USC Heading To Sacramento To Play No. 1 Seed Stanford In NCAA Semifinal
Dec. 11, 2007
2007 NCAA Women's Volleyball ChampionshipsArco Arena - Sacramento, Calif.
Thursday, Dec. 13 - National SemifinalsNo. 5 seed USC (29-4) vs. No. 1 seed Stanford (31-2) - 6 p.m.(broadcast on ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPN360.com)No. 10 seed California (26-7) vs. No. 3 seed Penn State (32-2) - 8 p.m.(ESPNU)
Saturday, Dec. 15 - National ChampionshipUSC/Stanford vs. California/Penn State - 6 p.m.(ESPN2/ESPN360.com)
All times local to game site
No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. kpg pct. dpg bpg ppg9 Taylor Carico So. S 5-11 1.07 .334 2.00 12.73 apg12 Diane Copenhagen Sr. OH 6-2 2.64 .254 2.93 0.30 2.915 Jessica Gysin Jr. OH 6-1 3.07 .232 2.08 0.49 3.4732 Zoe Garrett Fr. MB 6-3 1.79 .254 0.75 1.03 2.5910 Bethany Johansen Sr. MB/OPP 6-4 1.38 .363 0.39 1.07 2.017 Asia Kaczor Sr. OPP/OH 6-4 5.11 .303 2.21 0.67 5.823 Alli Hillgren So. L 5-8 --- --- 4.27 --- ---
The No. 5 seeded USC women's volleyball team (29-4) -- winners of six national championships -- will face No. 1 seed Stanford (31-2) in an NCAA semifinal match on Thursday (Dec. 13) at 6 p.m. at the Arco Arena in Sacramento. Thursday's winner will play either No. 10 seed California (26-7) or No. 3 seed Penn State (32-2) for the 2007 national championship on Saturday (Dec. 15) at 6 p.m. It is the fourth time in the past six years that USC has played in a national semifinal (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007).
ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com will handle Thursday's match between USC and Stanford with Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Karch Kiraly (color) and Cathy Nelson (sideline) handling broadcasting duties.
USC in the Postseason
USC is making its 17th consecutive appearance and 25th overall in the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans hold a 57-20 overall record (.740) in NCAA play since 1981 with a 101-27 (.789) overall postseason record.
Stanford is 9-2 against USC in the postseason, but the last meeting went to the Trojans in the 2002 national championship in New Orleans. USC beat Stanford, 3-1, in that match with the Trojans earning the school's fifth national title.
USC is 2-0 all-time in the postseason against Penn State with the last meeting taking place on Dec. 8, 2000, with the Trojans sweeping the Nittany Lions in an NCAA regional final.
USC and Cal have never faced each other in the postseason.
Stanford is 31-2 on the season after hosting and winning the Stanford Regional by defeating UCLA, 3-1 (28-30, 30-28, 30-26, 30-27) in the regional final. Head coach John Dunning is 207-32 in his seventh season at Stanford. The Cardinal are led by 6-4 freshman outside hitter Alix Klineman, who has 467 kills (4.21 kpg), 281 digs (2.53 dpg) and 552.0 points (4.97 ppg) while 6-3 junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo had 441 kills (4.08 kpg) and 128 blocks (1.19 bpg) while hitting .502 on the season. Stanford leads the all-time series with USC by a 48-20-1 margin.
Cal is 26-7 on the season after winning the Madison (Wi.) Regional by sweeping Nebraska, 3-0 (30-28, 31-29, 30-26), in the regional final. Head coach Rich Feller is 165-107 in his ninth season at Cal. 6-3 sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura leads the team with 476 kills (4.25 kpg) with 213 digs (1.90 dpg) and 554.0 points (4.95 ppg) while 5-8 senior outside hitter Angie Pressey has 448 kills (4.19 kpg) and 300 digs (2.80 dpg). USC won both matches against Cal this season with a 3-1 win on Sept. 28 in Berkeley and a 3-2 win on Oct. 26 at the Galen Center. USC leads the all-time series with Cal by a 42-8 margin. Cal is also making its first-ever appearance in an NCAA national semifinal.
Penn State Notes
Penn State is 32-2 on the season after hosting and winning the University Park (Pa.) Regional by sweeping BYU, 3-0 (30-23, 30-15, 30-18), in the regional final. Head coach Russ Rose is 923-159 in his 29th season at Penn State. 6-3 sophomore outside hitter Megan Hodge leads the Nittany Lions with 524 kills (4.60 kpg) and 295 digs (2.59 dpg) and 605 points (5.31 ppg) while 6-4 junior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett has 501 kills (4.47 kpg) and 168 digs (1.50 dpg). Penn State is averaging 3.88 blocks per game this season. USC leads the all-time series with Penn State by a 2-1 margin with the Nittany Lions winning the last meeting in 2005 with a 3-1 decision in Honolulu, Hawaii.
