Haley One Win Away From 300th at USC|
Oct. 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES - USC women's volleyball head coach Mick Haley has his sights set on win No. 300 with the Women of Troy as the fifth-ranked Trojans get set to host Arizona State in a Sunday-afternoon bout at the Galen Center. Haley's next win would also be his 1,170th career victory as he closes in on 1,200 all-time wins.
USC has won its last two matches in convincing fashion following two stunning 3-0 sweeps at the hands of Oregon and Washington; the latter of the two on the road. The Trojans have enjoyed home-court advantage throughout the season and are 8-1 on the floor at Galen with an 85-10 all-time record at the young arena.
The Trojans will honor two from their past as Jennifer Kessy and April Ross return to campus. Kessy and Ross have played together as a beach tandem since 2007 with much heralded success. The USC duo will have their names raised to the rafters of the Galen Center on the heels of a silver-medal finish at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Kessy was an All-American in 1998 as a punishing hitter for the Women of Troy. Ross was a three-time All-American and helped the Trojans win back-to-back NCAA championships in 2002 and 2003.
The Sun Devils are coming off a three-set loss to UCLA and are 2-3 in Pac-12 matches but should not be taken lightly as they boast one of the most potent offensive attacks in the nation.
MATCH RECAP (ARIZONA): USC freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio enjoyed a career night as she posted 22 kills (3e, 40att) and a .475 hitting percentage to buoy the Trojans to a 3-0 sweep of Arizona (25-17, 25-16, 25-21) at the Galen Center. Bricio also did her part on the defensive side of the net as she dug up 11 balls to log her fourth double-double of the season. The Trojans moved to 8-1 on the season within the friendly confines of their home arena and get set to face an Arizona State squad that is on the rise. USC also got much-needed contributions from junior libero Natalie Hagglund who led all players with 17 digs as well as junior outside Sara Shaw who had eight kills and two key service aces.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils (13-4, 2-2 Pac-12) boast a potent offensive attack led by two-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Macey Gardner. The outside hitter leads the conference in kills (5.05 kps) and points (5.41 pps) and ranks second on the team with 2.42 dps. The Devils have won seven of their last nine matches but are coming off a four-set loss to a seventh-ranked Stanford squad (29-27, 25-17, 26-28, 25-23). Arizona State has had two separate winning streaks of five matches, or more, this season. ASU's offense also leans heavily on senior outside hitter Erica Wilson who averages 4.26 kps (fourth in the Pac-12) and leads the league in service aces with 26 (0.40 saps). Junior libero Stephanie Preach ranks second in the conference for digs with 4.63 dps, and freshman setter Allison Palmer is second in conference with 12.00 aps. The Trojans are 9-1 in the last 10 meetings with ASU and currently holds the streak with four in a row. USC won in four sets, 25-17, 19-25, 25-20, 25-12, the last time the two teams met on Nov. 18, 2011, at the Galen Center.
TROJANS SET TO HONOR OLYMPIANS: USC raised a banner to honor two-time Olympic silver medalist and two-time NCAA champion Nicole Davis when the Trojans faced Arizona on Friday (Oct. 5). When USC hosts Arizona State on Sunday (Oct. 7), the Trojans will raise banners for Jennifer Kessy and April Ross for their accomplishments in Olympic Beach Volleyball. The duo captured silver medals in their first Olympic tour at the 2012 London Games. Sunday's match is also Dads and Daughters Night where $25 at the box office will receive admission for two, a special apron for fathers, and a canvas tote bag for daughters.
CLASS ACT: Senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make positive impacts as leaders in their communities. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot that will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate.
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: Three Benjamins to be exact. Head coach Mick Haley is just one win from earning his 300th at USC. He is 299-66 in 12 seasons with the Trojans for a .819 winning percentage. From there, he would need just 11 more to eclipse the program's winningest coach Chuck Erbe who logged a 310-121-4 record in 12 season as USC's head coach from 1976-77 and 1979-88. Haley's 300th win with Troy would give him at least 300 wins at three different schools: Kellogg Community College, Texas, and USC. In nine of his 11 completed seasons, Haley has guided the team to at least 20 wins and has never missed the NCAA tournament during his time on campus.