Women's Volleyball
    Trojans To Face Hofstra In First Round Of NCAAs, Tonight
    First Team All-Pac-10 selection Jennifer Pahl, looks to guide the Women of Troy in the NCAA Tournament.
    First Team All-Pac-10 selection Jennifer Pahl, looks to guide the Women of Troy in the NCAA Tournament.

    Dec. 2, 1999

    Catch the USC women's volleyball match on USC's KSCR webcast. Log on to http://kscr.usc.edu to listen to the live broadcast, tonight (Dec. 3) at 7 p.m.

    The Facts
    The 14th-ranked USC Women of Troy volleyball team (20-8, 13-5 Pac-10) received its ninth consecutive bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, and will be making its 16th overall appearance. USC has been selected to host the First and Second Rounds on Friday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Nov. 4, at the USC Lyon Center. The Trojans are the No. 4 seed in the Central Region and will face America East Conference automatic qualifier Hofstra (26-5). The first round will also feature Sacramento State (22-9) and Minnesota (25-8), who face each other on Friday at 5 p.m. The USC-Hofstra match will follow at 7 p.m., or 30 minutes following the end of the first contest. The two winners advance to the second round and will meet on Saturday at 6 p.m. The winner of the second round advances to the Sweet Sixteen to be played December 9-12 at campus sites. Led by Pac-10 Coach of the Year Jerritt Elliott, the Women of Troy defeated James Madison, 3-0, and fell to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, 3-0, last week (Nov. 26-27) at the LBSU Thanksgiving Tournament.

    1999 Team Highlights
    ? 1999 USC women?s volleyball had seven players named to all-conference teams, including one all-academic selection.
    ? After entering the season ranked 21st in the AVCA/USC Today preseason poll, the Trojans climbed seven spots by season?s end.
    ? Troy led the Pac-10 in defense throughout the season, averaging 17.22 digs per game.
    ? With a 13-5 (3rd place) conference mark, USC recorded its ninth consecutive winning record in the Pac-10 (only Stanford has a longer streak at 14).
    ? The Trojans played their first 14 of 18 matches on the road and posted a 13-5 record.
    ? Head Coach Jerritt Elliott led Troy to a 13-5 league record and became just the second coach in Pac-10 history to post 13 league wins as a rookie.
    ? USC?s 13-5 (.722) conference mark is the best-ever win percentage recorded by a first-year coach in the Pac-10.
    ? Since the Pac-10's inception, this is the fifth time USC has finished in third place. The Trojans have finished among the conference?s top four squads in 13 of 14 seasons.
    ? Through most of the Pac-10 season, USC found a way to win with one of its thinnest rosters in program history. Troy had nine healthy players by mid-season on a 10-player roster.

    USC in the NCAAs
    The Women of Troy are making their ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament, and its 16th overall since the tournament?s inception in 1981. USC has only missed the tournament twice, in 1986 and 1990, after posting its only two losing seasons in program history. With a 25-15 all-time NCAA tournament record, Troy has won one national championship and advanced to the Final Four three times. Led by All-Americans Dana Smith and Cathy Stukel, the Trojans claimed the first-ever NCAA women?s volleyball title in 1981. Entering the tournament as underdogs on a four-match losing streak, USC won when it counted, beating UCLA in the championship after being down 2-1. The team ended the season with a 27-10 overall record.

    Opponent Profiles
    Hofstra - The Flying Dutchwomen (26-5 overall, 13-1 conference record) received the America East Conference automatic bid to the 1999 NCAA Championship, marking the team?s fourth tournament appearance in five years. En route to the NCAA?s, Hofstra captured the America East championship title by defeating second-seeded New Hampshire, 3-0 (15-13, 15-9, 15-8), on Nov. 20. Led by head coach Fran Kalafer, the Flying Dutchwomen endured only one conference loss this season, a 2-3 defeat to New Hampshire in their first America East match of 1999. Since then, Hofstra has accumulated a 15-match win streak as they head into the first round of the tournament. The team is led by junior middle blocker Enkelejda Katiraj who is averaging 4.36 kills (.315) and 0.84 blocks per game.

