Women's Volleyball
    Volleyball Opens Pac-10 Season At No. 9 UCLA
    Volleyball looks to win first Gauntlet points against UCLA on Friday.
    Volleyball looks to win first Gauntlet points against UCLA on Friday.

    Sept. 16, 2003

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    This Week
    Friday, Sept. 19 - USC at UCLA, 7 p.m.
    Radio:
    Listen live at www.usctrojans.com.
    TV: Fox Sports Net, tape delay
    (Fox Sports West - Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.; Fox Sports West2 - Sept. 21 at 1:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.; check local listings for additional dates & times on FSN affiliates.


    The Facts
    The top-ranked USC women's volleyball team (9-0) - the defending NCAA and Pac-10 champion - travels across town this week to face rival UCLA (8-1) on Friday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. The match will open the Pac-10 season for the Women of Troy and will also be the first women's volleyball match-up for the 2003-04 Lexus Gauntlet. Fans can listen to a live radio broadcast on www.usctrojans.com or catch a tape delay television broadcast on Fox Sports West and Fox Sports West 2 (check above for dates and times).

    The Women of Troy are coming off a three-match sweep at the McDonald's-Texas A&M Invitation last week. USC defeated Centenary, 3-0, Southwest Missouri State, 3-0, and Texas A&M, 3-0, to capture its third tournament championship of the season. April Ross was named tournament MVP, while Keao Burdine and Emily Adams earned all-tournament honors.

    Battle For Third-Annual Lexus Gauntlet
    The Women of Troy are looking to capture the first five of 10 women's volleyball points awarded towards the Lexus Gauntlet. The Lexus Gauntlet is a season-long competition between USC and UCLA in all sports. This unique program awards points for the winner of each Bruin-Trojan head-to-head contest throughout the year and the Lexus Gauntlet trophy is awarded to the school with the most points at year's end. USC captured the inaugural trophy in 2001-02, but the Bruins took the title last season. Friday's women's volleyball match-up will be the first USC-UCLA contest of the year.

    The Rankings
    After entering the season at No. 1, the Women of Troy are holding on to the top spot. USC earned all 65 first-place votes to remain No. 1 on this week's USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll. The Women of Troy also hold the top spot in the Volleyball magazine preseason poll.

    Knocking Down The Top 10
    Just four weeks into the 2003 season, the Women of Troy have already faced four top 10 opponents and this week the Trojans will face their fifth when they travel to No. 9 UCLA. With arguably the nation's toughest schedule, USC has not only defeated, but swept its ranked foes up to this point, beating No. 2 Hawai'i (Aug. 22), No. 3 Florida (Aug. 21), No. 8 Northern Iowa (Aug. 30) and No. 8 Pepperdine (Sept. 3).

    Pac-10 Dominance
    Once again, the Pac-10 is showing why it is the most competitive volleyball conference in the nation. Six of the 10 Pac-10 universities are ranked among the top 16 in the AVCA poll this week, including No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 9 UCLA, No. 12 Cal, No. 14 Washington and No. 16 Arizona. The West Coast Conference (Pepp., LMU, Santa Clara, USD) and Big 10 (Wisc., PSU, Minn., MSU) are next on the list with four schools ranked among the top 25.

    It's All About The Team
    Just like last season, USC relies on a true "team" effort to win matches. There is not just one go-to player for the Trojans, there's a team full of standouts all sharing responsibility. Currently, three players are averaging nearly 3.5 kills per game (Keao Burdine-3.71, Emily Adams-3.59, April Ross-3.48), three average more than 1.0 blocks per game (Adams-1.56, Bibiana Candelas-1.46, Katie Olsovsky-1.00), three average more than 2.5 digs per game (Nicole Davis-3.46 dpg, Ross-2.78, Burdine-2.54) and three players are hitting above .400 (Candelas-.468, Olsovsky-.452, Adams-.405).

    Serving For Points
    One aspect of the Women of Troy's game that has improved this season is serving. USC is currently averaging 2.07 service aces per game, a mark which ranks fourth in the Pac-10 (no USC team has ever averaged above 1.87). The team is led by April Ross, who in one week jumped from No. 10 to No. 1 in the conference rankings. She is averaging 0.74 aces per game after collecting 12 service aces last week, including a career-high seven aces against Centenary (Sept. 12).

