Volleyball Hosts Oregon, Oregon State This Week
Nov. 16, 2004
The sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (16-4, 11-3 Pac-10) -- the defending back-to-back NCAA and Pac-10 champion -- concludes its regular season home schedule this week when it hosts Oregon (9-16, 1-14 Pac-10) and Oregon State (10-14, 4-11 Pac-10). The Women of Troy face the Ducks on Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m., then take on the Beavers on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Lyon Center. Saturday's match-up will also mark the final home match for seniors Emily Adams, Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson. The three will be honored prior to the start of the match. Fans can follow the matches with Live Audio or Live Stats at www.usctrojans.com.
USC is coming off a five-game victory (31-29, 30-28, 23-30, 21-30, 18-16) over crosstown rival and 16th-ranked UCLA last Friday, Nov. 12. The win marked the Women of Troy's ninth-straight against the Bruins and gave them all 10 women's volleyball points towards the 2004-05 Lexus Gauntlet. Libero Debora Seilhamer was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after a 45-dig USC record-setting performance.
USC remains at No. 6 in this week's USA Today/CSTV AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Women of Troy were ranked No. 7 in the Nov. 8 Volleyball magazine poll.
The Women of Troy have spent 77 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10 (dating back to the start of the 2000 season) in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
Saturday's match will mark the final regular season home match for USC's three seniors - Emily Adams, Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson. In their four-year career at Troy, these players have guided the Women of Troy to a 105-9 (.921) overall record and 62-6 (.912) conference mark. They have won two NCAA and Pac-10 Championships (2002, 2003) and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight as freshmen. To top off their long list of accolades, Adams, Burdine and Robinson also became the first four-year letterwinners to never lose to crosstown rival UCLA when USC collected its ninth-straight win over the Bruins on Nov. 12.
Seilhamer Named Player of the Week
Libero Debora Seilhamer was named the Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week on Nov. 15 after leading the Women of Troy to a five-game victory at No. 16 UCLA with a school-record 45 digs (ranks second in Pac-10 history). In a defensive match in which both teams posted sub-.200 attack percentages, Seilhamer's 9.00 digs-per-game keyed the Trojans' efforts. With 373 digs in 72 games this season, she is averaging 5.18 digs per game, a mark that would be a school record if the season ended today. This is the first weekly honor for Seilhamer and USC's 35th Player of the Week all-time.
Adams Earns All-Academic Honors
For the second straight year, Emily Adams has been named to the 2004 Academic All-District VIII first team. In 2003, Adams was also selected to the all-region first team and went on to earn national Academic All-American second-team honors. This season, Adams is one of seven athletes (6-of-7 are from the Pac-10) selected from District VIII. All first team selections will be included on the national women's volleyball Academic All-American ballot and first, second and third team national winners will be announced on Dec. 3. Adams is an international relations major with a 3.65 cumulative grade point average.
Only The Best Competition
Thirteen of USC's 20 opponents this season have been ranked among the top 25. In comparison, current No. 17 UCLA (15-9) is next on the list having faced 12 ranked opponents.
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. 6 USC, No. 9 Stanford, No. 14 California, No. 17 UCLA, and No. 22 Arizona. The Big 12 and Big Ten conferences are next on the list with four ranked schools apiece.
Second Half Of Conference Play
With only two weeks left to the 2004 Pac-10 season, Washington (14-0) needs only one more win to clinch at least a share of the Pac-10 title. USC and Stanford are currently tied for second place at 11-3, California is fourth at 9-5 and UCLA is fifth at 8-6. Arizona trails UCLA by just a half game at 8-5.
Trojans Collect 700th Victory
USC's win at California on Nov. 4 marked a milestone in Trojans volleyball history. The win marked the 700th for the program and improved the all-time record to 700-246 (.740).
Adams' Attack Most Effective
Middle blocker Emily Adams continues to top the Pac-10 in attack percentage with a .429 (233-38-455) average. As of Nov. 7, she ranked fourth nationally in the category. Adams also ranks third in the Pac-10 and 22nd nationally in blocks per game (1.51).
Keeping Them Down
Stanford is the only opponent to hit above .300 against the Women of Troy in 2004. Aside from the Nov. 5 match-up with the Cardinal, USC has held 14-of-19 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
at #16 UCLA (Nov. 12) -- In front of 1,994 at Pauley Pavilion, USC got past UCLA in a thrilling five-game match that saw the Bruins rally from down 0-2 before falling 3-2. The Women of Troy, led by the record-setting efforts of Debora Seilhamer, beat the Bruins 31-29, 30-28, 23-30, 21-30 and 18-16. It was outstanding defensive play that kept both teams in the match with Seilhamer leading the way. The Women of Troy completed the match with a total of 106 digs, while the Bruins finished with 112. The outstanding defense on both sides of the net also resulted in a season-low .172 attack percentage for USC and .196 hitting mark for UCLA.
