The USC’s women’s volleyball team will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the Galen Center this weekend.
The first round of the tournament begins at 5 p.m. with No. 12 Hawai’i and New Mexico, followed by USC and Oklahoma at 7 p.m. The winners of each match will play against each other on Saturday in a 7 p.m. game.
The Women of Troy are coming into this year’s NCAA tournament with a winning history, in which the school has won six national championships (1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 2002 and 2003) and has achieved a record of 58-22 (.725) in NCAA postseason play. The Women of Troy have also reached the Final Four in five of their last nine seasons.
Their first battle against Oklahoma will set the tone for the rest of the tournament. Oklahoma has an 18-11 record on the season, finishing tied for fourth place in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners recorded a 13.16 kills per set average, hit .208 with 17.6 digs per set and 2.18 blocks per set average in the season.
USC is 2-0 all-time against Oklahoma. The team’s last meeting took place in 2008 at the Trojan Invitational at the Galen Center, when the Women of Troy won 3-1. This is the first time USC and Oklahoma have faced each other in postseason play.
If USC ends up sweeping the Sooners out of the competition on Friday, the Women of Troy will be playing either Hawaii or New Mexico in the next round of postseason play.
Hawaii is 28-2 after the season, and won the Western Athletic Conference regular season championship with a perfect 16-0 record. Hawaii ended its season with 14.53 kills per set, hitting .324 with a 13.26 digs per set and 2.46 blocks per set.
Hawaii leads the all-time series with the Women of Troy by 20-16 and have won the last three meetings against USC.
USC is 3-4 all-time in the postseason against Hawaii, however, although the Rainbow Wahine swept the Women of Troy last year in the second round at the Galen Center and won a five-set match in the 2006 regional semifinal in Honolulu.
New Mexico is 20-9 after the season and ended up tied for third place in the Mountain West Conference at 10-6. The Lobos have recorded 12.79 kills per set while hitting .224, and 13.59 digs per set with a 2.43 blocks per set average.
USC leads the all-time series with New Mexico 3-1. In their last meeting in 1994, it was the only time that both teams had ever faced each other in any postseason play. USC ended up sweeping New Mexico in the second round of NCAA play.