USC Men's Volleyball Plays Alums In Exhibition
Jan. 20, 2004
The USC men's volleyball team (1-4 overall, 0-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) plays an alumni squad in an exhibition match on Tuesday (Jan. 20) at 7 p.m. in USC's North Gym, then returns to MPSF play with quite a challenge: travelling to top-ranked Pepperdine (4-0, 0-0) on Saturday (Jan. 24) at 2 p.m.
ON THE AIR
All of USC's home matches are broadcast live over the internet on www.usctrojans.com.
USC is not ranked in the USA Today/AVCA Division I-II coaches poll. Pepperdine is ranked first.
USC trails in its series with Pepperdine, 45-31, and has lost the last 5 meetings.
No. 15 USC was swept by No. 6 Long Beach State, 30-28, 30-22, 30-19, in the MPSF opener for both teams on Jan. 16 in the North Gym. The 49ers outhit USC, .395 to .157, while also getting more blocks (9.0 to 5.0) and digs (27 to 17). The Trojans, who had 17 serving errors, were led by Joao Grangeiro and Blake Tippett, each with 8 kills. Chris McKniff added 5 kills (hitting .400) and 3 blocks. USC led 24-22 in the first game, but the 49ers tied it at 24 all. Then, with the score knotted at 27-27, consecutive kills gave LBSU the cushion it needed. The teams both hit above .400 in that opening game before cooling off in the next one. The 49ers scored 4 points in a row to open up a 17-13 lead in game two and were never threatened. In the third game, LBSU jumped out to a 6-1 lead and hit .433 to USC's -.133 to close out the match. Then, on Jan. 17, unranked UC San Diego upset USC, 30-27, 30-27, 22-30, 32-30, in the North Gym. UCSD outhit USC, .364 to .268. Grangeiro led USC with 18 kills (hitting .314) and 9 digs, with McKniff adding 13 kills (hitting .545) and Matt Mosko had 10 kills (hitting .400), 4 blocks and 2 aces. UCSD trailed 24-23 in the first game, but called a timeout and then scored the next 3 points on Trojan hitting errors to gain control of that game. In the next game, USC held a 17-13 lead, but the Tritons ran off 5 consecutive points to get back into the game and eventually pull away. USC inserted Fernando Barron into the lineup for the third game (he had 8 kills overall) and he helped Troy open up a comfortable 16-10 lead which was never threatened. The momentum seemed to be in USC's favor in the fourth game as it got off to a 9-2 lead, but UCSD battled back to overtake the Trojans at 15-14 and the Tritons never trailed again.
TOUGH AT HOME
USC is 215-84 (.719) in home matches in its 28-year history. From 1999 to 2001, the Trojans had a school-record 19-match home winning streak in the quaint North Gym.
Besides the 4 NCAA crowns (1977-80-88-90) that USC's men have won, the Women of Troy have captured 6 national volleyball titles. USC's women won the AIAW trophy in 1976, 1977 and 1980, and the NCAA crown in 1981. Then, coach Mick Haley's 2002 and 2003 Women of Troy squads captured the NCAA titles.
COACH Turhan Douglas
Second-year USC head coach Turhan Douglas, an Trojan assistant the previous 3 seasons, was promoted to interim head coach in May of 2002. Then, in Marchof 2003, he had the interim tag removed from his title. Being a head coach is nothing new to the 34-year-old Douglas. In fact, he exhibited his head coaching ability at USC while an assistant. When Pat Powers-his predecessor at Troy-missed USC's home match against BYU in 2001 to be with his ill mother, Douglas stepped in and directed the Trojans to a 3-1 upset over the top-ranked, undefeated Cougars. Douglas was a successful junior college and club coach before he came to USC for the 2000 season. He was the men's head coach at Pierce Junior College in Woodland Hills (Calif.) for 2 seasons (1998-99) and guided his squad to the South Coast Conference title both years while going 43-9. His 1999 team was the state runner-up and he was named the conference's Coach of the Year. He also was the head coach of Pierce's women's team for 6 seasons (1993-98). He also spent 6 years (1996-2001) as the director and coach of the Santa Monica (Calif.) Beach Club. In 1998, his team won the USA Junior Olympics Boys 17-and-Under championship. He was an assistant with the Santa Monica Junior College men's team for 4 years (1992-95). Douglas was a reserve middle blocker on the 1991 Long Beach State team that won the NCAA title (defeating USC in the final). He also played 2 seasons at Pierce (1987-88). The 1987 Pierce squad won the state crown and the 1988 team was the state runner-up.