    UCLA Connections
    * The father and grandfather of UCLA junior Brynn Murphy both played football at USC. Her father, George, lettered in 1944 and 1946-48.
    * April Ross and UCLA junior outside hitter Heather Cullen were prep teammates at Newport Harbor High in Newport Beach, Calif.
    * Katie Olsovsky and UCLA junior libero Chrissie Zartman were prep teammates at Bishop Montgomery High in Torrance, Calif.
    * Anne Montgomery and UCLA freshman outside hitter Colby Lyman were classmates and teammates at St. Francis High in Los Altos, Calif.
    * UCLA's Chrissie Zartman and Keao Burdine paired for the 2002 Under-21 World Beach Volleyball Championship in Catania, Italy. Representing the United States, the team advanced to the quarterfinal round (fifth place), but was eliminated by third-place finisher Maria Salgado Rufino and Talita Rocha of Brazil, 21-13, 21-15.
    * UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski (946 career wins) and Mick Haley (835 career wins) are two of the most successful coaches in collegiate women's volleyball. Banachowski and Haley rank No. 1 and 2 among all college coaches in total career victories.

    McDonald's-Texas A&M Invitational Recap
    USC swept all three opponents at the McDonald's-Texas A&M Invitational held in College Station, Texas, Sept. 12-13. It took the Women of Troy exactly one hour to collect a three game win over Centenary to open the tournament on Friday. April Ross led the Women of Troy with 19.5 points, including a career-high seven aces in the match. The following morning, the Trojans got past Southwest Missouri State thanks to an error-free performance from Emily Adams. Adams led with 15 kills off of 26 attacks for a .577 hitting display. She also led with 20.5 total points and seven blocks. Katie Olsovsky was the standout in the final match of the tourney as she helped lead the Trojans to a 30-27, 30-15, 30-22 win over the Aggies. In front of an enthusiastic crowd, Olsovsky led with 17.0 points and a .714 attack percentage after committing only one error in the match.

    Keao Burdine (3.22 kills and 2.78 digs per game, .365) and Adams (4.33 kills and 1.33 blocks per game, .464) were named to the all-tournament team, while Ross (3.33 kills, 3.00 digs and 1.33 service aces per game) was honored as tournament MVP - her third such honor this season.

    Reaching New Heights
    The 2003 squad boasts the tallest lineup of hitters and blockers in recent history at USC (and equals the average height of the 2002 squad). The Trojans' hitters and blockers average 6-foot-3 and as a team USC stands at 6-0.

    Putting Up A Wall
    USC's front line may be the most dominant in program history. By rotating Katie Olsovsky from middle blocker to right side hitter, head coach Mick Haley has found a way to have three blockers on the court at one time. With 6-foot-6 Emily Adams, 6-foot-5 Bibiana Candelas and the 6-foot-3 Olsovsky, the Trojans' opponents have had a hard time getting past the block. The trio is helping the Women of Troy average 3.44 blocks per game, while holding opponents to a .112 attack percentage.

    News To Note
    * Sophomore Staci Venski collected a career-high seven kills and three digs versus Centenary on Sept. 12. The day after she posted a career-high three blocks against Southwest Missouri State (Sept. 13).
    * April Ross served up a career high seven aces against Centenary on Sept. 12.
    * Bibiana Candelas set a career high with four aces against Centenary on Sept. 12 and Florida on Aug. 22.
    * It took USC just one hour to defeat Centenary (Sept. 12), USC's shortest match this season.
    * USC held Centenary to only six points in the opening game, the lowest opponent point total ever compiled against the Women of Troy in a single 30-point game.
    * Emily Adams compiled a career-high .750 hitting percentage (15-0-20) against Ball State on Aug. 29.
    * Bibiana Candelas had a career-high eight total blocks and seven block assists against Pepperdine (Sept. 3).
    * Bibiana Candelas set a career mark with 12 kills against Hawai'i (Aug. 23).

    Head Coach Mick Haley
    Mick Haley is in his third season as head coach of the Women of Troy. In 2002, he collected his fifth career national title (three NCAA Division I titles, two JC titles) just two years after arriving at Troy. Haley guided the Women of Troy to the program's first NCAA championship in more than 20 years and became just the second coach in NCAA history to win a national title at two universities (John Dunning is the other). Though hired in 1999 to replace former head coach Lisa Love, Haley completed his term as head coach of the U.S.A. Women's National Team before joining the Trojans in 2001. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, he led the United States to an unexpected fourth-place finish. Haley coached Texas for 17 seasons (1980-1996) and led the Longhorns to two national championships. He boasts a 835-193-1 (.812) overall record, 584-142 (.804) NCAA Division I record and a 183-13 (.934) career conference mark.