    Minnesota - Minnesota enters the NCAA tournament with a 25-8 overall record and second-place finish (15-5) in the Big Ten Conference. After leading the team to the second-best overall record, and top conference mark in program history, head coach Mike Herbert was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year by conference coaches and media. The 20th-ranked Golden Gophers have been ranked for seven straight weeks, but finished their season with two wins and three losses after a six-match win streak was halted by Wisconsin (Nov. 13). Minnesota fell to Indiana, 2-3, in the final conference match of the season. Three team members were named to the Big Ten all-conference team including, OH Nicole Branagh (5.35 kpg), setter Lindsey Berg (13.01 apg), and MB Stephanie Hagen (1.30 bpg).

    Sacramento State - The Hornets will make their third-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend. With a 22-9 overall record and 13-3 mark in the Big Sky Conference, Sacramento State has won 16 of its last 19 matches. The Hornets completed the regular season with a 3-0 victory over Washington State on November 27. Led by head coach Debby Colberg, currently in her 24th season at Sacramento State, the Hornets have competed in the postseason in six of the past seven seasons. The team is led by senior outside hitter Angela Lewis who has averaged 4.55 kills (.218) and 4.31 digs per game in 1999. Sophomore Tasman Dwyer leads the team in the middle with a 1.27 blocks per game average.

    Series Records
    There is very little history between these three teams and the Trojans. Friday?s match will be the first meeting between USC and Hofstra. USC and Sacramento State have never met before if the two squads were to advance. If Minnesota and USC were to advance to the next round of play, they will be the only two teams that have played each other... but they have only met once. In 1979 USC faced the Golden Gophers at the San Diego State Invitational, September 21-22. The match ended in a 1-1 (15-9, 13-15) tie and so the series record between the two teams stands at .500 (0-0-1).

    NCAA Tournament Notes
    Sixteen first and second round matches will be played December 2-5 on the campuses of participating institutions. Winners will advance to regional tournaments held on December 9-12, also on the campus of qualifying teams. The four regional winners, including the central, pacific, east and mountain regions, will advance to the national championship hosted by the University of Hawai?i in Honolulu, Hawaii. The semifinal games will be played on December 16 and the championship game will take place on Saturday, December 18. Long Beach State, the defending national champion, will compete in the mountain region as the No. 2 seed. Pac-10 champion Stanford, Big Ten champion Penn State, Big West champion Pacific and WAC champion Hawai?i all received automatic berths and enter the tournament as No. 1 seeds.

    Jerritt Named Coach of the Year
    USC Interim Head Coach Jerritt Elliott has been tabbed the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, announced the Pacific-10 conference on Tuesday, November 23. Elliott, serving as the Trojans? head coach until US National Team Head Coach Mick Haley takes over the reigns following the 2000 Olympic games, becomes just the second coach in Pac-10 history to post 13 league wins in their first season. Troy?s 13-5 (.722) conference mark is also the best-ever win percentage ever recorded by a rookie coach in the Pac-10. This year, Elliott needed to replace four starters, including three 1998 All-Pac-10 performers, in his inaugural season. His efforts led the Trojans to a third-place conference finish, a 20-8 overall record, and a No. 14 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA Top-25 poll.

    Six Trojans Named To All-Conference Teams
    Having six athletes named to an all-conference team is notable when you consider that the Trojans dealt with a nine-person roster for most of the 1999 season - over half of the athletes were honored. Starters Jennifer Pahl, Kashi Cormier, Antoinette Polk and Janae Henry were named to the all-conference first team and honorable mention list, while newcomers Tracy Lindquist and Lauren Killian were honored on the all-freshman teams.