USC hosted the first and second rounds of the 2007 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament and defeated Pepperdine, 3-0 (30-22, 30-23, 31-29), and No. 25 Long Beach State, 3-2 (28-30, 30-24, 30-25, 21-30, 15-11), to advance to the Gainesville Regional. Four players recorded double figures in kills against Pepperdine with senior Asia Kaczor using 19 kills for a .425 performance (19-2-40). Sophomore setter Taylor Carico had 45 assists with eight blocks while sophomore libero Alli Hillgren had 20 digs. The following night, the Trojans outlasted the 49ers as Kaczor recorded 34 kills and tied a career high with 17 digs. Carico delivered 60 assists with seven kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Freshman middle blocker Zoe Garrett had 12 kills and eight blocks while hitting .526 for the Trojans while junior outside hitter Jessica Gysin added 16 kills.
At the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional, the Trojans held off No. 13 (and No. 12 seed) St. John's with a five-game victory as Kaczor recorded 25 kills to surpass the 600-kill mark on the season. USC took the first two games before St. John's came back to send it to game five. The Trojans had an 8-1 lead before the Red Storm'ed' back with seven straight points for an 8-8 tie. At 10-10, USC pulled away with a streak of its own as five straight won the match. Copenhagen recorded her fifth straight double-double with 18 kills and 14 digs while Gysin added 16 kills. With a career-high 71 assists, Carico set a new USC single-season record for assists (1,499) to pass the previous mark of 1,490.
In the regional final, USC stunned No. 4 seed Texas with a 3-0 sweep. The Trojans utilized an effective serving game to counteract the Longhorns' athleticism as Texas committed nine service errors without recording an ace. Kaczor, who was named regional most valuable player, had 17 kills and nine digs while all-regional selections Copenhagen and Gysin had 13 and 15 kills, respectively. Copenhagen recorded her sixth straight double-double with 12 digs while hitting .448 in the match. Carico had 41 assists for the Trojans with four kills and five digs.
Court of Dreams
The dream finally became reality on Oct. 12, 2006 as the brand-new Galen Center made its debut. The 10,258-seat arena is located on the corner of Figueroa St. and Jefferson Blvd., adjacent to the USC campus. The arena is named after Lou and Helene Galen, who generously donated $50 million towards the project.
USC mourned the loss of Lou Galen, who passed away on Nov. 12 at the age of 82.
Record Setter (And Hitter)
Asia Kaczor set several USC single-season records during the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament with all three records surpassing the ones she set last season. Kaczor currently has 629 kills (beating last year's 563 kills), 1,462 attempts (beating last year's 1,272 attempts) and 716.0 points (beating last year's 642.5 points).
Her 629 kills put her in eighth place for the Pac-10 Conference's single-season list. She needs 10 to tie UCLA's Annett Buckner for seventh (639 in 1994), 20 to tie Washington State's Sarah Silvernail for sixth (649 in 1996) and 21 to tie Arizona's Kim Glass for fifth (650 in 2003). Her 1,462 attempts place her in seventh place on the Pac-10 single-season list. She needs 24 swings to tie Arizona State's Amanda Burbridge for sixth place (1,486 in 2000) and 46 to tie Arizona's Kim Glass for fifth (1,508 in 2005).
Her 5.03 kills-per-game career average is currently a school record (Jennifer Kessy is second with a 4.33 kpg) as well as her 5.73 points-per-game career average (April Ross is second with a 4.53 ppg).
Sophomore setter Taylor Carico broke Janice Mounts' school record for most assists (1,490) in the Dec. 7 match against St. John's and now has 1,540 for the season. Her 2,985 career assists place her fifth on USC's all-time list while her current 12.70 assists-per-game average puts her second behind Mounts (13.22 apg).
Do The Honors
On Oct. 29, senior Asia Kaczor was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week, along with being named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week as USC recorded wins at home over No. 9 Cal and No. 3 Stanford.
Against the Golden Bears, Kaczor had 24 kills and 17 digs to beat Cal, 3-2. In the 3-1 upset against No. 3 Stanford, Kaczor had a career-high 28 kills (7.00 kpg) and hit .328 for the match, adding five assists and 13 digs.
She became the fifth player in USC history to be named Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week and the first since Keao Burdine earned the honor on Nov. 17, 2003.
Kaczor's third Pac-10 honor of the season came on Nov. 19 after setting USC and Pac-10 records with 44 kills and 100 attempts in a five-game win against No. 5 Washington. She has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week five times during her career. Her most recent honor was the 42nd time that USC has received a Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.
With 42 kills in two matches, Kaczor was named most valuable player at the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional last weekend.
We Must Protect This House!
After USC's 3-0 loss to Stanford on Oct. 12, 2006, the Trojans have won 25 straight matches at the Galen Center after the loss in the arena's debut.