    Opponent Notes

    No. 9 UCLA (8-1) -- Ninth-ranked UCLA is coming off a tournament sweep, after defeating Texas-Arlington, TAMU-Corpus Christi and Texas (all by 3-0 scores) last week to win the Time Warner Texas Invitational. With the win, UCLA improved to 8-1 overall and have now won six straight matches. Junior middle blocker Brynn Murphy was named MVP after leading the team with 11 kills in the last game and a total of 38 for the tournament. Junior setter Krystal McFarland and junior libero Chrissie Zartman also were named to the all-tournament team. Murphy currently leads the team with 3.96 kills per game and middle blocker Cira Wright leads with 1.12 blocks per game. The Bruins returned four starters and 11 total letterwinners from last year's squad which advanced to the NCAA second round, finished fifth in the Pac-10 and compiled a 21-10 overall record. Head coach Andy Banachowski is in his 37th year with the Bruins.

    USC-UCLA Series Record -- The rivalry continues as the Bruins and Trojans meet for the 80th time in program history on Friday (Sept. 19). USC defeated UCLA twice last season, both by 3-0 scores. The Women of Troy now have a 40-39 (.506) edge in the all-time series and have won the last four-straight match-ups.

    Opponent Comparisons	Kpg	Pct.	Apg	SApg	Dpg	Bpg
    
    UCLA 17.45 .323 15.03 1.52 14.41 2.36
    USC 17.63 .340 16.44 2.07 15.26 3.44
    Player Profiles

