Lanier, Ruddins, Whittingham Receive Post-Season Recognition

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    Dec. 15, 2016

    LOS ANGELES -- USC women's volleyball senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Aliso Niguel HS) and freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier (Scottsdale, Ariz./Xavier College Prep) each received American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honorable mention and senior libero Taylor Whittingham (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) was named to the Senior CLASS All-America second team.

    Ruddins and Lanier were AVCA Pacific South All-Region selections and were also chosen to the All-Pac-12 Team. The two Trojans receive All-America honorable mention for the first times in their careers.

    This season, Ruddins led the Pac-12 in hitting percentage (.426) and ranks in the top 10 in the conference for blocks (1.10 bps). Her .426 hitting rate (227k, 49e, 418att) ranks fifth in USC's single-season record books and is the highest since All-American Alexis Olgard hit .442 in 2013. Ruddins set new career highs for hitting percentage (.688 at Rice, Sept. 10), blocks (nine at Rice), and points (25.0 vs. Oregon State, Nov. 19) this season; and had the most kills (23 vs. Oregon State) by a USC middle blocker since 2003 (Emily Adams). Ruddins was named the MVP of the Rice Adidas Invitational I tournament and received All-Tournament Team honors at two other pre-conference tournaments.

    Lanier is the only freshman to rank in the Pac-12's top five for kills (4.06 kps, 3rd) and points (4.50 kps, 2nd). She produced 16 double-doubles this season and had career highs of 27 kills (at WSU, Nov. 23), 71 attacks (at UCLA, Nov. 26), and 18 digs (at Colorado, Sept. 30). Lanier was named the Pac-12's Freshman of the Week on Oct. 17 and was chosen to each of the Trojans' four pre-conference all-tournament teams including MVP honors at the Radisson Classic tourney. She finished the season with 491 kills and 545.0 points, which each rank 11th at USC among single-season records. Her 1,406 attacks ranks third in school history in a single season.

    Whittingham captained the Women of Troy in her final season and was among the 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. She was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the third time in her career on Oct. 3, and was chosen to the USC Radisson Classic All-Tournament Team. Though she arrived at USC as a walk-on, Whittingham won the starting libero position as a sophomore and led the Pac-12 in digs in both 2014 and 2015. She ranked third this season (4.80 dps) and retires as the program's third all-time career leader in digs (1,762). She owns three of USC's top 10 single-season marks for digs and had four matches over the 30-dig mark.

    The Women of Troy earned a program-record 26th consecutive berth into the NCAA tournament (34th overall appearance) and finished 2016 with an 18-14 overall record. USC was 10-10 in Pac-12 matches and finished in a tie for seventh place. The Trojans won three of their four pre-conference tournaments and became the 17th NCAA Division I program to cross the 1,000 all-time victories threshold with a win over Arizona State on Oct. 5. Head coach Mick Haley earned his 400th win as the Trojans' head coach.

    For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.