Trojans Open NCAA Tournament Against Hawai'i|
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Nov. 29, 2016
THE FOOT FAULT
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's volleyball team (18-13) was selected for its 26th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance (34th all-time) and will face No. 12-ranked Hawai'i (22-5) out of the Big West Conference in the first round on Friday, Dec. 2, at 4:30 p.m. CT (2:30 p.m. PT) at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn. Site host No. 2-seeded and top-ranked Minnesota (25-4) hosts North Dakota (26-9) in the other first-round match at 7 p.m. CT. The two first-round winners will face each other in the second round on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. CT.
LAST TIME OUT: The Women of Troy dropped a pair of tough and hard-fought five-set decisions on the road to No. 25-ranked Washington State and No. 8 UCLA to close the season. The two contests were the fifth and sixth five-set matches for the Trojans this season (3-3) and sent USC to a three-match losing streak to end the season. Under head coach Mick Haley, the Women of Troy are 10-6 in the final match of the regular season, but are 16-0 in NCAA first-round matches.
MAIDEN VOYAGE: Despite its storied and expansive history, USC has never played a match in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. When the Trojans meet the Wahine in Minnesota, it will be USC's first-ever match in the Gopher State. Additionally, the Trojans have only faced one team to hail from the state of Minnesota: the Golden Gophers themselves. In six meetings, USC is 3-2-1 against Minnesota.
PAC-12 PRIZES: Senior MB Elise Ruddins and freshman OH Khalia Lanier were each chosen to the Pac-12's All-Conference Team. Sophomore OH Alyse Ford was selected for honorable mention. Lanier was also named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team. Ruddins leads the conference in hitting percentage (.421) while Lanier is the only freshman to rank in the league's top five for kills (4.01 kps) and points (4.44 pps). She is third in both. Ford is USC's second-leading scorer and has become a major contributor as one of the Trojan's primary passers this season.
USC'S NCAA HISTORY: USC is 122-37 (.767) in all-time postseason matches and has a 76-30 (.717) record in the NCAA tournament. The Trojans are the owners of six national championships including three NCAA crowns (1981, 2002, '03). USC won the first-ever NCAA championship in 1981.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Trojans are 29-4 in NCAA first-round matches. The only four times that USC has not advanced out of the first round were in 1983, '87, '88, and '89. The Trojans' first-round opponent Hawai'i has been in 35 of 36 NCAA tournaments (1992) and has only lost its first-round match twice (1984, '87).
COACHING PATRIARCHY: Over 80 years of head coaching experience is shared between USC head coach Mick Haley and Hawai'i head coach Dave Shoji. Head-to-head, Haley is 5-11 against Shoji including a 1-7 mark while at Texas and 4-4 at USC. Haley's only win over Hawai'i as the Longhorns' head coach came in the 1988 NCAA title match where Texas swept the Wahine, 3-0. That championship match was played in Minneapolis, Minn.
ALOHA, AGAIN: The Trojans are 18-21 in all-time meetings with the Rainbow Wahine. The two teams will meet in the postseason for the 10th time where USC is 4-5. The Trojans have won two straight over Hawai'i and took down the Wahine in five sets in the 2011 NCAA regional semifinals (Dec. 9) at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu when the teams last met. USC defeated Hawai'i in the 1981 regional semifinal en route to winning the first-ever NCAA championship, but the Wahine came back to take down the Trojans in the 1982 championship match.