No. 3 USC Travels To Arizona State, Arizona

Sept. 28, 2004

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This Week

at Arizona State
Friday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m. - Tempe, Ariz.
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at #17 Arizona
Saturday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m. - Tucson, Ariz.
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The Facts
The defending back-to-back NCAA and Pac-10 champion USC women's volleyball team (6-2, 1-1 Pac-10) suffered its second setback of the season last week, but looks to rebound this week as it travels to the desert. The third-ranked Women of Troy travel to Arizona State (5-5, 0-2 Pac-10) for a match on Friday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. in Tempe, Ariz., then face No. 17 Arizona (8-4, 0-2 Pac-10) on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. in Tucson. Both matches can be followed with Live Stats at and

After opening the conference season with a 3-0 victory over Washington State on Friday, Sept. 24, then-No. 2 USC and No. 3 Washington battled it out through five games on Saturday, Sept. 25. The Huskies prevailed with a thrilling 22-30, 30-25, 20-30, 30-26, 18-16 victory to end their 12-match losing streak to the Women of Troy. The loss is the second for USC this season, but both have been against top-20 opponents.

Cal Match Time Set
USC's California match time has been set for 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Lyon Center. It will immediately follow the USC-Cal football game which kicks off at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised regionally on ABC. USC also faces Cal in water polo on that same day at 10 a.m. at McDonald's Swim Stadium. Fans get in FREE to the volleyball match with a football game ticket.

The Rankings
USC dropped to No. 3 in this week's USA Today/CSTV AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll and did not pull in any first-place votes for the first time this season (it is the lowest ranking since the 2002 season). The Women of Troy dropped to No. 4 in this week's Volleyball magazine poll.

Sitting At The Top
The Trojans have spent 52 weeks ranked in the top 5 and 70 weeks ranked in the top 10 (dating back to the start of the 2000 season).

Adams Puts On Blocking Exhibition
Middle blocker Emily Adams led both teams with 19 kills and a career-high 18.0 blocks, 16 block assists and 30.0 points against Washington (Sept. 25). Her 18.0 total blocks tie for third among USC match records, 16 block assists tie for fifth among USC match records and 30.0 total points rank second among USC match records. She also led the team to a total of 21.0 blocks and 38 block assists - USC's most-ever compiled at the Lyon Center.

The Last Time Out
vs. Washington State (Sept. 24)
• With contributions from all four newcomers, USC defeated Washington State, 3-0 (30-16, 30-23, 30-25), in front of 578 at the Lyon Center. It was the first time since 2000 that four freshmen competed in a match for the Women of Troy. Veterans Keao Burdine and Bibiana Candelas led the team with 13 and 10 kills apiece, in addition to hitting at a .423 and .500 clip, respectively. The Women of Troy started off on the right foot, holding the Cougars to a .029 hitting effort while committing only one hitting error of their own in game one. The two teams stayed close through 9-9 before a 6-0 Trojan rally gave USC the momentum. WSU scored only seven more points and gave up 13 points on errors as the Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the match. Washington State kept the match closer in games one and two, but never managed to gain the lead past the first few points.

vs. #3 Washington (Sept. 25) • Emily Adams set a career-high with 18 total blocks, but it was not enough as third-ranked Washington out-lasted second-ranked USC, 3-2 (22-30, 30-25, 20-30, 30-26, 18-16), in a conference match-up on Sept. 25. The two-hour, 29-minute match came down to a decisive fifth game that saw the two teams tie the score a total of 10 times and alternate leads six times. In the end, a series of USC errors relinquished two match-point opportunities and eventually gave the Huskies the win. The Trojans performance at the net was impressive, as the team collected 21 total blocks and 38 block assists in the effort - the most ever compiled in the Lyon Center. But the Huskies countered with minimal serving and passing errors. While USC collected 11 service errors and five reception and ball handling errors, the Huskies posted a combined total of eight.

Former National Team Coaches Cross Paths
Friday's match versus Arizona State will pit two former Women's Volleyball National Team coaches against each other. USC head coach Mick Haley coached the U.S.A. for four years (1997-2000), just as ASU head coach Brad Saindon was guiding Australia's National Team. The two led their teams to unprecedented performances at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Haley led the U.S.A. to a fourth-place finish, while Saindon's team finished ninth.