    First Team
    Player, Team Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
    Elisabeth Bachman, UCLA MB 6-3 Jr. Lakeville, Minn.
    Ashley Bowles, UCLA** OH 6-0 So. Manhattan Beach, Calif.
    Amanda Burbridge, ASU OH 6-2 Jr. Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Dana Burkholder, ARIZ S 5-8 So. Bakersfield, Calif.
    Marisa DaLee, ARIZ** MB 6-3 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
    Jennifer Detmer, STAN** MB 6-3 Jr. Thousand Oaks, Calif.
    Kristina Laffling, WASH** SW 5-11 Sr. Richmond, B.C.
    Jennifer Pahl, USC MB 6-1 So. Murrieta, Calif.
    Kristee Porter, UCLA** OH 5-11 So. Tyler, Texas
    Erika Selsor, UCLA S 5-6 So. Linden, Calif.
    Logan Tom, STAN OH 6-1 Fr. Salt Lake City, Utah
    Kerri Walsh, STAN**** OH 6-2 Sr. Saratoga, Calif. * years selected

    Honorable Mention Tara Conrad, STAN, Kashi Cormier, USC, Brook Coulter, CAL, LaToya Harris, WSU, Janae Henry, USC, Tamika Johnson, UCLA, Lindsay Kagawa, STAN, Antoinette Polk, USC, Michelle Quon, UCLA, Lisa Rutledge, ARIZ, Sara Sandrik, STAN, Angie Shirley, OSU, Lisa Underhill, WASH, Lindsey Yamasaki, STAN.

    All-Freshman Team
    Player, Team Pos. Ht. Hometown
    Lauren Fendrick, UCLA OH 6-2 Carlsbad, Calif.
    LaToya Harris, WSU OH 5-9 Portland, Ore.
    Tracy Lindquist, USC S 5-7 Fountain Valley, Calif.
    Lisa Rutledge, ARIZ OH 6-2 Vista, Calif.
    Logan Tom, STAN OH 6-1 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lindsey Yamasaki, STAN OH/MB 6-2 Oregon City, Ore.

    Honorable Mention Paige Benjamin, WASH, Sydney Chute, ORE, Holly Harris, WSU, Lauren Killian, USC, Stefani Saragosa, ARIZ, Melissa Wright, WSU.

    Final Pac-10 Standings
    For the first time in Pac-10 history, two teams will share the conference championship title. Stanford and UCLA are the 1999 Pac-10 co-champions after they both posted a 17-1 conference record and 26-2 and 25-2 overall marks, respectively. Stanford received the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. Third-place finisher USC, fourth-place Arizona and fifth place Arizona State all received tournament bids.

    Pac-10 Stats
    Janae Henry (No. 2 - 3.49 dpg) and Antoinette Polk (No.4 - 3.28 dpg) were among the top-4 Pac-10 defensive leaders in 1999. Polk also finished the season ranked sixth in kills with a 3.89 kills per game average. Other stat leaders included MB Jennifer Pahl who finished tenth in attack percentage (.289), DS Julie Mariani who made it to the top spot in service ace average (0.46 sapg), and setters Hiedi Munneke (9.97 apg) and Tracy Lindquist (7.27 apg) who ranked eighth and tenth in assists. As a team, USC finished the conference season ranked among the top three teams in six of seven categories (No. 1 defense, No. 2 assists-kills, No. 3 hitting percentage-service aces-win percentage), and ranked fourth in block average. The Trojans, who averaged 17.29 digs per game, led the Pac-10 defensively through most of the season.

    Rankings
    USC maintained its ranking in this week?s USA Today/AVCA coaches poll. The Trojans enter the tournament ranked 14th, while UCLA (No. 6), Stanford (No. 2) and Arizona (No. 19) are the only other Pac-10 teams currently ranked. Minnesota is ranked 20th.

