Volleyball Hosts Arizona, Arizona State
Oct. 26, 2004
The fifth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (12-3, 7-2 Pac-10) -- the defending back-to-back NCAA and Pac-10 champion -- enters the second half of the Pac-10 season this week when it hosts 24th-ranked Arizona (12-7, 4-5 Pac-10) and Arizona State (8-10, 3-6 Pac-10). The Women of Troy take on the Wildcats on Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., then face the Sun Devils on Saturday, Oct. 30, for a special Halloween match-up at 6 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Lyon Center. A tape delayed broadcast of the USC-Arizona match will air on Fox College Sports Pacific on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 10 p.m. Fans can also follow both matches with Live Stats or audio by going to www.usctrojans.com.
USC is coming off 3-0 victories over Oregon State and Oregon last week. Middle blocker Bibiana Candelas led the Trojans with 4.67 kills per game, a .581 attack percentage and an average of 1.50 blocks per game. The Women of Troy have now swept their last three-straight opponents and their last eight victories (excluding two losses in between) have all been by 3-0 scores.
Halloween Costume Contest
Come in your best Halloween costume on Saturday, Oct. 30, when the Women of Troy host Arizona State and get in FREE. A Costume Contest will be held between games two and three.
USC has gone 14-2 on Halloween weekend (the last weekend in October) over the last decade and 6-0 when playing at home.
USC moved up to No. 5 in this week's USA Today/CSTV AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll thanks to Penn State's (formerly No. 5) loss to Ohio State (formerly No. 7) last week. The Women of Troy remain No. 5 in the Oct. 18 Volleyball magazine poll.
The Women of Troy have spent 74 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10 (dating back to the start of the 2000 season) in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
Only The Best Competition
Ten of USC's 15 opponents this season have been ranked and all have been among the top 17. In comparison, current No. 12 UCLA (13-5) and No. 2 Minnesota (20-2) are next on the list having faced nine and eight ranked opponents, respectively.
Pac-10 Teams Remain at the Top
Six Pac-10 teams remain ranked among the top 25 in this week's poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 1 Washington, No. 5 USC, No. 11 Stanford, No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 California and No. 24 Arizona. The Big 12 and Big Ten conferences are next on the list with four ranked schools apiece.
Halfway Through Conference Play
This week's matches officially mark the start of the second half of the Pac-10 season. Washington remains undefeated at 9-0, USC and Stanford are tied for second place at 7-2 and UCLA is fourth with a 6-3 record.
Adams' Attack Most Effective
Middle blocker Emily Adams upped her league-leading attack percentage to .443 (177-26-341) this week thanks to a .513 performance in last week's matches. As of Oct. 17, she ranked fourth nationally in the category. Adams also ranks third in the Pac-10 and 26th nationally (as of 10/17) in blocks per game.
Junior middle blocker Bibiana Candelas is right behind Adams, ranking second in the Pac-10 with a .393 attack percentage.
Keeping Them Down
USC has not allowed an opponent to hit .300 or above this season and has held 10-of-15 foes under .200. Even in losses to Illinois (Sept. 11) and Washington (Sept. 25), the Illini and Huskies were held to a .126 and .196 attack percentage, respectively.
The Last Time Out
vs. Oregon State (Oct. 21) -- Keao Burdine, Bibiana Candelas and Sarah Florian each collected 13 kills to lead USC to a 3-0 (30-17, 30-24, 30-24) victory over Oregon State. USC got past OSU with ease in games one and three by posting nearly identical stats. The Women of Troy tallied a .400 attack percentage in the opener and a .410 hitting mark in the final set. Meanwhile, the Beavers were held to a .025 and .158 performance, respectively. Game two was the closest outing of the night as OSU hung on for most of the game. Despite keeping USC at .264 for the game, OSU was unable to produce any offense of its own in the 30-24 loss. Burdine led the match with 17 total points and four blocks.
