Trojans Seek Eighth Straight Win as Cal Comes to Visit
Oct. 5, 2013
Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCWomensVolley
LOS ANGELES - The second-ranked USC women's volleyball team (13-1, 3-0 Pac-12) is reaching for its eighth straight victory as California (9-3, 2-1) visit Galen Center for a Sunday matinee matchup at 1 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks. The Women of Troy are on their longest winning streak since they won 13 straight to open the 2012 season. Sunday's matchup will feature Anne Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn on the call.
USC is coming off an impressive 3-0 sweep of seventh-ranked Stanford and Cal has won a pair of matches since a three-match skid and just dismantled a 16th-ranked UCLA squad at Pauley Pavilion. While the Trojans dominate the all-time series with the Bears, Cal has pushed five of its seven matches at the Galen Center to five sets. Still, USC maintains a 7-0 mark against Cal in its home arena since 2006.
The Trojans are also nursing a 14-match home winning streak (dating to Oct. 5, 2012) and are 98-10 (.907) in all-time matches at the Galen Center. USC's longest Galen Center winning streak lasted 30 matches between Oct. 13, 2006, and Oct. 11, 2008. The Trojans went undefeated (17-0) at home in 2007.
Head coach Mick Haley recorded his 1,100th career victory as a women's collegiate head coach in USC's win over Stanford.
Offensively, USC's weaponry is spread across its six different hitters. Sophomore OH Samantha Bricio puts up 3.23 kps and is the conference leader for service aces (35) at 0.74 saps. Clocked at over 50 miles per hour, Bricio has had six matches, this season, in which she has posted three service aces or more and ranks eighth in the Pac-12 at 4.39 points per set.
Freshman OH Ebony Nwanebu is third on the team with 3.07 kps and also ranks third with 0.80 blocks per set. At the other outside position, senior OH Sara Shaw is recording 2.18 kps and is second on the team with 2.58 dps. Junior OH Emily Young has become a steady force for the Trojans with 1.76 kps.
Defensively, the Trojans lean on senior All-American Natalie Hagglund who puts up 4.69 digs per set (second in the Pac-12). Senior MB Alexis Olgard leads the team with 1.20 bps and is also an offensive threat with 1.91 kps with a .436 hitting percentage that ranks second in the conference and 21st in the country. Junior MB Hannah Schraer is just a shade behind with 1.08 bps and puts up 1.33 kps.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans pulled off an impressive 3-0 sweep of a seventh-ranked Stanford squad (25-21, 25-15, 27-25) at the Galen Center and ran its winning streak to a season-high seven matches. USC was led by sophomore OH Samantha Bricio who posted 11 kills (.321) and added three service aces (her sixth match this season with at least three). Freshman OH Ebony Nwanebu had 13 kills, an ace, and a pair of blocks for 15.0 points while senior libero Natalie Hagglund was again the defensive heartbeat with 14 digs. The win was the 1,100th as a women's collegiate head coach for Mick Haley and pushed USC to 98-10 in all-time matches at the Galen Center.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears (9-3, 2-1 Pac-12) have swept their last two opponents since enduring a three-match skid through which they dropped a 3-2 decision to Kansas State and a pair of 3-1 losses to UC Davis and Stanford. Cal won its first conference match against Arizona and then went on the road to earn a historic 3-0 sweep at Pauley Pavilion over a 16th-ranked UCLA team. The Bears rank third in the Pac-12 in assists (13.85 aps) and second in kills (14.73 kps) and are led by a pair of seniors. Outside hitter Adrienne Gehan is third in the conference at 4.32 kps and 4.97 pps. Senior setter Joan Caloiaro ranks third in assists with 11.67 aps and is ninth for service aces at 0.33 saps. In the middle, sophomore Lara Vukasovic is sixth in the league with a .401 hitting percentage and third on the team with 2.49 kps. Junior right side Christina Higgins puts up 3.24 kps while sophomore middle Lillian Schoneweis nabs 2.21 kps and leads the team with 1.10 blocks per set. Defensively, freshman libero Maddy Kerr leads the team with 3.42 dps but Gehan (3.10 dps) and Caloiaro (3.15 dps) also shore up the Bears' defense.
THE MATCHUP: The Trojans and the Bears will meet for the 62nd time with USC leading the all-time series, 50-11. The Women of Troy are on a four-match winning streak; the longest since a six-match streak from 2005-08. USC is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings and are 26-2 in home matches against the Bears. Though Cal has been able to push five of its seven matches at the Galen Center to five sets, it has never beaten USC in this facility.
CAL HEAD COACH RICH FELLER: California head coach Rich Feller is in his 15th season at the helm of the Golden Bear program and is the winningest coach in school history with a 292-156 overall record. He has taken Cal to a school-record 11 straight NCAA tournaments and was named the 2010 National Coach of the Year when the Bears advanced to the national championship match.
HALEY HITS 1100: Head coach Mick Haley recorded his 1,100th win as a women's collegiate head coach on Friday, Oct. 4, as the Trojans defeated Stanford, 3-0, at the Galen Center. He has 327 with USC, 522 with Texas, and 348 with Kellogg CC.
TROJAN TRACKER: Get social with the Women of Troy this season. Fans can follow and interact with the USC women's volleyball team on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by searching for USCWomensVolley.
LIKE A BROKEN RECORD: Senior libero Natalie Hagglund is poised to become the program's all-time leader in career digs, this season and the second player ever to reach the 2,000-dig plateau. She has 1,931, and currently sits in second place behind just Debora Seilhamer who logged 2,071 in her prolific career. Hagglund moved into the Pac-12's top 10 career leaders in digs and is ranked ninth. Her 4.70 career dps rank second in program history. Hagglund owns three of the top 10 single-season school records for digs: third (613 in 2012), fourth (596 in 2011), and ninth (497 in 2010 as a freshman). A season ago, Samantha Bricio set the ninth-best single-season mark for kills with 491 and took the second-most attempts in a single season at USC (1,325). Bricio's 43 service aces also tied for seventh most in a single season and her 567.0 points ranks seventh in a season for Troy. Setter Hayley Crone enjoyed the program's eighth-best single year with 1,337 assists while middle blocker Alexis Olgard recorded the ninth-best single-season hitting percentage at .394.
ACE IN THE HOLE: Sophomore OH Samantha Bricio leads the Pac-12 and is third in the NCAA in service aces with a remarkable 0.74 saps average. After leading the conference (43, 0.36 saps) in 2012, she has already posted 35 aces in 2013. Her 43 aces as a freshman tied for seventh most in program history. USC's single-season record for aces is 59 shared by April Ross (2003) and Nancy Hillman (1988). Ross also holds the Trojan record for highest single-season average with 0.52 saps in 2003.