A Perfect World
USC finished the 2007 season with a perfect 19-0 record at the Galen Center. It was the fifth time in school history that USC has gone undefeated at home with three of the previous four times taking place during national championship seasons (1977, 1980 and 2003).
In a five-game win over No. 5 Washington on Nov. 16 at the Galen Center, senior Asia Kaczor set USC and Pac-10 Conference match records with 44 kills and 100 attempts. Kaczor broke the previous conference mark of 43, held by UCLA's Natalie Williams against Hawai'i in 1991 and the school mark of 38, set by Jennifer (Kessy) Boss against San Diego on Dec. 6, 1997.
Her record-setting kill gave USC a 17-16 lead in game five before the Trojans clinched the match on the next point.
She hit .516 in game three of the Washington match by recording an amazing 18 kills in the game.
Pleading The Fifth
This season, USC is 8-0 in five-game matches with six of them played against Top 25 teams (No. 14 Duke on Aug. 31, at No. 20 Ohio State on Sept. 14, No. 9 California on Oct. 26, No. 5 Washington on Nov. 16, No. 25 Long Beach State in an NCAA second round match on Dec. 1 and No. 13 St. John's in an NCAA regional semifinal on Dec. 7). The Trojans have rallied from an 0-2 deficit twice.
The Power of the Pac-10
Six Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 10 in the 2007 CSTV/AVCA current poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 USC, No. 6 California, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Oregon and No. 10 Washington
Running With The Pac
USC finished third in the Pac-10 Conference with a 14-4 record. It is the 10th time in the last 12 years that USC has finished third or better in conference play.
Hitting The Books
Earlier this month, Taylor Carico and Alli Hillgren earned Pac-10 Conference All-Academic second team honors. Carico has a 3.55 grade-point-average (undeclared major) while Hillgren has a 3.52 GPA (business administration).
-- Eight opponents on USC's schedule this season are currently ranked in the Top 25: No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 California, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Oregon, No. 10 Washington, No. 13 St. John's and No. 25 Long Beach State.
-- USC has won nine straight matches and 12 of its last 13.
-- During USC's nine-match winning streak, Asia Kaczor has recorded 205 kills for a 6.21 kills-per-game average with a .341 hitting percentage and 227.5 points (6.89 ppg). Taylor Carico has 41 kills during the stretch (1.24 kpg) while hitting .349 (41-11-86) and 439 assists (13.30 apg).
-- USC has recorded 20 or more wins in 12 of the past 13 seasons and 25 wins in six of its last eight seasons.
-- USC played in its first NCAA Regional final since 2004 and its sixth in the past eight seasons.
-- As of Dec. 10, Asia Kaczor is first in the Pac-10 Conference for total kills (629), second in kills per game (5.11), second for points (5.82 ppg) and tied for sixth for aces per game (0.33 sapg).
-- Bethany Johansen is third in the Pac-10 for hitting percentage (.363, 159-31-353).
-- Taylor Carico is fifth in the Pac-10 for assists (12.73 apg).
-- Geena Urango is tied for sixth in the Pac-10 for aces (0.33 sapg).
-- Alli Hillgren is sixth in the Pac-10 for digs (4.27 dpg).
-- While hitting .232 in the regular season, outside hitter Jessica Gysin is hitting .357 in the postseason (four matches).
-- Head coach Mick Haley has taken his respective squads to a regional 21 times out of 24 seasons. While at Texas, the Longhorns were at a regional 15 of 17 possible times (with national titles in 1981 and 1988) and six of seven times at USC (with national titles in 2002 and 2003).
-- This is the ninth time that Mick Haley has taken his squad to the national semifinals. He accomplished the feat five times while at Texas, winning the 1981 AIAW and 1988 NCAA national championship. He took USC to three straight national semifinal appearances in 2002-2004 with national titles in 2002 and 2003.
-- With the Nov. 2 win against UCLA, Mick Haley recorded his 700th Division I win as a women's head coach. He also earned his 100th Pac-10 Conference win as the Trojans' head coach. With his win on Nov. 24 at Arizona State, Haley now has recorded 25 wins in a season a total of 17 times since 1982 while coaching at USC and Texas.
6-4 senior opposite/outside hitter Asia Kaczor (pronounced AH-shuh KA-chor) became USC's 28th All-American by earning AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-America second team honors after a dominating season last year.
She leads the team this season with a single-season school record 629 kills (5.11 kpg) and a single-season school record 716.0 points (5.82 ppg). She also has 40 service aces (0.33 sapg), 272 digs (2.21 dpg) and 82 blocks (0.67 bpg) and was named to the All-Pac-10 Conference Team and AVCA All-Pacific Region Team for the second straight year.
Kaczor has posted over six kills a game in her last nine matches (6.21 kpg) and a 6.89 ppg average. In four postseason matches this season, she has 95 kills (5.94 kpg), 36 digs (2.25 dpg) and 100.5 points (6.28 ppg) while hitting .335. Earlier this season, she became the first player in USC history to record 500 or more kills in a season twice.
