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USC Women's Volleyball Opens 2020-21 Campaign at Oregon State

Jan 27, 2021

2020-21 Schedule | Live Stream | Live Stats

LOS ANGELES – The USC women's volleyball team (0-0) faces Oregon State (0-2, 0-2 Pac-12) to open the 2020-21 season this weekend in Corvallis, Ore. The Trojans and Beavers will play twice at Gill Coliseum; once on Friday (Jan. 29) at 6 p.m. PT and again on Sunday (Jan. 31) at noon. Both meetings will be streamed live by Oregon State Athletics and links can be found at or
The Trojans open a new era under first-year head coach Brad Keller. Previously an assistant coach with USC's men's program (2007-10), Keller also served as an assistant coach at UCLA (2013-18) where he rose to prominence as a fierce recruiter as he helped bring in four top-ranked classes for the Bruins. He spent 2019 as the associate head coach for the UCLA women before making the jump to USC's sideline as the Trojans' head coach.
The Women of Troy are led by senior All-American outside hitter Brooke Botkin (Houston, Texas). The power pin-hitter was a Pac-12 preseason all-conference choice and produced 3.07 kps with 2.08 dps in 2019. Opposite Botkin is sophomore right-side hitter Emilia Weske (Potsdam, Germany). Weske was a 2019 Pac-12 All-Freshman selection after a first-year campaign with 2.08 kps and 0.61 bps. The Trojans will also look to sophomore outside hitter Kalen Owes (Phoenix, Ariz.) for offensive production. Owes put up 2.16 kps with 1.43 dps as a freshman in 2019. At setter, 2018 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Raquel Lázaro (Málaga, Spain) is the incumbent starter and already ranks seventh on USC's all-time career assists ladder with 2,826 assists through two seasons.
Several new faces will see the floor for the Trojans this spring. After sitting out a redshirt season, senior middle blocker Candice Denny (Saratoga, Calif.) figures to be a factor at the net both on the attack and in USC's block. The Women of Troy will also have the services of 2019 signee Aleksandra Gryka (Warsaw, Poland) who will compete for time in the middle alongside sophomore middle blockers Chandlar Duff (Detroit, Mich.) and Madison Horin (Munster, Ind.). Among other returners are junior outside hitter Brooklyn Schirmer (Long Beach, Calif.) and sophomore libero Keila Barra (Pasadena, Calif.). 
USC also brought in a pair of freshman signees in outside hitter Malaya Jones (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and libero Sam Hastings (Frisco, Texas); as well as transfer liberos Sophia Theriot (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Kylie Baumert (Twin Falls, Idaho) and setter Sarah Nelson (Los Gatos, Calif.).
The Trojans are 57-9 all-time against the Beavers and have won nine straight over OSU. USC is 27-6 in meetings with Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., and has won the last four matches there. In 2019, the Trojans defeated the Beavers, 3-1, at Gill Coliseum and went five sets at Galen Center to claim a sweep of the season series.
The Beavers are 0-2 this season, having lost twice on the road at Colorado last weekend. Oregon State is led by fifth-year head coach Mark Barnard who has amassed 53 wins with the Beavers since 2016.
USC was picked to finish fifth by the Pac-12 coaches in a preseason poll. The Trojans own eight conference championships all-time including the first-ever Pac-12 title (2011) and last won the league crown in 2015. Botkin and Lázaro were each chosen to the Pac-12 preseason all-conference team. The league's coaches selected Utah to win the 2020-21 championship.

This season, the Pac-12 will play a 22-match Conference-only schedule as its 2020 season, which began on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. All volleyball competitions will be conducted in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee health and safety recommendations and guidelines available at
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.