No. 1 USC Starts Four-Match Road Stretch in Corvallis
Oct. 9, 2013
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No. 1 USC (14-1, 4-0) at Oregon State (9-6, 0-4)
Gill Coliseum | Corvallis, Ore.
Friday, Oct. 11 - 6 p.m. PT
Series Record: USC leads, 45-8
Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (Nov. 20, 2012 | Corvallis, Ore.)
Current Streak: Won 8 | Last 10 Meetings: 9-1
TV: P12N Reg. (Paul Sunderland and Kelli Tennant)
Opponent Web: www.OSUBeavers.com
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's volleyball team (14-1, 4-0 Pac-12) will take its No. 1 ranking on the road for the first of four straight matches away from home. The Women of Troy will need to be prepared for all comers as they travel north for a date with Oregon State on Friday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks with Paul Sunderland and Kelli Tennant on the call.
The Trojans were also ranked No. 1 when they faced an upstart San Diego squad on the road and suffered their only loss of the season. USC is 83-7 in all-time matches as the top-ranked team in the land, and is No. 1 for the 40th time in program history. That's not enough for a Trojan squad that has its eyes set on more than just rankings. The Women of Troy carry an eight-match winning streak into Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, Ore.), and haven't lost to the Beavers in the last eight meetings.
USC's current winning streak can be attributed to the consistent play of its seniors and the emergence of its freshmen. Three Trojans were honored by the Pac-12, this week, as the Women of Troy swept the league's weekly awards. Senior MB Alexis Olgard was named the Offensive Player of the Week, while senior libero Natalie Hagglund was chosen as the Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career, and freshman OH Ebony Nwanebu received her third Freshman of the Week nod in six weeks
Offensively, USC's weaponry is spread across its six different hitters. Sophomore OH Samantha Bricio carries the load as she puts up 3.23 kps and is the conference leader for service aces (37) at 0.71 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 4.33 points per set.
Nwanebu is third on the team with 3.18 kps and also ranks third with 0.82 blocks per set. At the other outside position, senior OH Sara Shaw is recording 2.22 kps and is second on the team with 2.56 dps. Junior OH Emily Young has become a steady force for the Trojans with 1.69 kps and is a threat on second contact as a former setter.
Defensively, the Trojans lean on senior All-American Natalie Hagglund who leads the Pac-12 with 4.77 digs per set. Olgard leads the team with 1.24 bps and is also an offensive threat with 2.02 kps with a .452 hitting percentage that ranks second in the conference and 10th in the country. Junior MB Hannah Schraer is just a shade behind with 1.02 bps and puts up 1.27 kps.
At the heart of the USC offense, setters Hayley Crone (6.25 aps) and Alice Pizzasegola (5.49 aps) run the show. Head coach Mick Haley recently reached the 1,100-win plateau as a women's collegiate head coach but is poised to break the 1,200-win mark (including wins as a men's head coach) in his career. He currently has 1,198 overall career victories.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans needed every last point as it went the distance with California to win a five-set thriller, 28-26, 22-25, 25-25-11, 18-25, 15-13, at the Galen Center. USC got double-digit kills from four players including career marks by MB Alexis Olgard (15, .560) and OH Ebony Nwanebu (21, .459). Libero Natalie Hagglund picked up 28 digs while OH Sara Shaw had her third double-double of the season with 13 kills and 12 digs. Olgard led the way with eight blocks and helped the Trojans secure a better hitting percentage than their opponent for the 15th time in 15 matches, this season.
THE MATCHUP: The Trojans and the Beavers will meet for the 54th time. USC holds a 45-8 edge in the all-time series and has won nine of the last 10 meetings including eight straight. The Women of Troy have not dropped a set to Oregon State since a five-set home win in 2008. The two teams split matches that season each winning in five on their own home floor. The last time USC and Oregon State met in Corvallis, Ore., the Trojans won, 3-0, on Nov. 20, 2012.
HEAD COACH TARAS LISKEVYCH: Oregon State head coach Taras Liskevych is in his ninth season with the Beavers and has compiled a 98-155 overall record. Including nine seasons at Pacific, he has an overall record of 365-239.
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 328 with USC, 522 with Texas, and 348 with Kellogg CC. He is also within reach of his 1,200th overall career victory when including a 97-32 mark with the men's team at Kellogg CC. He has 1,198.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF SWEEP: The Trojans went 3-0 in a different way on Oct. 7. USC players swept the Pac-12's weekly awards as senior MB Alexis Olgard was named Offensive Player of the Week, senior libero Natalie Hagglund was named Defensive Player of the Week, and OH Ebony Nwanebu was chosen for Freshman of the Week. It is Olgard's first such award, the fourth of Hagglund's career, and Nwanebu's third in six weeks. Coincidentally, one year ago (Oct. 8, 2012), the Trojans also swept the conference awards as OH Samantha Bricio earned offensive and freshman awards and Hagglund nabbed the defensive award.
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 1,959, 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 4.71 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 0.71 saps average. After leading the conference (43, 0.36 saps) in 2012, she has already posted 37 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.