USC Women's Volleyball Heads to Bay Area for Golden Bear Battles
LOS ANGELES – The USC women's volleyball team (1-5, 1-5 Pac-12) looks to end a four-match losing streak as the Trojans head north for two matches against California (1-7, 1-7) in Berkeley, Calif., this weekend. Despite the losses, USC--under the direction of first-year head coach Brad Keller--has held its own against the Pac-12's top teams. In the three losses in which USC has had the majority of its lineup, the Trojans pushed both Oregon and No. 7 Utah to five sets. Sr. OH Brooke Botkin has produced a double-double in each of the five matches she has played. Jr. setter Raquel Lázaro leads all Trojans with 35-career double-doubles and ranks third in the league for assists. Due to travel concerns with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pac-12 programs are scheduled to play a league-only schedule in which teams will face the same opponent twice each weekend. USC is playing its third road series in four weekends of action after opening the season at Oregon State and facing Utah on the road last week.
LAST TIME OUT: USC faced its first ranked opponent of the season looking to snap a two-match losing streak but came up short against seventh-ranked Utah on the road. The Women of Troy were without several regular starters for their first match in Salt Lake City due to team disciplinary reasons and were swept by the Utes despite strong performances from Emilia Weske (11k) and Brooklyn Schirmer (10k). In the back half of the two-match series, USC got a 21-kill performance from Brooke Botkin and had four players in double-digit kills to push Utah to a fifth set on the road. The Trojans stayed closed to the Utes all the way through the final frame, but Utah remained undefeated by securing a 15-13 win in the fifth.
- The Women of Troy are under the direction of first-year head coach Brad Keller who previously served as an assistant coach for the Men of Troy.
- Sr. OH Brooke Botkin and Jr. S Raquel Lázaro were each chosen to the Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Team.
- USC was picked to finish fifth in a preseason poll of the league's coaches.
- The Trojans are 62-12 all-time against California, which includes a 26-7 record in Berkeley, where USC has won nine straight since 2010.
- USC holds a 61-60 all-time record in Northern California, which includes matches played in Davis, Sacramento, and Stockton.
- Brooke Botkin has posted a double-double in each of the five matches she has played in this season and has 23 such matches in her career. Raquel Lázaro leads all current Trojans with 35-career double-doubles.
- USC looks to snap a four-match losing streak, which is the team's longest since a four-match streak to end the 2016 season. The Trojans have not lost five consecutive matches since 1990 (Nov. 2-14).
- Pac-12 teams in California have a combined overall record of 8-18 with UCLA in the lead at 5-3. Cal is 1-7, USC is 1-5, and Stanford is 1-3.
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 Pac-12.com/health.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com/WVB. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.