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USC Women's Volleyball Set For Rivalry Clashes With No. 15 UCLA

Mar 18, 2021

USC WVB Notebook (Mar. 18) | Follow: Live Stats

LOS ANGELES – The USC women's volleyball team (3-7, 3-7 Pac-12) renews its series with crosstown rival No. 15 UCLA (11-5, 11-5) for a home-and-home weekend that begins with an 8 p.m. PT matchup at Galen Center on Friday (March 19) before it moves to Pauley Pavilion for a Sunday-afternoon (March 21) collision at 4:30 p.m.  
 
First-year head coach Brad Keller will face his old team for the first time. He served as the Bruins' associate head coach during the 2019 season.
 
On Friday night, the Trojans will play their first home match since Feb. 7, and only their third home contest of the season. Coming off two consecutive canceled weekends due to a pause in team activities for COVID-19 protocols, the Women of Troy resumed play with a pair of road matches at No. 8-ranked Washington. USC pushed the Huskies to five sets in their first meeting but was swept in the second. Despite the record, USC has held its own against top Pac-12 teams. Four of the Trojans' losses have come in five sets against Utah, Oregon, and UW. 

MATCH #11Friday, March 19 • 8 p.m. PT
Galen Center • Los Angeles, Calif. • Pac-12 Network

MATCH #12Sunday, March 21 • 4:30 p.m. PT
Pauley Pavilion • Los Angeles, Calif. • Pac-12 Network

USC (3-7, 3-7) vs. No. 15 UCLA (11-5, 11-5)
SERIES RECORD: USC leads, 59-55 (.518)
LAST MEETING: L, 3-0 (Nov. 29, 2019 • Galen Center)
STREAK: Lost 2 • LAST 10 MEETINGS: 4-6
OPPONENT WEBSITE: UCLABruins.com

FIRST SERVE

  • 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.
  • Keller served as the associate head coach for UCLA last season (2019).
  • Sr. OH Brooke Botkin and Jr. S Raquel Lázaro were each chosen to the Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Team.
  • The Women of Troy will be playing only their third home match of the season. USC had its home series against Stanford, Arizona State, and Washington State each canceled for various reasons.
  • USC was picked to finish fifth in a preseason poll of the league's coaches.
  • The Trojans are 59-55 all-time against UCLA, which includes a 22-23 record at home and a 6-8 mark at Galen Center (since 2006).
  • USC has had six matches canceled this season due to COVID-19 protocols. From the Pac-12, only Stanford has had more matches canceled (10).

LAST TIME OUT: USC resumed play following back-to-back weekends of canceled matches for COVID-19 protocols. The Trojans made the trek to the Pacific Northwest for two matches with eighth-ranked Washington. In the first meeting, USC was narrowly defeated in the first set, and despite going down, 2-0, in the match, forced the fifth before falling, 15-12. The Huskies were unrelenting in the second match and sewed up a 3-0 sweep. Brooklyn Schirmer set new career marks with 16 kills and 34 attacks in the first meeting. USC posted a season-best 71 digs led by a season-high 18 from Sophia Theriot.
 
AVCA POLL POSITION: The Trojans opened the 2020-21 season unranked in the AVCA coaches' poll. Despite receiving votes in the first four coaches polls of the year, USC has not reached the top 25 this spring. Overall, the Trojans have appeared in the poll 517 times, which ranks third all-time. USC has held a spot among the poll's top 10 teams 316 times, which ranks eighth all-time. The Trojans have held the No. 1 ranking 47 times previously; sixth all-time.
 
AGREE TO DISAGREE: The Women of Troy lead the all-time series with rival UCLA by a 59-55 margin. Ask someone in blue and gold and they'll tell you otherwise. The Bruins claim to lead the series with a record of 66-58. UCLA's program, which started in 1972, is several years the senior to the one at USC (1976) and earned a handful of victories over the Trojans before the Women of Troy officially started a varsity program. In those four seasons, the Bruins racked up 11 wins against USC's club team, which are included in UCLA's all-time record.
 
DOUBLE DOWN: Four current Trojans have recorded career double-doubles. Junior setter Raquel Lázaro has logged 36 double-doubles (4 this season) and is the owner of the first and only USC triple-double in the rally scoring era (36 assists, 16 digs, 11 blocks at Northern Iowa, Sept. 7, 2019). Senior OH Brooke Botkin has 24-career double-double matches (6 in 2020-21). Sophomore OH Kalen Owes has recorded three-career double-doubles and sophomore OPP Emilia Weske has had two-career double-double matches.
 
LONG DISTANCE: The Trojans have played five sets four times (0-4) this season. In 2019, USC played five a school-record 11 times and went 4-7 in those contests. Previously, USC played nine five-set matches in a season three times (1980, 2007, 2010). In each of those seasons, the Trojans went 8-1 in five-setters. The Women of Troy are 140-94 all-time in five-set matches: 56-34 at home; 61-47 on the road; and 23-13 in neutral locations.
 
HOME, SWEET HOME: USC is 169-44 (.793) all-time at Galen Center. The Trojans went 12-1 in home matches in 2011 and completed the 2012 home schedule with a 17-1 mark. In 2007, USC was 19-0 at home on the way to an appearance in the NCAA national semifinal match. The Trojans are 20-4 all-time at Galen Center in NCAA tournament matches. The four losses were to Hawai'i (2008 and 2009) and San Diego (2018) each time in the second round; and to Washington in the 2013 NCAA Regional Final.