No. 4 USC Opens 2008 Season Against No. 3 Texas, No. 7 Nebraska

Aug. 26, 2008

Runza/AVCA College Showcase - Omaha, Nebraska

Friday, Aug. 29No. 4 USC vs. No. 3 Texas - 9:30 p.m.(CBS College Sports)

Sunday, Aug. 31No. 4 USC vs. No. 7 Nebraska - 3 p.m.(CBS College Sports)

All times local to game site

USC Probable StartersNo. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. kpg pct. dpg bpg ppg9 Taylor Carico Jr. S 5-11 1.07 .338 2.01 12.67 apg5 Jessica Gysin RJr. OH 6-1 3.00 .226 2.01 0.50 3.3932 Zoe Garrett So. MB 6-3 1.81 .262 0.74 1.02 2.603 Alli Hillgren Jr. L 5-8 --- --- 4.38 --- ---7 Alex Jupiter Fr. OH 6-3 Freshman21 Kimmee Roleder So. OPP 6-2 2.71 .220 1.64 0.56 3.268 Lauren Williams RFr. MB 6-4 Redshirted*2007 stats

LOS ANGELES -- The No. 4 USC women's volleyball team opens the 2008 season at the Runza/AVCA Showcase at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. The Women of Troy will face No. 3 Texas on Friday (Aug. 29) at 9:30 p.m. (Central) and No. 7 Nebraska on Sunday (Aug. 31) at 3 p.m. (Central). Both matches will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports.

No. 3 Texas Notes
Texas returns 10 letterwinners from last year's squad that went 27-4 overall, losing to USC (3-0) in the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional final in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Head coach Jerritt Elliott is 156-58 (.729) in his eighth season at Texas. Elliott served as interim head coach at USC prior to current head coach Mick Haley's arrival. USC leads the all-time series with Texas by a 5-2 margin.

No. 7 Nebraska Notes
Nebraska returns seven letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 30-2, losing to Cal in the regional final of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Head coach John Cook is 250-17 in his ninth season at Nebraska. USC leads the all-time series with Nebraska by a 5-1 margin. The last meeting between both teams came on Dec. 11, 2004, when USC beat Nebraska, 3-2, in the Louisville (Ky.) Regional final.

On The Net
All USC home matches this season will be broadcast on, courtesy of TrojanTV All-Access. There is a monthly subscription fee in order to watch the webcast.

Stop Playing Games
The NCAA adopted new rule changes for the 2008 women's volleyball season. All games will now be referred to as sets to reflect the terminology used in international volleyball along with sets 1-4 changed from 30 points to 25 points.

The Power of the Pac-10
Six Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 11 in the 2008 CSTV/AVCA preseason poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 USC, No. 5 California, No. 6 UCLA, No. 9 Washington and No. 11 Oregon.

Don't Jinx It!
Since USC's loss to Stanford in 2006 to open the Galen Center, the Women of Troy have won 26 straight matches in their home arena. The school record for consecutive home wins is 30 (Sept. 6, 2000-Dec. 6, 2001). USC posted a perfect 19-0 record last season at the Galen Center. It was the fifth time in school history that USC went undefeated at home.

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, 2007, at the age of 82.

Taylor Made
Junior setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) became USC's 29th All-American last year, earning 2007 AVCA All-America second team honors. She also earned Pac-10 All-Academic second team recognition. In her freshman season, she earned 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.

Carico needs 1,217 assists to break the USC career mark of 4,258 held by Janice Mounts (1995-98). Her 3,092 career assists place her fifth on USC's all-time list for career assists, behind Mounts, Toni Anderson (3,825), Christine Brightman (3,691) and Missy McCaw (3,319).

She set the USC single-season record for total assists (1,596) last season and broke the previous record of 1,490 held by Janice Mounts (1998). She had 135 kills (1.07 kps average) with a 12.67 aps average, 253 digs (2.01 dps) and 67 blocks (0.53 bps) with a .338 hitting percentage.

She earned all-tournament team honors at the 2007 Trojan Invitational and the USC Classic. She posted 63 assists with four kills in a 3-2 win on Sept. 14 at No. 20 Ohio State. 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. Carico 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.

