against Washington State (Oct. 26) *** Emily Adams collected a career-high three service aces and seven blocks against Washington (Oct. 25) *** Keao Burdine tied a career high with three aces against the Huskies *** Keao Burdine collected a career-high 16 digs against UCLA (Oct. 18) *** Keao Burdine posted a career-high .625 hitting mark with 10 kills off of 16 attacks and no errors against Oregon (Oct. 12) *** Emily Adams was named Pac-10 Player of the Week (Oct. 7) after leading the Trojans to wins over Stanford and Cal. She hit .491 with 33 kills (3.30 kills per game) and nine blocks, six digs and two service aces in a pair of five-game victories *** USC's 3-2 wins over Stanford (Oct. 4) and Cal (Oct. 5) marked the Trojans first five-game back-to-back effort since defeating the Arizona schools on the road in 1995 *** Emily Adams posted a career-high 19 kills against Cal (Oct. 5) *** Nicole Davis collected a career-high 24 digs against Stanford (Oct. 4) *** April Ross tied a career high with 26 kills against Cal (Oct. 5) *** Katie Olsovsky was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 23 after hitting .625 with just two errors, recording 17 kills (3.40 kpg) and a team-leading seven blocks (1.40 bpg) for a grand total of 21.5 points as the Women of Troy swept both Arizona schools on the road *** April Ross was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 3 after being named the Radisson Hotel Roberts/Nike Classic MVP by guiding USC to three 3-0 victories, including a 3-0 upset sweep over No. 2 Nebraska. Ross posted double-double kill-dig performances in all matches *** Katie Olsovsky hit .733 (11-0-15) against Arizona (Sept. 21) - the mark ranks sixth among USC's all-time individual match records, tying a .733 performance she posted last season against Cal. Since her freshman season she has recorded three hitting performances ranked among USC's top-10 *** April Ross tied a career high with four aces against Arizona State (Sept. 20) *** April Ross collected a career-high 26 kills against Wake Forest (Sept. 6).

Now on Pac-12 Network
9:30 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network