Samantha Bricio Named Pac-12 Player of the Year|
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Dec. 1, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO -- USC senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio was named the Pac-12 Volleyball Player of the Year and head coach Mick Haley was chosen as the Pac-12 Coach of the Year as announced by the conference on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Bricio, senior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms and sophomore opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie were each chosen to the Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
Junior middle blocker Elise Ruddins, junior libero Taylor Whittingham, freshman setter Baylee Johnson, and freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford were each selected for all-conference honorable mention status. Ford and Johnson were named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.
Bricio is the third Trojan in school history to be named the Pac-12 Player of the Year (Alex Jupiter, 2011; April Ross, 2003). She and Ross are the only two Women of Troy ever to be named both the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in their careers. Bricio and Ross are also the only two Trojans to receive All-Pac-12 notice four times in their careers. Bricio is the 18th player in league history to be named to the all-conference team four times.
Bricio was chosen for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week a league-record six times this season. Her nine career selections for the award are second most in conference history. She was named the espnW National Player of the Week (Sept. 30) and the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week (Nov. 10) and became USC's career leader in attacks, kills, service aces, and points. She currently leads the nation in points (6.18 pps) and service aces (0.73 saps).
Haley receives his second Pac-12 Coach of the Year award (2011) and the fifth league coach of the year selection for the program. Interim head coach Jerritt Elliott received the award in 1999 and 2000, and Lisa Love was chosen in 1997. It is Haley's eighth-career conference coach of the year nod including six from the Southwest Conference during his time at Texas. Haley turned the Trojans around from a 16-16 record in 2014 and took a team ranked No. 22 in the preseason poll and selected to finish fifth in the Pac-12 to a 30-2 regular-season mark and a share of the Pac-12 championship. He won his 900th NCAA Division I match to become just the third active coach to reach that career milestone.
Ogoms and Abercrombie are each first-time honorees on the All-Pac-12 team. Ogoms received honorable mention status as a junior. This season, Ogoms led the league in blocks (163 total; 1.47 bps) and set new match-high marks in all statistical categories. She was chosen as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 27) and was named to the all-tournament team in each of USC's three pre-conference tournaments.
Abercrombie has been a consistent offensive threat for the Women of Troy. She was chosen to the Baden Invitational all-tournament team and produced career numbers in matches throughout the season. As one of the top right-side hitters in the Pac-12, Abercrombie posted 2.44 kills per set and a .292 hitting percentage this year and 0.65 blocks per set.
Johnson arrived at USC in the spring and plays served as a six-rotation setter-hitter for the Trojans. She was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Nov. 23 and averages 7.11 kps (ninth in the league). Johnson delivers a complete match with 0.47 bps, 2.61 dps, and just under a kill per set at 0.89 kps. She produced a double-double in her first collegiate match and leads USC with 16 double-doubles this season. Ford is the Trojans' second-leading point scorer. She averaged 2.66 kps in her first regular season and hit .230. Despite rotating only through the front row, Ford has become a feared pin-hitter among conference foes. She scored 10 kills without an error (13att) to hit .769 against Maryland and put up a career-best 19 kills in a win over Arizona.
The three all-conference selections pushed USC's total to 69 all-time All-Pac-12 certificates awarded to 35 different Women of Troy. Including all-conference selections preceding the Pac-12, Trojans now hold 92 all-league recognitions since 1977. Johnson's and Ford's selections to the all-freshman team are the program's 29th and 30th, which ranks second among Pac-12 schools only to Stanford's 34.
Among other award winners, Stanford's Madi Bugg was named the Pac-12 Setter of the Year for the third consecutive season, Stanford's Hayley Hodson was chosen for Freshman of the Year honors, and UCLA's Taylor Formico was voted the Pac-12 Libero of the Year.
The Women of Troy had three players honored on the all-conference team behind only Stanford's four selections of Hodson, Bugg, Brittany Howard, and Merete Lutz. Colorado (Alexis Austin, Nicole Edelman), Arizona (Kalei Mau, Penina Snuka), and Washington (Cassie Strickland, Lianna Sybeldon) each placed two players on the all-conference team. Utah (Adora Anae), UCLA (Jordan Anderson), Washington State (Kyra Holt), California (Lillian Schonewise), and Oregon (Lindsay Vander Weide) each had one player selected.
The No. 2-ranked Trojans (30-2) received the No. 1 seed in the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship and will host Horizon League champion Cleveland State (26-6) at Galen Center in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. PT. The Pac-12 co-champion Women of Troy make their 25th consecutive appearance in the NCAA's championship tournament; the program's 33rd overall.
Since the NCAA expanded to a field of 64 teams in 1998, the Trojans have advanced to 10 regional championship matches, seven national semifinals (final four), and two national finals (both victories). Including the pair of NCAA title runs, USC is 43-12 in NCAA tournament matches under the direction of Haley.
To purchase tickets for first- and second-round matches, please visit GetTrojanTix.com or call (213) 740-GOSC. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.