    #1 Kimi Freeburg Setter * Freshman
    This Season (9 matches played):
    vs. Florida (8/22): 11 assists, 3 digs... at Hawai'i (8/23): 4 assists, 3 digs... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 14 assists, 3 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 12 assists, 1 dig... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 12 assists, 3digs... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 16 assists, 4 digs... vs. Centenary (9/12): 11 assists, 3 digs... vs. SMS (9/13): 11 assists, 1 ace, 4 digs... at Texas A&M (9/13): 16 assists, 3 digs...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #2 Debora Seilhamer Defensive Specialist * Freshmen
    This Season (9 matches played):
    vs. Florida (8/22): played two games... at Hawai'i (8/23): 1 ace... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 4 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 3 digs... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 1 dig... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 1 dig... vs. Centenary (9/12): 8 digs... vs. SMS (9/13): 2 digs... at Texas A&M (9/13): 5 digs...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #3 Toni Anderson Setter * Senior
    Did You Know?
    Upon entering the season, Toni Anderson ranked sixth on USC's career record list with 2,612 career assists.
    This Season (9 matches played, 9 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 29 assists, 1 ace, 1 dig, 1 block... at Hawai'i (8/23): 38 assists, 6 digs, 1 block... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 30 assists, 4 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): tied career high with 3 kills and 1.000 attack pct., 35 assists, 3 digs... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 33 assists, 2 aces, 9 digs, 1 block... Named to USC-Holiday Inns All-Tournament team... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 28 assists, 2 kills, 1 ace, 8 digs, 3.0 points... vs. Centenary (9/12): 31 assists, 1 kill, 7 digs, 1 block, 1.5 points... vs. SMS (9/13): 36 assists, 1 kill, 2 aces, 6 digs, 1 block, 3.5 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 31 assists, 1 kill, 8 digs, 1.0 point...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #4 Nicole Davis Libero * Senior
    Did You Know?
    A black-belt in karate, Nicole Davis will always be known as the first women's player to ever play the position of libero at USC.
    This Season (9 matches played, 9 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 6 digs... at Hawai'i (8/23): 18 digs, 3 assists... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 4 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 2 assists, 17 digs... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 8 digs... Named to USC-Holiday Inns All-Tournament team... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 10 digs, 1 assist... vs. Centenary (9/12): 5 digs (played only one game)... vs. SMS (9/13): 11 digs, 2 assists... at Texas A&M (9/13): 4 digs...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #5 Anne Montgomery Defensive Specialist * Freshman
    Did You Know?
    Anne Montgomery's father, Mike Montgomery, is the men's basketball head coach at Stanford
    This Season (2 matches played): vs. Florida (8/22): DNP... at Hawai'i (8/23): DNP... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 2 digs... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): played 1 game... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): DNP... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): DNP... vs. Centenary (9/12): 1 ace, 2 digs, 1.0 point... vs. SMS (9/13): DNP... at Texas A&M (9/13): DNP...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #7 Bibiana Candelas Middle Blocker * Sophomore
    Did You Know?
    A standout and seven-year member of the Mexican National Team, Bibiana Candelas is the tallest and regarded as the most-dominant player in Mexico.
    This Season (9 matches played, 9 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 6 kills, .455 (6-1-11), 2 assists, career-high 4 aces, 3 blocks, 12.5 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): career-high 12 kills, .524 (12-1-21), 2 assists, 1 dig, career-high 5 blocks, 15.0 points... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 9 kills (.615), 5 blocks, 12.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 9 kills (.471), 1 ace, 1 dig, 4 blocks, 12.5 points ... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 6 kills (.462), 2 assists, 5 blocks, 9.0 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 7 kills (.385), 2 assists, 1 ace, 2 digs, career-high 7 blocks, 12.5 points... vs. Centenary (9/12): 5 kills (.444), career-high 4 aces, 4 digs, 2 blocks, 10.5 points... vs. SMS (9/13): 11 kills (.471), 1 ace, 3 digs, 3 blocks, 14.0 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 5 kills (.333), 1 ace, 2 digs, 3 blocks, 7.5 points...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #8 Keao Burdine Outside Hitter * Junior
    Did You Know?
    Keao Burdine made her presence known last season when she combined for 3.9 kills, 0.5 aces, 3.0 digs and 4.6 points per game in the final two rounds of the NCAA Tournament to be named NCAA Championship MVP - the third USC player to ever earn the honor, along with Tracy Clark in 1982 and Cathy Stukel in 1981).
    This Season (8 matches played, 8 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 12 kills, .200 (12-6-30), 2 assists, 1 ace, 7 digs, 1 block, 13.5 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): 13 kills, .163 (13-6-43), 1 ace, 8 digs, 2 blocks, 15.5 points... Named NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic All-Tournament... vs. Ball St. (8/29): did not play, resting sore elbow... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 6 kills (.130), 2 aces, 6 digs, 8.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 18 kills (.289), 9 digs, 4 blocks, 20.5 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 11 kills (.367), 6 digs, 3 blocks, 12.5 points... vs. Centenary (9/12): 6 kills (.333), 1 ace, 9 digs, 1 block, 7.5 points... vs. SMS (9/13): 10 kills (.261), 10 digs, 10.0 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 13 kills (.480), 1 ace, 6 digs, 2 blocks, 15.5 points... Named McDonald's-Texas A&M Invitational All-Tournament...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #9 Emily Adams Middle Blocker * Junior