She opened the season by being named to the all-tournament team for both the Trojan Invitational and the USC Classic. She tied a career-best with 27 kills on Aug. 31 against No. 14 Duke, adding 11 digs for her first double-double of the season. The following day, she hit .464 (15-2-28) against Mercer in her 15-kill performance.
She picked up Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors after being named tournament most valuable player at the Sports Imports Classic in Columbus, Ohio. She had a team-high 23 kills in a thrilling five-game win at No. 20 Ohio State with three aces and eight digs and followed that up with 16 kills and no errors (16-0-34) for a .471 performance against Purdue. Against the Boilermakers she also had nine digs and three block assists.
As USC opened the Pac-10 season this year, Kaczor posted 25 kills, 16 digs and six blocks in a 3-2 win on Sept. 21 against Arizona. At No. 10 Cal on Sept. 28, she had a team-high 19 kills with six digs and five blocks. Her team-high 20 kills aided a comeback from an 0-2 deficit for the five-game win on Oct. 2 against UC Irvine.
Against No. 19 Oregon on Oct. 12, she has 11 kills with 10 digs and three blocks in a 3-0 sweep of the Ducks. She recorded 23 kills and 13 digs in a 3-1 win on Oct. 18 at Washington State.
On Oct. 29, she was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week as well as being named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week after USC defeated No. 9 Cal, 3-2, and No. 3 Stanford, 3-1, at the Galen Center. She recorded 52 kills in two matches, including 28 kills against the Cardinal. She posted 17 digs against Cal and 13 digs against Stanford.
She had 21 kills and 10 digs on Nov. 2 in a 3-1 win against UCLA at the Galen Center. She recorded 25 kills in a four-game loss at No. 20 Oregon on Nov. 8 and tied a personal best with 31.5 points the following evening at Oregon State. Against the Beavers, she tied a school record with eight service aces as she registered 22 kills in the 3-0 sweep and hit .439 in the match (22-4-41).
Kaczor made history on Nov. 16 in a five-game win over No. 5 Washington, setting USC and Pac-10 match records with 44 kills and 100 attempts. She had 18 kills alone in game three while hitting .516 and finished the match with a .310 hitting clip (44-13-100).
She hit .545 (19-1-33) in a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 23 at Arizona. During NCAA Tournament play, she had 19 kills in a three-game sweep of Pepperdine and followed the next evening with 34 kills and tied a career best with 17 digs in a five-game win over No. 25 Long Beach State. She earned most valuable player honors at the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional after posting 42 kills in two matches. Against No. 13 St. John's, she had 25 kills with three digs and three blocks, including six kills in the pivotal fifth game, and had 17 kills with nine digs in a 3-0 sweep of No. 3 Texas.
Last season, she earned All-Pac-10 honors after setting a school single-season record with 563 kills, surpassing the old record of 554 held by Jennifer Kessy in 1998. She finished with a 4.94 kills-per-game average and hit .300 on the season (563-181-1,272). In the process, she set school single-season records in addition for attempts (1,272), points (642.5) and tied the mark for points per game (5.64, tied with Bibiana Candelas in 2005).
Kaczor led the Pac-10 Conference in kills, kills per game, points and points per game, as well as tying for fourth in the Pac-10 for service aces per game and eighth in hitting percentage. She passed the previous single-season points record held by Bibiana Candelas (575.0 in 2005) on Nov. 25 against Oregon State. She had double-figure kills in 31 of 32 matches, along with three double-doubles (kills and digs) and recorded 20 or more kills in a match 11 times. Her numbers were just as impressive with a 5.20 kpg and 5.88 ppg average in Pac-10 matches, as well as a 5.19 kpg average and 5.67 ppg average in 14 matches last season against ranked opponents.
She earned most valuable player honors at the 2006 CenturyTel Premier Tournament in San Marcos, Texas, after recording 42 kills (15, 14 and 13 kills respectively) in three matches, hitting .370 on the weekend, adding five digs and seven block assists. Her second most valuable player award came at the Gamecock Invitational (Sept. 8-9) in Columbia, S.C., after she had 43 kills (4.78 kpg) in three matches. She also led the Women of Troy in kills in the 3-0 sweeps against Florida State and South Carolina, hitting .385 for the weekend with six service aces, 12 digs and seven block assists.
After recording 37 kills in two matches against No. 20 Pepperdine (Sept. 14) and No. 14 Purdue (Sept. 15), Kaczor earned her first-ever Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors. She hit .351 in the two matches, adding 29 digs for a 3.22 dpg average with three service aces and four block assists. Against Purdue at the Lyon Center, she tallied team-highs with 21 kills and 17 digs in the 3-1 victory. On Sept. 21 at Oregon State, she hit .593 (18-2-27) with six digs, three service aces and three block assists and on Oct. 6 at Arizona State in a five-game win, she recorded season-highs with 27 kills and 31.5 points. She earned her second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on Nov. 13 after recording 49 kills for an amazing 8.17 kpg average in two 3-0 sweeps on the road at No. 2 Stanford and No. 12 California. She recorded 26 kills and hit .500 against the Cardinal.