vs. Oregon (Oct. 22) -- Emily Adams and Bibiana Candelas combined for 30 kills, 11 blocks and 36.5 points to lead USC to a 3-0 (30-19, 30-12, 30-27) victory over Oregon. Four USC players got an opportunity to play off the bench, including setter Nena Siljegovic who tallied 14 assists in games two and three. The Women of Troy held Oregon to an opponent season-low .008 hitting percentage in the match. USC led 11-10 in game one before embarking on a 12-4 run that eventually sealed the opening set, 30-12. The Women of Troy enjoyed their best showing of the night in game two, hitting .406 while holding Oregon's offense to a -.103 clip. Game three saw the Ducks remain close throughout and even pull within two points at 22-20 before the 30-27 Trojan victory.
Keao Burdine Totals Current RankKills - 1236 *Needs 54 kills to reach No 10Kills Per Game - 3.4 *Needs 3.52 average to reach No. 10Digs - 1044 No. 9Digs Per Game - 2.88 No. 9Total Points - 1431 No. 1 (surpassed April Ross at 1430)Points Per Game - 3.94 No. 3
Emily Adams Totals Current RankAttack Pct. - .431 No. 1Solo Blocks - 100 No. 6Block Assists - 291 No. 8Total Blocks - 391 No. 7Total Points - 1206.5 No. 3Points Per Game - 4.13 No. 2
Freshman outside hitter Jessica Gysin is sidelined indefinitely with lingering pain due to a severely sprained left ankle she suffered in the first week of training camp (Aug. 12). Senior outside hitter Alicia Robinson took last week off to rest her feet, which have been operated on over the last two seasons.
Team News N' Notes
USC held Oregon to a .008 attack percentage on Oct. 22, marking the lowest total for a USC opponent this season.
The Women of Troy dropped No. 6 in the Oct. 11 AVCA Coaches poll, putting an end to a 53-week stay in the top 5.
USC's 3-0 loss to California on Oct. 9 marked its first sweep since 2001 (3-0 loss at Arizona) and its first sweep at home since 1999 (a 3-0 loss to Stanford in the North Gym).
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.
Hurricane Ivan kept USC from participating in the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C., Sept. 17-19, due to safety issues and travel difficulties.
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
Head coach Mick Haley earned his 100th victory at USC with the team's 3-1 win over then-No. 14 Stanford on Oct. 8.
Emily Adams was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Oct. 4 for her performances at Arizona State and then-No. 17 Arizona, Oct. 2 and 3.
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.
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).
No. 24 Arizona -- The 24th-ranked Wildcats enter this week with a 12-7 overall record and 4-5 mark in the Pac-10 after defeating rival Arizona State, 3-0, last week. Arizona is led by junior outside hitter Kim Glass (4.83 kpg), middle blockers Bre Ladd and Jolene Killough (1.03 bpg apiece), senior libero Kelli Mulvany (3.08 dpg) and sophomore setter Stephanie Butkus (11.86 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 44-15 (.746) all-time record against Arizona, as the two teams face each other for the 60th time in school history this Friday. The Women of Troy have won the last five consecutive match-ups, all by 3-0 scores, including their first meeting of 2004 in Tucson.
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 16.06 .252 14.48 1.39 14.07 2.72USC 17.04 .306 15.59 1.04 16.65 2.97
Arizona State -- The Sun Devils are coming off a loss to rival Arizona, 3-0, and enter this week with an 8-10 overall record and 3-6 conference mark. The team is led by sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton (3.7 kpg), freshman middle blocker Colette Meek (1.29 bpg) and freshman libero Sydney Donahue (4.27 dpg). The Sun Devils' Rachel Mittelstaedt (10.22 apg) and Giovana Melo (10.60 apg) are splitting time at setter. 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 58th time in program history on Saturday. The Women of Troy own a 46-10-1 (.821) advantage in the series and have won the last 17 consecutive meetings, including a 3-0 victory in Tempe on Oct. 1.
Arizona State 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 13.70 .208 12.30 1.48 15.16 2.66USC 17.04 .306 15.59 1.04 16.65 2.97