    Did You Know?
    At 6-foot-6, Emily Adams is the tallest player to ever play for the Women of Troy.
    This Season (9 matches played, 9 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 7 kills, .400 (7-1-15), 4 digs, 5 blocks, 9.5 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): 9 kills, .148 (9-5-27), 3 digs, 7 blocks, 13.5 points... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 15 kills with no error for a career-high .500 attack percentage - a mark which ties for fourth place among USC's all-time individual match records, 1 dig, 6 blocks, 18.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 12 kills (.524), 2 aces, 4 digs, 5 blocks, 18.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 6 kills (.200), 1 ace, 3 digs, 5 blocks, 10.0 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 9 kills (.304), 2 assists, 1 ace, 2 digs, 2 blocks, 11.0 points... vs. Centenary (9/12): 13 kills (.476), 6 digs, 3 blocks, 15.5 points... vs. SMS (9/13): 15 kills and no errors (.577), 1 ace, 7 blocks, 20.5 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 11 kills (.318), 2 aces, 1 dig, 2 block, 14.0 points... Named McDonald's-Texas A&M Invitational All-Tournament...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #10 Alex Dunphy Setter * Freshman
    Did You Know?
    Alex Dunphy's father, Marv Dunphy, is the men's volleyball head coach at Pepperdine and a Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee who has guided the Waves to three national titles in 20 seasons. He was also the former head coach of the U.S. Men's Volleyball National Team (1985-88). His U.S. team captured the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
    This Season: Has yet to play or travel this season while rehabilitating a back injury.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #12 Kelli Lantz Middle Blocker * Senior
    This Season:
    Has yet to play or travel this season while rehabilitating a back injury.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #13 Alicia Robinson Outside Hitter * Junior
    This Season (9 matches played):
    vs. Florida (8/22): 2 kills, -.222 (2-4-9), 1 dig, 2.0 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): 1 kill, -.182 (1-3-11), 2 blocks, 2.0 points... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 9 kills, career-high .818 attack percentage (9-0-11), 1 ace, 7 digs, 4 blocks, 12.5 points ... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 4 kills (.083), 3 blocks, 6.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 2 kills (-.111), 1 dig, 2 blocks, 3.0 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 6 kills (.462, no errors), 1 dig, 1 block, 6.5 points... vs. Centenary (9/12): 8 kills (.429), 3 digs, 8.0 points... vs. SMS (9/13): 2 digs, 1 block, 0.5 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 2 kills (-.111), 2.0 points...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #14 April Ross Outside Hitter * Senior
    Did You Know?
    Upon entering the season, April Ross ranked among USC's top 10 career leaders in kills per game (3.75), attacks (2855), service aces (102), service aces per game (0.25), digs (940) and digs per game (3.03). As a three-year starter, Ross will leave USC as one of its all-time greatest players. Last season she earned her first AVCA All-America first team honor and third consecutive All-Pac-10 first team honor.
    This Season (9 matches played, 9 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 10 kills, .364 (10-2-22), 1 ace, 9 digs, 2 blocks, 12.0 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): 10 kills, .308 (10-2-26), 16 digs, 3 blocks, 12.0 points... Named NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic MVP... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 9 kills (.381), 3 aces, 3 digs, 1 block, 12.5 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 15 kills (.400), 1 assist, 4 digs, 1 block, 16.5 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 10 kills (.231), 1 ace, 7 digs, 2 blocks 13.0 points... Named USC-Holiday Inns Tournament MVP... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 10 kills (.129), 2 aces, 9 digs, 2 blocks, 13.5 points... vs. Centenary (9/12): 12 kills (.375), career-high 7 aces, 7 digs, 1 block, 19.5 points... vs. SMS (9/13): 8 kills (.148), 3 assists, 10 digs, 1 block, 9.0 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 10 kills (.308), 2 assists, 5 aces, 10 digs, 1 block, 15.5 points... Named McDonald's-Texas A&M Invitational MVP...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #21 Staci Venski Middle Blocker * Sophomore
    This Season (8 matches played):
    vs. Florida (8/22): 4 kills, career-high .800 (4-0-5), 4.0 points... at Hawai'i (8/23): DNP... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 3 kills (.600), 1 assist, 3.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): 4 kills (.429), 1 dig, 2 blocks... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 1 kill (-.167), 1 point... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): played one game... vs. Centenary (9/12): career-high 7 kills (no errors, .538), 3 digs, 1 block, 7.5 points... vs. SMS (9/13): 2 kills (no errors, .400), career-high 3 blocks, 3.5 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 1 block, 0.5 points...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    #33 Katie Olsovsky Outside Hitter * Senior
    Did You Know?
    Upon entering the season, Katie Olsovsky ranked among USC's career leaders in attack percentage (first, .367), solo blocks (eighth, 83), block assists (seventh, 292), total blocks (seventh, 375) and blocks per game (1.26, tied with teammate Emily Adams for fifth).
    This Season (8 matches played, 8 starts): vs. Florida (8/22): 7 kills, .375 (7-1-16), 10 digs, 4 blocks, 9.0 points... vs. Hawai'i (8/23): 7 kills, .375 (7-1-16), 1 dig, 3 blocks, 8.5 points... vs. Ball St. (8/29): 6 kills (.400), 5 digs, 4 blocks, 8.0 points... vs. S. Carolina (8/30): did not play games 2 and 3 after twisting left ankle, 2 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 3 digs, 3.0 points... vs. N. Iowa (8/30): 8 kills (.500), 1 assist, 4 digs, 2 blocks, 9 points... vs. Pepperdine (9/3): 7 kills (.312), 3 digs, 5 blocks, 10.0 points... vs. Centenary (9/12): DNP due to illness... vs. SMS (9/13): 10 kills (.533), 1 dig, 2 blocks, 11.0 points... at Texas A&M (9/13): 16 kills (16-1-21, .714), 1 dig, 2 blocks, 17.0 points...