Sophomore setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) has built upon her success from last year after garnering All-Pacific Region Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year honors, as well as being named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. She recorded 1,445 assists for a 12.68 apg average to go with 123 kills (1.08 kpg), a .339 hitting percentage, 26 service aces (0.23 sapg), 255 digs (2.24 dpg) and 83 blocks (0.73 bpg) last season.
This season, she has an 12.73 apg average on 1,540 assists along with 242 digs (2.00 dpg) for the Trojans. She also has 130 kills (1.07) with a .334 hitting percentage and 65 blocks (0.54 bpg) and recently received All-Pac-10 Conference honors for the first time. She also received Pac-10 Conference All-Academic second team honors.
In four postseason matches this season, Carico has guided the Trojans to a .304 hitting percentage. She has 16 kills (1.00 kpg) with 217 assists (13.56 apg), 27 digs (1.69 dpg) and 13 blocks (0.81 bpg).
She set the school record for assists in a season on Dec. 7 against St. John's, passing the mark of 1,490 held by Janice Mounts (1998).
On Nov. 8, Carico moved into seventh place on USC's all-time list for career assists, passing Sue Peters (1989-92) and on Nov. 24, she moved into fifth place after a 46-assist match at Arizona State to move past Monika Cavaliere (2,747) and Tracy Lindquist (2,766).
She earned all-tournament team honors at the 2007 Trojan Invitational and the USC Classic. On Aug. 31 against Duke, she recorded 68 assists in a thrilling five-game win over the Blue Devils.
She posted 63 assists with four kills in a 3-2 win on Sept. 14 at No. 20 Ohio State. Against Arizona on Sept. 21, she had 59 assists, three kills and 14 digs in the 3-2 victory. In a 3-1 win at No. 10 Cal on Sept. 28, she registered five kills to go with 52 assists, eight digs and three blocks.
On Oct. 2 in a 3-2 win against UC Irvine, she had six kills with 57 assists, three blocks and seven digs. She recorded five kills and five blocks in a 3-0 sweep of No. 19 Oregon on Oct. 12 at the Galen Center.
At Washington State on Oct. 18, Carico had six kills, adding 60 assists, seven blocks and four digs in a 3-1 win over the Cougars. She registered 10 kills while hitting .444 with 65 assists, six digs and three blocks on Oct. 26 in a 3-2 win over No. 9 Cal. She answered that the following night with nine kills (.533 hitting, 9-1-15) against No. 3 Stanford in a four-game victory with 56 assists and eight digs.
Against No. 9 UCLA on Nov. 2, she had seven kills with 52 assists and 14 digs in the 3-1 victory. She recorded a career-high 13 kills on Nov. 16 against No. 5 Washington and a then-career high 69 assists. She did not record an error in the match, hitting .722 against the Huskies.
In this year's NCAA Tournament, she had 45 assists, eight digs and one ace in a 3-0 sweep against Pepperdine and 60 assists with seven kills, 10 digs, four blocks and one ace against No. 25 Long Beach State. She recorded a career-high 71 assists with two kills, four digs and six block assists on Dec. 7 against No. 13 St. John's in the NCAA regional semifinal. In the 3-0 sweep over No. 4 seed Texas in the regional final, she had 41 assists, four kills, five digs and two blocks.
She finished second on USC's single-season list for total assists (most ever by a freshman) and sixth for assists per game average last season. On Sept. 2 against No. 24 Utah, she collected 62 assists, three kills, eight digs and two block assists. At No. 20 Pepperdine on Sept. 14, Carico came up big for the Women of Troy in a pressure-filled, five-game victory over the host Waves with two block assists and two kills. Against No. 4 Washington on Sept. 29, she had 51 assists in the four-game victory with six kills (no errors for a .400 night), 11 digs, two service aces and two blocks (one solo, one assist).
Carico recorded a season-high 67 assists and 20 digs in a five-game win on Oct. 6 at Arizona State. She had 58 assists and seven digs in a 3-1 loss to No. 4 UCLA on Oct. 20 at the Lyon Center. On Nov. 4 against Arizona State, she had a season-high eight kills (.500 hitting night) with 47 assists and 10 digs in the 3-0 sweep of the Sun Devils. In a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 10 at No. 2 Stanford, Carico had 47 assists with four kills, 10 digs and five block assists. In the second round of the NCAA Tournament against No. 22 BYU, she had five kills (with no errors for a .714 hitting night) with 44 assists, three digs and four blocks.
Carico won the 2005 Andi Collins Award as the nation's top senior high school setter according to PrepVolleyball.com. She was named CIF Co-Player of the Year and state most valuable player in her senior season.
