Taylor Whittingham Chosen to Pac-12 All-Star Team|
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April 12, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO -- USC women's volleyball senior libero Taylor Whittingham (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) was named to the 2016 Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star Team on Tuesday, April 12. The group of 12 elite women's volleyball athletes will tour and compete in China the last two weeks of June.
"I am excited for this special and unique opportunity," said Whittingham. "I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know players from the other great programs in our conference and to experience a new country in such a unique way. It's definitely nice to be able to branch out and to be able to do it this way is something I never could have imagined."
Whittingham is the third Trojan to be named to the Pac-12 All-Star Team and joins three-time All-American libero Natalie Hagglund (2013) and AVCA National Player of the Year Samantha Bricio (2014). USC head coach Mick Haley coached the first Pac-12 All-Star Team in 2013. The Pac-12 did not name a team in 2015.
"I think it's always special for a USC student-athlete to be able to represent our school in this way, among the best our conference has to offer," said Haley. "Taylor has been one of the best players in this conference for the past two years and I think she is going to make a great contribution to the team's effort in China. She works so hard and gets along great with people. She makes a fantastic representative for both USC and the Pac-12."
As a junior in 2015, Whittingham led the Pac-12 in digs (611 total, 4.70 digs per set) and was named a third-team Volleyball Magazine All-American. She was also selected to the AVCA Pacific South All-Region Team and received honorable mention status for Pac-12 All-Conference and Pac-12 All-Academic. Whittingham was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 19. Her 611 digs was the fifth-highest single-season total in USC history and she ranks 11th in career history at USC with 1,224 digs.
Among other student-athletes chosen to represent the Pac-12 on the All-Star Team are Kalei Mau and McKenzie Jacobson of Arizona; BreElle Bailey of Arizona State; Janelle Jordan of California; Gabby Simpson of Colorado; Sumeet Gill of Oregon; Kelsey Humphreys of Stanford; Reily Buechler of UCLA; Adora Anae of Utah; Bailey Tanner of Washington; and Kyra Holt of Washington State. UCLA head coach Michael Sealy will coach the all-stars and will be assisted by Charita Stubbs of Arizona and Malia Shoji of Utah.
The team will meet in Los Angeles for practice on June 18 and has a planned departure for Shanghai on June 19. The All-Stars will tour and play in Shanghai on June 21-22, and then take on teams in Nanjing, June 23-25. From June 26-30, the team will play several matches in Beijing before returning to the United States on July 1. More information on the schedule will be available as the tour approaches.
The tour is another milestone for Pac-12 Global, an initiative to promote goodwill and transformative life experiences through student-athlete exchanges and sport, and to showcase the Conference and its member institutions in China. Student-athlete tours have been organized in the sports of men's and women's basketball, as well as women's volleyball. Coaching clinics have also been organized with Pac-12 coaches sharing their knowledge of sport with Chinese groups both abroad in China and at member campuses, as well as hosting exhibition games with some of China's top teams in women's volleyball and women's soccer. This past November, the Conference hosted the Pac-12 China Game in Shanghai, becoming the first-ever league, college or professional, to host a regular season basketball game in China.
The Women of Troy claimed a share of the Pac-12 title with an 18-2 mark in league matches and received the No. 1 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. Haley was named the Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year for the first time in his career and added the award to his Pac-12 and AVCA Pacific South Region Coach of the Year selections. He led the Trojans to a 33-3 overall record with a fifth appearance in the NCAA Regional Championship match in six years.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule of results, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.