USC returns 4 starters from 2003: outside hitter Joao Grangeiro, opposite hitter Ian Gallagher, middle blocker Chris McKniff and libero Evan Burden. Gone from last year are a trio of 3-year starters-outside hitter Mark Dusharme, middle blocker Josh Day and setter Miles McGann-and a trio of part-time starters in middle blocker Phil Small and outside hitters Derek Otte and Peter Jordan.
USC's top returnee in 2004 is 6-2 sophomore outside hitter/libero Joao Grangeiro of Brazil. An All-MPSF second teamer last spring, he began that year as Troy's libero, then moved to outside hitter by midseason (where he'll start in 2004). Overall, he posted 170 kills, 299 digs (2 shy of the Trojan season record), 27 blocks and 13 aces. He was third nationally in dig average (2.56).
VETS IN THE MIDDLE
Two experienced juniors figure to start at the middle blocker spots: 6-10 Chris McKniff and 6-8 Jeff Bailey. McKniff had 82 kills (hitting .335) and 51 digs last year, while Bailey had 52 kills and 23 blocks. McKniff has 19 career starts (including 14 in 2003) and Bailey has started 6 times.
Another tested junior, 6-4 Blake Tippett, should start at outside hitter. A 7-match starter in his career, he had 64 kills and 34 digs last year. He was a member of the 2002 USA men's junior national team .
USC's lone senior, 6-6 Ian Gallagher, is the team's top opposite hitter and could be in the lineup if he's healthy (he has been bothered by shoulder and knee injuries throughout his career). He had 272 kills, 104 digs, 69 blocks and 17 aces last year while starting 27 matches, first at outside hitter before moving to opposite by midseason (he has 50 career starts).
A pair of high-potential players will compete for the starting job at setter: 6-7 junior J.T. Gilmour and 6-0 redshirt freshman Gio Altamura. Gilmour has started 13 times in his career (including 11 matches in 2002), while Altamura transferred from Ohio State after a stellar career at powerhouse Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach (Calif.), the 2001 national prep champion.
Evan Burden, a 5-10 sophomore, returns as USC's libero. He had 185 digs while starting the last half of the 2003 season. He is the younger brother of USC's former 3-year starting libero, Greg.
USC went outside the country to land a pair of players who will battle for time at outside hitter: 5-10 junior Pedro Leal of Brazil via Pierce Junior College in Woodland Hills (Calif.) and 6-3 freshman Fernando Barron of Puerto Rico. Leal helped lead Pierce to the 2002 and 2003 California J.C. crowns, while Barron was a four-time Puerto Rican high school all-star who competed at the 2003 Youth World Championships. Adding depth in the middle will be 6-9 sophomore Danny Newman, who has missed the past two seasons with a knee injury, and a pair of freshmen in 6-7 Matt Mosko, a 2003 All-CIF Division V first team pick at Viewpoint High in Calabasas (Calif.), and 6-5 Josh Feldman from Greenhill High in Dallas (Tex.). A pair of freshmen will provide depth at setter: 6-5 Jim Stein of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower (Calif.) and 6-3 Andrew Biernat from Crespi High in Encino (Calif.), who transferred to USC after a semester at Pierce. Brian Selogie, a 6-2 freshman from Peninsula High in Rolling Hills Estates (Calif.), will be a reserve libero. He spent the fall semester at Colorado. Two freshmen outside hitters-6-5 Matt Anderson, who was a two-time All-CIF Division II first team selection at Laguna Beach (Calif.) High, and 6-4 Mike Terrill, who didn't play volleyball last year while at USC-likely will redshirt in 2004.
Several USC players have Trojan relatives: Evan Burden's brother, Greg, was USC's libero for 3 seasons (2000-02). Several dozen of J.T. Gilmour's relatives attended USC, including his brother, Marcus, who was an outside hitter at USC (2000-03), and his mother and father. Blake Tippett is a third generation Trojan (his uncle, Hunt Williams, played soccer at USC). Jim Stein's father, as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins, attended USC. Brian Selogie's father is a USC alum. Assistant coach Tom Black's grandfather, Tom Nickell, was a USC vice president...Chris McKniff's parents were athletes: his father, John, played basketball at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, while his mother, Sharon (Callahan), placed ninth in the high jump for the U.S. at the 1968 Olympics as just a 16-year-old...Joao Grangeiro's father, Joao, played volleyball for Brazil in the 1980 Olympics...Matt Mosko's father, Steve, played football and lacrosse at Delaware, while his mother, Marianne, was on Delaware's basketball and volleyball teams... Andrew Biernat's brother, Matt, plays volleyball at Newman...Josh Feldman's father, Robert, played tennis at Tufts...Pedro Leal participated in Brazil's 1994 sailing (laser boats) national championships.