No. 24 USC Stays Home to Face Utah and Colorado|
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Oct. 25, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 24-ranked USC women's volleyball team (14-7, 6-4 Pac-12) opens up the second half of its Pac-12 schedule as host to No. 21 Utah (15-6, 6-4) and Colorado (12-8, 4-6) this weekend. The Women of Troy take on the Utes on Friday (Oct. 28) at 8 p.m. PT in a match that will be carried live on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Mountain. The Trojans and the Buffaloes will take the court on Saturday (Oct. 29) for a 5 p.m. start. In 15 years under head coach Mick Haley, USC has produced a second-half conference record that was at least identical if not better than the first go-round in 12 seasons. Haley puts a high premium on in-season improvement; something the Trojans will need to do in order to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament.
LAST TIME OUT: The Women of Troy split home matches at Galen Center with a 3-0 victory over California and a 3-0 loss to 14th-ranked Stanford. The split left USC at .500 in home matches this season (7-7). The Trojans out-hit the Golden Bears, .322 to .109. During the USC-Cal match, Taylor Whittingham earned 11 digs to move ahead into fourth place in program history for career digs. At the conclusion of the weekend, she had 1,548 and put herself in position to reach third place by season's end. Offensively, the Women of Troy leaned again on freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier who had 11 kills in each match. Junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley picked up her fourth-career double-double with 17 assists and 11 digs in the loss to Stanford. The two matches marked the end to the first half of USC's Pac-12 schedule. The Trojans finished 6-4, but have historically put together an identical if not better record in the second half of conference play in 12 of 15 seasons under head coach Mick Haley.
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.
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 (928) 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 1,276-322-1 (.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 21 collegiate matches, has already produced nine 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 3.99 kills and 4.47 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 1,548 career digs and ranks fourth among all-time Trojans. Last week, she surpassed Nancy Hillman (1985-88) who had 1,536 career digs. Next on the list, she needs 155 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 (.443) with 125 kills (23 errors) on 230 attempts. USC's single-season record is .451 held by Leslie Devereuax who had 245 kills (35 errors) on 466 attacks in 1985.
HOME, SWEET HOME: The Trojans have enjoyed the comforts of home to the tune of a 137-28 (.830) all-time record at the Galen Center. When it comes to the volleyball court, the Women of Troy are less than hospitable to their visitors. The Trojans went 12-1 in home matches in 2011 and completed the 2012 home schedule with a 17-1 mark. In 2007, USC was 19-0 at home on the way to an appearance in the NCAA national semifinal match.