No. 25 USC Volleyball Set to Storm Desert|
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Nov. 1, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 25-ranked USC women's volleyball team (15-8, 7-5 Pac-12) seeks to produce some momentum as the end of the regular season nears. The Women of Troy will need to do so on the road as they play six of their final eight matches away from home beginning with four straight. The Trojans will face Arizona (14-10, 6-6) on Wednesday (Nov. 2) at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz., in the Pac-12 Networks' Spike Night matchup at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles, and Pac-12 Arizona. USC has added incentive to take down the Wildcats, who swept the Trojans at Galen Center on Oct. 7.
USC then heads to Tempe, Ariz., to meet Arizona State (9-15, 2-10) on Friday (Nov. 4) at Wells Fargo Arena at 6 p.m. PT. The match will be streamed live at Pac-12.com/live. The Women of Troy are undefeated in matches occurring on the road or at neutral locations this season (7-0). USC is rated No. 27 in the NCAA's most recent release of its RPI (ratings percentage index) and seeks to make its 26th consecutive appearance in the national tournament this December.
LAST TIME OUT: The Women of Troy split home matches at Galen Center as they suffered a four-set loss to a No. 21-ranked Utah and then took out their frustrations with a 3-0 sweep of Colorado. USC's loss to the Utes was the team's third back-to-back loss of the season, but it avoided matching the year's longest losing streak by taking down the Buffaloes. The Trojans remained undefeated in all-time matches against Colorado (14-0) and regained their footing in the Pac-12 race. Senior libero Taylor Whittingham scored her 18th and 19th matches with double-digit digs and crossed the 20-dig plateau for the eighth time this season. Freshman OH Khalia Lanier notched back-to-back double-digit kill performances and logged her 10th double-double of the year with 18 kills and 13 digs in the loss to the Utes.
1,000 SHIPS: USC's win over Arizona State (Oct. 5) was the program's 1,000th all-time victory. The Trojans became the 17th program in NCAA Division I women's volleyball history to reach the 1K milestone. USC is the owner of six national championships (three AIAW and three NCAA) and has won eight conference crowns including two since the inception of the Pac-12 in 2011. Head coach Mick Haley has led USC to each of its 100-match milestones since the program's 600th win. The Trojans won their 800th, 900th, and 1,000th all in home matches under Haley's direction.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Trojans are 7-0 in matches away from Galen Center this season. USC has played five true road matches. The Trojans also earned a pair of neutral-location sweeps over Sam Houston State and Oakland in a tournament held in Houston.
900 CLUB: Head coach Mick Haley reached the 900-win mark in NCAA Division I women's volleyball last season. He ranks fourth in career DI wins (929) among active coaches behind only Penn State's Russ Rose, Hawai'i's Dave Shoji, and Navy's Larry Bock. Haley is in his 33rd season as a Division I coach, but has 40 years of overall coaching experience and is 1,277-323-1 (.798) in all matches including men's and women's at Kellogg Community College.
FRESH PHENOM: Freshman OH Khalia Lanier was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2016 and through 23 collegiate matches, has already produced 10 double-doubles. She was named the Pac-12's Freshman of the Week on Oct. 17, following a week when she scored her ninth double-double and secured a new career high with 23 kills against Oregon. She the Most Valuable Player at USC's second tournament, the Radisson Classic, and was on each of the Trojans' pre-conference all-tournament teams. Lanier, who averages 4.02 kills and 4.49 points per set is the only freshman to rank among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in each of those statistical categories. She ranks fourth in both.
BUT FIRST, LET ME TAKE A #SELFIE: Get social with the Women of Troy this season. Fans can follow and interact with the USC women's volleyball team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope by searching for @USCWomensVolley.
DIGGIN' DEEP: Senior libero Taylor Whittingham became the 16th Trojan to cross the 1,000 career-dig plateau last season. On the first weekend of the 2016 season, she moved into 10th all-time in the USC record books. She now has 1,586 career digs and ranks fourth among all-time Trojans. Next on the list, she needs 117 digs to move ahead of All-American OH Katie Haller (1990-93) who had 1,702 digs in her career and sits in third place behind only All-American liberi Debora Seilhamer (2,071 digs; 2003-06) and Natalie Hagglund (2,362 digs; 2010-13).
HIT `EM UP: Senior MB Elise Ruddins leads the Pac-12 in hitting percentage (.431) with 135 kills (26 errors) on 253 attempts. USC's single-season record is .451 held by Leslie Devereuax who had 245 kills (35 errors) on 466 attacks in 1985.