The Bruins knotted the score as late as 29-29 in the opener before consecutive kills finished off the first game at 31-29. The Women of Troy then trailed for much of game two until catching up at 22-22. The two teams alternated points for the remainder of the game, resulting in five additional tie scores. A UCLA error and a Trojan kill gave USC the win and a 2-0 advantage heading into the break.
Games three and four were a much different story for the Women of Troy. USC never gained momentum in either game, falling 30-23 and 30-21 and allowing the Bruins to tie the match score.
The Trojans opened with a 4-1 lead to start game five, but the Bruins fought back to knot the score at 7-7. The teams battled back-and-forth, reaching eight tie scores. The Women of Troy committed five attack and service errors down the stretch that could have cost them the game, but in the end it was UCLA's errors that proved most costly. Ahead 16-15, the Bruins committed a service error and an attack error to put the Women of Troy out in front, and with the advantage USC completed the victory on a kill by Staci Venski.
Team News N' Notes
With a win at Cal on Nov. 4, USC notched the 700th victory in program history.
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 USC's 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 wins.
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, Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson became the first four-year letterwinners to never lose to UCLA when they posted a ninth-straight win over the Bruins on Nov. 12.
Debora Seilhamer set a USC record with 45 digs against UCLA on Nov. 12. The mark also ranks second all-time in the Pac-10 and gave her, her first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.
Staci Venski had a career-high 18 kills and Keao Burdine accounted for a career-high 19 digs against California on Nov. 4.
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).
Oregon -- The Ducks enter this week with a 9-16 overall record and 1-14 mark in the Pac-10. Since beating Washington State on Oct. 2 (it was the first UO Pac-10 win since 2002), the Ducks have lost 12 straight matches, including 3-0 losses to Stanford and California last week. The team is led by outside hitter Lauren Westendorf (4.92 kpg), middle blocker Kristen Bitter (0.92 bpg), libero Katie O'Neil (4.74 dpg) and setter Heather Madison (10.61 apg). Head coach Carl Ferreira is in his fifth season in Eugene and returned six starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad which went 3-24 overall and 0-16 in the Pac-10.
USC-Oregon Series Record -- Against Oregon, USC owns a 28-match win streak which dates back to 1990. The Trojans are 34-6 (.850) all-time against the Ducks and defeated them in Eugene this season, 3-0.
The Ducks have only one player on the roster from California - senior outside hitter Lauren Westendorf (Bakersfield).
Opponent Comparisons Kpg Pct. Apg SApg Dpg BpgOregon 14.35 .168 13.14 1.81 15.84 2.02USC 17.16 .294 15.79 1.04 17.11 2.88
Oregon State -- Oregon State enters this week with an 10-14 overall record and 4-11 mark in the Pac-10. After beating both Washington State and Arizona State on Oct. 29 and Nov. 4, the Beavers have lost three straight to ranked opponents Arizona, 0-3, California, 1-3, and Stanford, 0-3. OSU did take UCLA and top-ranked Washington to five games in back-to-back 2-3 losses on Oct. 22 and 28. The team is led by outside hitter Allison Lawrence (3.90 kpg), middle blocker Abby Windell (0.94 bpg), libero Nina Baltimore (3.79 dpg) and setter Desma Stovall (11.90 apg). Head coach Nancy Somera is currently in her sixth season in Corvallis. She returned 10 letterwinners and five starters from last year's squad which finished 16-16 overall and 5-13 (seventh) in the Pac-10.
USC-Oregon State Series Record -- USC has won the last 15 matches against Oregon State and defeated the Beavers in the first meeting of 2004, 3-0 in Corvallis. The Trojans are 30-7 (.811) all-time against Oregon State.
Oregon State Connections
Oregon State head coach Nancy (Hillman) Somera is a former USC player (starting four seasons, 1985-88) and former assistant coach. Somera graduated from USC in 1989 and later earned her master's degree in education in 1994. She joined the Women of Troy coaching staff in 1991 and served as assistant coach to then-head coach Lisa Love for eight seasons.
Nancy Somera's husband and current Beaver assistant coach, Ben Somera, was also an assistant for the USC women in the mid 1990s.
The Beavers have five California natives on the roster - Nina Baltimore (Seal Beach), Betsy Cale (Los Angeles), Allison Lawrence (Alta Loma), Kristin Murray (Crescent City) and Desma Stovall (Santa Rosa).
Opponent Comparisons Kpg Pct. Apg SApg Dpg BpgOregon 15.52 .223 14.10 1.33 15.73 1.98USC 17.16 .294 15.79 1.04 17.11 2.88