The Capital of Denmark
Senior outside hitter Diane Copenhagen (Saratoga/St. Francis HS) is a co-captain this season, coming off a junior year where she earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition in the process. She recorded 455 kills on the year with a .233 hitting percentage and led the team with 42 solo blocks.
Despite an abdominal injury which caused her to miss seven matches, Copenhagen played several matches in the back row before returning to her normal position.
This season, she has 240 kills (2.64 kpg) with 267 digs (2.93 dpg) and 27 blocks. On Nov. 24, she recorded her 83rd career solo block which moved her into a tie for 10th place on USC's single-season list with Lonise Norfleet (1987-90) and a solo block on Dec. 1 against No. 25 Long Beach State moved her into 10th place by herself.
Copenhagen has a team-leading 14 double-doubles this season and has recorded a double-double in her last six matches (four of them were in three games).
At the Trojan Invitational, she registered two double-doubles, including a 12-kill, 13-dig effort in a sweep of Loyola Marymount where she hit .393 (12-1-28). She recorded 21 kills and 11 digs against No. 14 Duke on Aug. 31 at the Galen Center.
On Sept. 7 at Utah, she led the Women of Troy with 19 kills and 14 digs, hitting .366 (19-4-41) in USC's 3-1 victory. She recorded two double-doubles at the Sports Imports Classic in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 14 and 15 with 18 kills and 15 digs against No. 20 Ohio State and 11 kills with 14 digs vs. Purdue.
With 13 kills and 12 digs on Sept. 21 against Arizona, Copenhagen recorded her 1,000th career kill. On Nov. 2 against UCLA, she had 14 digs. Another double-double came on Nov. 16 against No. 5 Washington, where she recorded 11 kills and a season-high 17 digs.
After 10 kills and 14 digs on Nov. 23 at Arizona, she registered 17 kills, the most since Sept. 21, and 10 digs at Arizona State.
She recorded back-to-back double-doubles in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament with 11 kills and 17 digs in a three-game sweep of Pepperdine and 11 kills and a season-high 18 digs against No. 25 Long Beach State.
At the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional, she posted her fifth straight double-double with an 18-kill, 14-dig effort in a five-game win on Dec. 7 against No. 13 St. John's, followed by 13 kills and 12 digs against No. 3 Texas while hitting .448 against the Longhorns. Copenhagen was named to the All-Regional team for her efforts.
She recorded double figures in kills in 29 of 32 matches and had nine double-doubles (kills and digs) last year. Copenhagen opened the season with 34 kills and 23 digs in three matches to earn all-tournament team honors at the CenturyTel Premier Tournament in San Marcos, Texas. She recorded 23 kills, one off her career best, on Sept. 2 in a 3-1 win against No. 24 Utah at the Lyon Center. She later added another all-tournament team selection at the Gamecock Invitational (Sept. 8-9) in Columbia, S.C. and also had 34 kills in two matches (Sept. 28-29) against Washington State and No. 4 Washington with a 16 kill, 15 dig performance against the Huskies.
Her eighth double-double of the season came on Nov. 10 in a 3-0 sweep at No. 2 Stanford as she had 14 kills with 14 digs, hitting .306 in the match. She had 30 kills in six games during the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Galen Center, leading the Women of Troy with a team-high 16 kills on Dec. 1 against BYU. In those two matches, she hit .393 against Ole Miss and .325 against BYU.
Copenhagen played at the 2005 U-20 FIVB World Championships in Ankara, Turkey, with the U.S. Junior National Team as Team USA finished in a tie for 11th place.
It took two years before USC fans could witness the exploits of redshirt junior outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS). Hailed as one of the top high school players in 2004, Gysin battled injuries in her first two seasons. She sprained her ankle in 2004 and suffered a left knee injury in 2005.
She has 319 kills this season (3.07 kpg) with 216 digs (2.08 dpg) and has eight double-doubles.
On Aug. 25 against St. John's, she recorded a career-best 17 digs against the Red Storm and had 15 kills against No. 14 Duke on Aug. 31.
She recorded her third double-double of the season on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal with 14 kills and 16 digs. One of her best efforts came on Oct. 2 against UC Irvine when she posted a season-high 19 kills and a career-high 19 digs in the five-game win.
Gysin added another double-double on Oct. 5 at No. 5 UCLA with 11 kills and 15 digs. She had 16 kills and 15 digs on Oct. 18 at Washington State and followed with a 10-kill, 16-dig performance at No. 5 Washington. With USC's home wins on Oct. 26 and 27 against No. 9 Cal and No. 3 Stanford, Gysin had 18 and 16 kills, respectively.
In an NCAA second-round match against No. 25 Long Beach State, she had 16 kills and three blocks. She was named to the Gainesville (Fla.) All-Regional Team last weekend after hitting .368 in matches against No. 13 St. John's and No. 3 Texas. She had 16 kills with three digs, three solo blocks and hit .359 (16-2-39) against St. John's and had 15 kills with two digs while hitting .379 (15-4-29) against Texas.