Final Homecoming For Adams and Robinson
Seniors Emily Adams and Alicia Robinson, who both grew up in the Phoenix area, will be making their final trip home as Trojans this week. Adams prepped at Xavier College Prep where she was the 4A-5A Arizona Player of the Year as a senior. Robinson prepped at Central High and was the 2000 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year. The two were club volleyball teammates throughout high school. They are also the daughters of well-known former Phoenix Suns Truck Robinson and Alvan Adams.

Pac-10 Teams Crowd Rankings
Six Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 17 in this week's poll, including No. 2 Washington, No. 3 USC, No. 10 UCLA, No. 11 Stanford, No. 12 California and No. 17 Arizona. The Big 12 Conference also has six teams in the polls (Nebraska, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Kansas, Texas, Colorado), but the highest ranked is No. 7 Nebraska.

Only The Best Competition
Five of USC's eight opponents have been ranked and all have been among the top 16. In comparison, current No. 1 Minnesota (13-1) and No. 6 Hawai'i (10-0) are the only other schools in the top 10 to already have faced five ranked opponents.

All Streaks Must Come To An End
The loss to No. 3 Washington on Sept. 25 was the Trojans' first home loss and first conference loss since Nov. 21, 2002, putting an end to the 22-match home streak and 24-match Pac-10 win streak. On Sept. 11 at Illinois, USC's 52-match NCAA-record win streak also came to an end. That streak, which began on Nov. 8, 2002, is the longest in the history of NCAA volleyball. The loss to Illinois also put an end to the Trojans' 48-match road win streak, spanning the same amount of time.

**The 52 straight wins is an NCAA record, but not a USC record. The Women of Troy won 56 straight matches from Nov. 27, 1976, through Sept. 27, 1978, as a part of the AIAW.

During The Streak
Not only did the Women of Troy win an impressive 52 consecutive matches, but during that time the team collected a 156-14 single game record (winning 91.8 percent of its games).

Injury Report
Freshman outside hitter Jessica Gysin entered her first collegiate volleyball match on Sept. 24 against Washington State. Gysin, who was sidelined for nearly six weeks due to a severely sprained left ankle she suffered in the first week of training camp (Aug. 12), entered the match at libero and collected seven digs.

Volleyball Live
Fox Sports West has announced that it will air two of USC's matches this season LIVE - Friday, Oct. 8, vs. Stanford and Thursday, Nov. 4, at California. The network has been airing its volleyball matches on a tape delay basis for the past three seasons. The two matches will also be shown tape delayed on other Fox Sports Net affiliates. The Trojans' Nov. 26 match at Washington will only be shown tape delayed.

USC 'School Pass'
Audio broadcasts of all USC home volleyball matches are now available on the internet with the USC 'School Pass.' Subscriptions are $4.95 per month and can be ordered online at either or The package includes all radio broadcasts of Trojan football, men's and women's basketball, women's and men's volleyball and baseball contests.

If you don't have a School Pass, then you can follow all home Women of Troy matches with Live Stats now available on

Team News N' Notes
• As a team, USC collected 38 block assists on Sept. 25 against Washington - the most ever at the Lyon Center.
• The loss to then-No. 3 Washington on Sept. 25 put an end to the Trojans' 22-match home win streak and 24-match conference win streak. Both streaks dated back to Nov. 21, 2002.
• USC's drop to No. 2 on Sept. 13 ended the Trojans' 23-week stay at the top of the AVCA poll.
• The loss to then-ranked No. 16 Illinois on Sept. 11 put an end to the Trojans' NCAA-record 52-match win streak. USC had not lost a match in nearly two years. It marked only the second loss since the start of the 2002 season. It also marked the first road loss after 48-straight victories.
• USC finished in second place at the State Farm Illini Volleyball Classic, marking the first time since 2001 that the Women of Troy did not win a nonconference tournament.
• USC became the first-ever team to win a second-straight NACWAA Volleyball Championship with wins over Georgia Tech and Minnesota on Sept. 27 and 28.

