No. 6 USC Visits Farm for Top-10 Bout with No. 4 Stanford
Oct. 9, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The sixth-ranked Women of Troy look to extend their three-match winning streak with a pair of weekday matchups, but it won't be easy as they travel to the Bay Area for two pivotal Pac-12 bouts.
The last time the Trojans paid a visit to the Farm, the Cardinal ended a 12-match USC winning streak with a 3-0 sweep. This time, USC can play the role of spoiler as Stanford enters the week with a 12-match streak of its own. The Cardinal took out a second-ranked previously undefeated Oregon squad in a five-set thriller, last week, and sits atop the league standings tied with Washington with a 6-0 mark.
The Cardinal has been less than hospitable to guests at Maples Pavilion with a 7-0 record at home, this year. Stanford has dropped just three sets in those seven home matches and has lost just seven home matches in the last five seasons.
USC marches into the Bay Area with the league's two most recent Player of the Week winners: freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio (offensive) and junior libero Natalie Hagglund (defensive). Bricio ranks sixth in the conference in points (4.68 pps) and is seventh in kills (4.10 kps) while Hagglund is third in digs (4.48 dps). On the right side, senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller pours in 3.75 kps and recently logged a career-best nine blocks. USC's next win will bring head coach Mick Haley across the 300-win plateau, which he reached with the Trojans' 3-1 win against ASU.
MATCH RECAP (ARIZONA STATE): USC's middle game came to life in a four-set win over the Sun Devils. Junior Alexis Olgard connected with sophomore setter Hayley Crone for eight kills (3e, 21att) and a .238 hitting percentage but showed her prowess at the net as she logged a career-high 11 blocks; two of the solo variety. Freshman middle Alicia Ogoms was the recipient of 18 sets and chipped in with five blocks of her own. On the outside, freshman OH Samantha Bricio posted a new career high for the second match in a row as she recorded 24 kills (5e, 60att) and a .317 hitting percentage. Bricio also did her part on defense as she had a career best 16 digs to notch her fifth double-double of the season. Junior outside Sara Shaw had 13 kills (3e, 36att, .278) and 10 digs for her second double-double. In an amazing defensive display, ASU's Stephanie Preach had 30 digs, but junior libero Natalie Hagglund posted her fifth-career match with at least 30 digs and led the way with a season-high 32. USC's four-set win (25-17, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23) was head coach Mick Haley's 300th with the Women of Troy to give him at least 300 with three different schools: USC, Texas, and Kellogg Community College.
SCOUTING STANFORD: The Cardinal hasn't lost since it dropped a pair of matches in the second week of the season to No. 8 Hawai'i and No. 4 Penn State. Stanford rides a 12-match winning streak into the week and recently knocked off a second-ranked previously undefeated Oregon squad in a five-set thriller. Stanford tops the conference in opponent hitting percentage and has held its opposition to a .163 rate, this year. The Cardinal also leads the league in digs (16.44 dps) and ranks third in blocks (3.04 bps). Sophomore defensive specialist Kyle Gilbert tops all players and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with 3.69 dps. Junior middle Carly Wopat leads the conference in blocks (1.65 bps) and ranks third with a .388 hitting percentage. Wopat also leads the team with 3.04 kps with freshman OH Jordan Burgess right behind her with 2.88 kps. In the last USC-Stanford match, the Cardinal claimed a 3-0 win (25-18, 25-14, 25-23) on Oct. 28, 2011, at Maples Pavilion to snap a 12-match USC win streak, but the Trojans have won two of the last three meetings.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: Stricken by injuries, the Bears have struggled through the early portion of the season. Cal has split matches in each of the three previous Pac-12 weekends, losing the first and winning the second. The Bears have been without last year's starting libero Robin Rostratter all season and did not have All-Conference opposite hitter Correy Johnson for several matches. Most recently, junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan suffered an injury that kept her out of the lineup during Cal's 3-0 win over Oregon State. Gehan's 3.35 kps leads the team, but senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari puts in 2.38 kps and ranks fifth in the conference (.368) for hitting percentage. Transfer setter Joan Caloiaro puts up 9.47 aps and freshman outside hitter Nikki Gombar has 19 assists to lead the squad. The last time the two teams met, the Trojans swept the Bears at Haas Pavilion on Oct. 29, 2011. USC is 19-7 as the road team against Cal and has won each of the last two matches in Berkeley, Calif.
USC SWEEPS PAC-12 WEEKLY HONORS: Following a pair of victories over Arizona (3-0) and Arizona State (3-1), USC players swept a trio of Pac-12 weekly awards. Freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio won her third Freshman of the Week award and became the first frosh to win both that award and the league's Offensive Player of the Week honor on the same week. Junior libero Natalie Hagglund took home her first-ever Player of the Week award as the conference's defensive selection. She became the first USC libero to win a weekly award since Debora Seilhamer was chosen on Oct. 24, 2005. The two awards were USC's 50th and 51st all-time (Freshman of the Week awards do not count towards a school's total all-time tally).
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 earned his 300th win at USC when the Trojans defeated Arizona State in four sets on Oct. 7. He is 300-66 in 12 seasons with the Trojans for a .820 winning percentage. He now needs just 11 more to eclipse the program's winningest coach Chuck Erbe who logged a 310-121-4 record in 12 seasons as USC's head coach from 1976-77 and 1979-88. Haley's 300th win with Troy gives 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.
BLOCK PARTY: Junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard put up a wall against Arizona State on Oct. 7 as she knocked down a career-high 11 blocks (two solo, nine assists). The 11-block outing was the most by a USC player since Bethany Johansen had 13 against Oregon on Sept. 22, 2006.