Last year, she finished third on the team with 342 kills (3.03 kpg) and 401 points (3.59 ppg). She was second on the team with 293 digs (2.59 dpg).
Bethany's Block Party
Senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Bethany Johansen (San Jose/UC Santa Barbara) led the Trojans in blocks last year after spending the first two years of her career at UC Santa Barbara. Johansen recorded 126 blocks for a 1.11 bpg average. She was fourth on the team with 220 kills for a 1.93 kpg average and her .286 hitting percentage on the season placed her eighth among Pac-10 Conference players.
This season, she has a 1.07 bpg average on a team-leading 123 blocks (21 solo, 102 assisted) and has a .363 hitting percentage, which places her third in the Pac-10 Conference as of Dec. 10. She was named to the Trojan Invitational all-tournament team.
Four times this season, she has registered 10 kills in a match and had seven blocks against St. John's (Aug. 25). At No. 20 Ohio State on Sept. 14, she had nine kills, six block assists and four digs.
She recorded six block assists on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal in USC's 3-1 victory. On Oct. 5 at No. 5 UCLA, she had 10 kills and hit .714 (10-0-14) with six blocks. She had seven blocks (one solo, six assisted) against No. 19 Oregon on Oct. 12 at the Galen Center. On Oct. 27 against No. 3 Stanford, she hit .636 (7-0-11) in a 3-1 win over the Cardinal.
On Nov. 30 in an NCAA first-round match against Pepperdine, she had 10 kills and hit .450 (10-1-20) in the three-game sweep over the Waves. Against No. 3 Texas in the NCAA regional final, she had four kills and four blocks against the Longhorns while hitting .500 (4-0-8).
She recorded double figures in kills eight times during the 2006 season. On Sept. 1 against Fresno State, she had eight blocks (one solo, seven assists) against Fresno State. She registered a season-high 12 kills while hitting .478 (12-1-23) and adding eight blocks (four solo, four assists).
She had 10 kills without recording an error for a .526 performance (10-0-19) on Sept. 21 at Oregon State and on the following evening at Oregon, registered a career-high 13 blocks (three solo, 10 assists) and 11 kills.
King Of The Hill
Sophomore Alli Hillgren (Rancho Santa Fe/Francis Parker HS) is USC's starting libero this season, replacing two-time All-American Debora Seilhamer, who set the USC and Pac-10 Conference career mark for digs. As a defensive specialist in her 2006 freshman season, Hillgren played in 24 matches. She recorded four service aces (0.11 sapg) and 18 digs (0.47 dpg) overall and registered a season-high five digs on Aug. 25, 2006, against North Texas.
This season, she has 474 digs for a 4.27 dpg average and in the last nine matches, Hillgren has posted a 5.15 digs-per-game average.
On Oct. 2 against UC Irvine, she recorded 24 digs in the five-game win against the Anteaters and had a 7.00 dpg average with 21 digs on Oct. 12 in a 3-0 sweep over No. 19 Oregon.
She had a career-high 36 digs (7.20 dpg) on Oct. 26 against No. 9 Cal and followed it with 26 digs (6.50 dpg) against No. 3 Stanford. She had 31 digs in a four-game win against No. 9 UCLA on Nov. 2 at the Galen Center. Against No. 5 Washington on Nov. 16, she posted 26 digs in the five-game victory.
Against Pepperdine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, she had 20 digs in a three-game sweep. She had one ace and 26 digs in last night's five-game win over St. John's.
Freshman Geena Urango (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) started as a libero this season, but has seen action recently as an outside hitter and received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors.
Urango has 112 kills (0.94 kpg) and 342 digs (2.87 dpg) for the Trojans.
She has 39 service aces this season with her 0.33 sapg average placing her in a tie with teammate Asia Kaczor for sixth in the Pac-10 Conference as of Dec. 10. She has recorded four aces in a match twice this season (Sept. 1 vs. Mercer and Sept. 15 vs. Purdue).
She recorded 21 digs on Sept. 7 at Utah in a four-game victory and posted a season-high 31 digs in a five-game win on Sept. 14 at No. 20 Ohio State. She had three aces and 10 digs on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal.
On Oct. 11 against Oregon State, she tallied a season-high 10 kills, hitting .304 in the match and adding nine digs. She posted nine kills in back-to-back matches on Oct. 18 at Washington State and Oct. 19 at No. 5 Washington, recording 19 digs against the Cougars and 10 digs against the Huskies.
She recorded a season-high 21 kills, taking 47 swings against No. 9 Cal in a 3-2 win on Oct. 26 at the Galen Center. Urango posted her first collegiate double-double on Nov. 2 against No. 9 UCLA with 17 kills and 12 digs in the 3-1 victory.