During the 2007 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 and in the five-set loss to No. 1 Stanford in the NCAA Semifinal, she had 56 assists with 11 digs while recording five kills and no errors for a .417 night (5-0-12).

As a freshman in 2006, she finished second on USC's single-season list for total assists (most ever by a freshman) and sixth for assists per set average. On Sept. 2 against No. 24 Utah, she collected 62 assists, three kills, eight digs and two block assists.

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 She was named CIF Co-Player of the Year and state most valuable player in her senior season.

Family Gysin
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. In the summer of 2008, Gysin received a sixth year of eligiblity and has two years available to play.

She was second on the team last year with 327 kills (3.00 kps) with 219 digs (2.01 dpg) and 54 blocks (0.50 bps). She recorded eight double-doubles during her sophomore season.

She was named to the Gainesville (Fla.) All-Regional Team during the 2007 NCAA Tournament 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.

In her 2006 freshman season, she finished third on the team with 342 kills (3.03 kps) and 401 points (3.59 pps). She was second on the team with 293 digs (2.59 dps).

King Of The Hill
Junior libero Alli Hillgren (Rancho Santa Fe/Francis Parker HS) recorded 508 digs (4.38 dpg) last season as a sophomore for the Women of Troy, playing in every match. She also earned Pac-10 Conference All-Academic second team honors.

She had a career-high 36 digs (7.20 dps) on Oct. 26, 2007, against No. 9 Cal and followed it with 26 digs (6.50 dps) 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.

In the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament against Pepperdine, she had 20 digs in a three-set sweep. She had one ace and 26 digs in last night's five-game win over St. John's. In the five-set loss to Stanford in the NCAA Final Four, she tied a season high with two service aces and added 34 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.

Sophomore libero/outside hitter Geena Urango (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors last season for the Women of Troy.

Urango recorded 112 kills (0.90 kps) and 347 digs (2.80 dpg) in her freshman season.

She finished in a tie for sixth place in the Pac-10 Conference with 40 service aces (0.32 saps) and recorded four aces in a match twice (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.

She was on the 2008 U.S. Beach Volleyball Training Team for the SWATCH FIVB World Championship. She also played two years for the U.S. Youth National Team (2005-06) and also played on the Junior National Team.

It's Greek To Me
Sophomore middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS), whose first name is derived from a Greek word meaning 'life', enters the 2008 season as the lead middle blocker for the Women of Troy.

Garrett received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors last season after recording 210 kills (1.81 kps average) and 118 blocks (1.02 bps avg) while hitting .262.

A 10-kill performance came on Oct. 18 at Washington State where she also registered a season-high 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 2007 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
Sophomore outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS) made 10 starts in 26 matches last season for the Women of Troy, recording 195 kills (2.71 kps) with 118 digs (1.64 dps) and 40 blocks (0.56 bps).

She recorded her first collegiate double-double on Sept. 1, 2007, with 17 kills and 14 digs in a 3-0 sweep of Mercer. 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.

Roleder played last summer on the 2008 Women's A2 National Team and 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.

New Kids On The Block
Volleyball Magazine rated USC's 2008 recruiting class as the third-best in the nation with two Fab 50 players comprising the group of six players. 5-11 setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) and 6-3 outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach/Redondo Union HS) are the freshman Fab 50 selections. Also joining the team this season are 5-8 defensive specialist Paige Obradovich (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS) and 5-11 libero/outside hitter Kati Cattaneo (Santa Barbara/Dos Pueblos HS).

USC picked up two transfers: 6-0 junior outside hitter Emilie Stewart (Seal Beach/Los Alamitos HS) and 6-2 middle blocker Audrey Eichler (Pacific Palisades/Harvard-Westlake HS). Stewart played two seasons at Fordham, recording 141 kills (1.96 kps) with 172 digs (2.39 dps) and 35 blocks (0.49 bps) while Eichler spent one season at Boston College, where she was second on the team with 308 kills (2.68 kps) and recording 97 blocks (0.84 bps).

Olympic Pride
Four former USC women's volleyball players were present at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Former libero Nicole Davis played for the United States team that won the silver medal while two-time All-American Asia Kaczor played for her native Poland team. Former All-American Bibiana Candelas represented her native Mexico in the beach volleyball competition. Former All-American Sue Woodstra was an assistant coach for the United States indoor women's volleyball team.

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