    Recent Results
    USC ended the regular season with a difficult loss to UC Santa Barbara, 3-0 (15-13, 15-9, 15-13), on Saturday, Nov. 27, the final day of the LBSU Thanksgiving Tournament. OH Antoinette Polk, who posted 17 kills in the match, was one of four Trojans to account for double figures in kills. OH Janae Henry (15 kills, 15 digs) and MB Jennifer Pahl (12 kills, 12 digs) each tallied double-doubles, while MB Amber Oliver (11 kills) led the team with a career-high seven total blocks. OH Lauren Killian entered the match in game three, and provided two block assists and three-straight kills for points. Despite out-hitting (.275 to .269) and out-blocking (9.0 to 6.0) the Gauchos, USC?s 22 attack errors and 11 service errors proved costly for the team.

    With five players who hit above .300 in the match, USC defeated James Madison, 3-0 (15-8, 15-7, 15-7), in a season-record 57 minutes in the first match of the LBSU Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday, Nov. 26. OH Kashi Cormier led the squad with a team-high 12 kills off of 20 attacks (.600), while adding four block assists. DS Julie Mariani contributed another career-best five service aces in the match. The Women of Troy, who averaged a .348 attack percentage, held the Dukes to an .064 mark.

    Oliver Named Pac-10 All-Academic
    Junior MB Amber Oliver, despite missing the majority of the conference season due to injury, was named to the Pac-10 all-academic honorable mention team, announced Commissioner Tom Hansen on Monday, November 22. Oliver, a redshirt junior, is a political science major with a 3.08 cumulative GPA.

    Top Performances
    Two of USC?s top performances this season came from outside hitters Antoinette Polk and Lauren Killian. On September 30 at Washington State, Polk posted 30 kills in the five-game match. This marked a career-best for the 5-foot-10 hitter, and the Trojans? only 30-kill performance this season. Killian, the team?s true ?spark? at times this season, recorded Troy?s sole triple-double of 1999. Against the Cougars, on the same date, she accounted for 10 kills, 10 digs and 10 blocks.

    Polk Digging Her Way To The Top
    With 321 digs this season, OH Antoinette Polk has brought her career total to 834 digs in the past three seasons. She ranks fifth among Pac-10 active career leaders, but among the five, Polk is the only junior with one remaining year of eligibility. Her career total also places her ninth among USC?s all-time career leaders.

    Mariani On Record Pace
    DS Julie Mariani added another five aces in the final weekend of the regular season, bringing her season total to 46 service aces, averaging 0.46 aces per game. She finished first in the conference in both total aces and ace average. With the marks, Mariani currently ranks third among USC's all-time season record holders in total aces (Nancy Hillman holds the record with 59 aces in 1988), and ranks second among all-time single season record holders in ace average (Hillman also set this record with a 0.47 average in 1988). Other Trojan individual and team top-10 USC performances included:

    Match-High Assists
    1. Kim Ruddins vs. UCLA (11/20/85) 87
    5. Hiedi Munneke vs. Washington State (9/30) 80

    Match-High Block Assists
    1. Michelle Jameson vs. Pepperdine (11/30/84) 21
    8. Jennifer Pahl vs. Washington State (9/30) 12

    Match-High Total Blocks
    1. Michelle Jameson vs. Pepperdine (11/30/84) 26
    6. Jennifer Pahl vs. Washington State (9/30) 15

    Match-High Team Hitting Percentage
    1. vs. Arizona State (10/3/81) .544 (34-3-57)
    3. vs. Oregon (10/18) .500 (51-9-84)

    Service Ace Season Records
    1. Nancy Hillman (1988) 59
    3. Julie Mariani (1999) 46

    Service Ace Average Season Records
    1. Nancy Hillman (1988) 0.47
    2. Julie Mariani (1999) 0.46

    Dig Career Records
    1. Katie Haller (1990-93) 1702
    9. Antoinette Polk (1996-present) 834

    They?ll All Be Back!
    The best part of a successful season is realizing that nothing will change in the 2000 season. With six juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen, the 1999 USC women?s volleyball team does not graduate anyone at the end of the academic year. The Trojans will return all six of their starters and expect to welcome one of the nation?s top-five recruiting classes.