It's Greek To Me
Freshman middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS), whose first name is derived from a Greek word meaning 'life', is making an immediate impact this season for the Women of Troy.
Garrett has 204 kills (1.79 kpg) on the season with 117 blocks (1.03 bpg) and received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors.
On Aug. 25 against St. John's, she had 13 kills and hit .591 in the match (13-0-22).
At the Sports Imports Classic in Columbus, Ohio, she hit .538 (7-0-13) against No. 20 Ohio State with two assists, three digs and two block assists and .500 (8-1-14) against Purdue with two digs and two block assists.
Despite the team's 3-0 loss at No. 2 Stanford on Sept. 27, she hit .500 with seven kills (7-0-14) and followed up with six kills, three blocks and a service ace on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal. On Oct. 2 against UC Irvine, she had 11 kills with two blocks and two digs.
She posted six blocks, including three solos, against Oregon State in a 3-0 sweep on Oct. 11 at the Galen Center. A 10-kill performance came on Oct. 18 at Washington State where she also registered nine blocks (one solo, eight assisted).
Garrett had six blocks in back-to-back wins against No. 5 Washington and Washington State on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Galen Center. She recorded six block assists and one solo block on Nov. 23 at Arizona.
In the Trojans' five-game win on Dec. 1 against No. 25 Long Beach State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, she had 12 kills with five assists, eight blocks and three digs while hitting .526 in the match (12-2-19). She posted seven kills and seven blocks on Dec. 7 in the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional against No. 13 St. John's and four kills (no errors) and two blocks the following night against No. 3 Texas.
You're Like Butter...'Cause You're On A Roll
Freshman outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS) had her coming-out party on Sept. 1 as she led the Trojans to a 3-0 sweep of Mercer with her first collegiate double-double (17 kills and 14 digs).
She missed six matches from Oct. 18-Nov. 8 with a foot injury and saw limited action on Nov. 9 at Oregon State.
She has 194 kills this season (2.77 kpg) with 118 digs (1.69 dpg) and 40 blocks (0.57 bpg).
On Sept. 15 against Purdue at the Sports Imports Classic, she had 13 kills and 10 digs in the 3-0 sweep of the Boilermakers.
In her first career Pac-10 match, Roleder had a season-high 18 kills and hit .469 (18-3-32) in a 3-0 sweep of Arizona State. She hit .316 on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal, recording 18 kills with seven digs and two solo blocks.
She had 13 kills, 11 digs and four blocks on Oct. 5 at No. 5 UCLA.
Roleder was a member of the 2007 U.S. Junior National Team that finished fourth at the Junior World Championship. She was the fifth-best spiker, recording 60 kills and a .389 hitting percentage and finished seventh overall among all players in scoring with 76 points.
Bishop Takes Rook
Senior middle blocker Katelyn Bishop (Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute South HS) has been a steady player for USC during her career, averaging almost a block a game in her sophomore and junior seasons.
This year, Bishop has 57 kills (1.02 kpg) and 27 blocks (0.48 bpg) for the Women of Troy.
Setting Out To (Chel)Sea
Sophomore defensive specialist/setter Chelsea Wilson is seeing more action this season as a setter and has 90 assists overall.
She had a career-best 19 assists on Sept. 1 against Mercer.
Her father, Doug, is executive vice president and general manager for the NHL's San Jose Sharks.
All-Time Great Night
With the debut of the Galen Center, the USC women's volleyball program honored two former players this season. Paula Weishoff was honored on Thursday (Oct. 11) during the Oregon State match while Debbie Green was honored on Saturday (Nov. 17) against Washington State. A banner for each player will be permanently displayed at Galen Center.
Weishoff, who was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1998 and considered as one of the sport's top middle blockers, was a three-time Olympian and named most valuable player at the 1992 Olympics. After playing for USC in 1980, she was a 16-year member of the U.S. National Team and later served as an assistant coach at USC for seven years before her current position as head coach at Concordia University in Irvine.
Green, who was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1995 and considered as one of the sport's top setters, was a member of USC's first two national championship squads in 1976 and 1977. She was also named to the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2004 and was a two-time Olympian (1980 and 1984). She is serving as an assistant coach at Long Beach State for the women's volleyball program.
Serving The Nation
Sophomore Taylor Carico and freshmen Zoe Garrett and Kimmee Roleder played for the 2007 U.S. Junior National Team as the squad finished fourth at the Junior World Championship in Thailand. Garrett finished second in blocking overall among all players while Roleder finished fifth in spiking and seventh with 78 points.
The Fab (50) Four
Volleyball Magazine rated USC's 2007 recruiting class as the third-best in the nation with four Fab 50 players comprising the group of eight players. The four players are 6-3 middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS), 6-2 outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS), 5-10 outside hitter/libero Geena Urango (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) and 6-4 middle blocker Lauren Williams (Houston, Texas/Stratford HS).