Player News N' Notes
• Emily Adams set a career-high and entered the record books with 18.0 total blocks, 16 block assists and 30.0 points against Washington (Sept. 25). The marks tie for third among USC match records for blocks, fifth for block assists and second for points.
• Staci Venski set a career-high with 14 kills against Washington (Sept. 25).
• Emily Adams and Keao Burdine were named to the State Farm Illini Volleyball Classic all-tournament team.
• Numerous career-highs were set at the Illini Classic, including Staci Venski's nine blocks, Kimi Freeburg's two kills and two aces, Bibiana Candelas' eight blocks (ties), Alicia Robinson's 19 digs and Keao Burdine's four aces (ties).
• For the first time in her USC career, Keao Burdine exhibited her powerful jump serve against Pepperdine on Sept. 5. She collected three aces for the match.
• Emily Adams was named MVP of the Marriott Beach Classic - Pepperdine's three-day tournament, in which the USC match was included. Junior Bibiana Candelas earned all-tournament honors.
• Bibiana Candelas earned her first MVP honor as a Trojan at the NACWAA Classic. Staci Venski collected her first all-tournament honor at the event and Keao Burdine was also honored to the team.
• Debora Seilhamer set a NACWAA Tournament record with a career-high 19 digs in a three-game match against Georgia Tech (Aug. 27).

Opponent Notes

Arizona State -- The Sun Devils are coming off losses to California, 3-1, and Stanford, 3-0, in last week's Pac-10 season opener. ASU is 5-5 overall this season behind the efforts of sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton (3.6 kpg), freshman middle blocker Colette Meek (1.38 bpg), freshman libero Sydney Donahue (4.11 dpg) and freshman setter Rachel Mittelstaedt (9.64 apg). In his second season at the helm of the Sun Devil program, head coach Brad Saindon returned seven letterwinners and two starters from last year's squad. Arizona State went 9-18 overall and 4-14 in the Pac-10 for ninth place in 2003.

USC-Arizona State Series Record -- USC and Arizona State will meet for the 57th time in program history on Friday. The Women of Troy own a 45-10-1 (.818) advantage in the series and have won the last 16 consecutive meetings.

USC-Arizona State Common Connections
• USC seniors Emily Adams and Alicia Robinson grew up in the Phoenix area.
• Arizona State has four players who hail from California, including freshman libero Sydney Donahue, who prepped at Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach, along with USC freshman Kathleen Gilmour.
• ASU freshman setter Rachel Mittelstaedt and USC senior Emily Adams both prepped at Xavier College Prep in Phoenix.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	BpgArizona State		13.73	.207	12.43	1.46	15.46	2.77USC			16.22	.317	15.12	0.91	15.31	3.03

#17 Arizona -- The 17th-ranked Wildcats enter this week with an 8-4 overall record and 0-2 start in the Pac-10 after falling to Stanford, 3-0, and California, 3-2, last week. The team posted an 8-2 non-conference record, including wins over ranked teams such as Pepperdine and Louisville. So far this season, Arizona is being led by junior outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy (4.15 kpg), junior outside hitter Kim Glass (1.38 bpg), senior libero Kelli Mulvany (2.52 dpg) and sophomore setter Stephanie Butkus (11.60 apg). In his 13th season at the helm of the Wildcats' program, head coach David Rubio returned 11 letterwinners and all seven starters from last year's squad. Arizona went 17-15 overall, 10-8 in the Pac-10 to tie for fifth place and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2003.

USC-Arizona Series Record -- USC owns a 43-15 (.741) all-time record against Arizona, as the two teams face each other for the 59th time in school history this week. The Women of Troy have won the last four consecutive match-ups, all by 3-0 scores.

USC-Arizona Common Connections
• Arizona head coach David Rubio and assistant coach Steve Walker both began their coaching careers in California. Rubio coached at CS Bakersfield, CS Northridge and Granada Hills High, while Walker coached at Westminster High.
• Arizona has seven players who hail from California.

Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	BpgArizona			15.70	.253	14.19	1.49	13.23	2.91USC			16.22	.317	15.12	0.91	15.31	3.03
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