After splitting their games over the weekend, the women’s volleyball team will travel to Oregon this weekend.
No. 15 USC will play No. 16 Oregon on Friday and Oregon State on Sunday. The Trojans faced both teams in October earlier this season at Galen Center. While USC defeated Oregon State in three sets, it was swept by Oregon.
“I think we’ll be more disciplined to start,” senior libero Victoria Garrick said. “Then I think in the Oregon game being able to adjust to what they’re showing us early and making quick adjustments.”
With a win, the Trojans will move ahead of Oregon in conference play, as both teams are 8-4 in Pac-12 play going into the game. Stanford leads the conference with a 12-0 record, but Washington State, USC and Oregon have the same record at 8-4.
“I think when second place has four losses, it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s kind of a pride thing,” Garrick said. “We have some of our rivalries with those girls, so we definitely want to beat them at their home because they beat us here.”
The Ducks are led in hitting by senior outside hitter Lindsey Vander-Weide, who is averaging 3.45 kills per set. Sophomore outside hitter Maddie Goings leads Oregon State in kills with an average of 3.36 per game.
The Trojans have strength on their offensive side when it comes to hitting, as sophomore and junior outside hitters Brooke Botkin and Khalia Lanier average 4.50 and 4.33 kills respectively per set in conference. Aside form statistics, the team has spent more time preparing for the mental battle.
“Oregon is going to have a lot of confidence because they beat us last time, so it’s going to be coming out early and shaking that confidence that they have,” Garrick said. “Oregon State is a team [that] we beat before pretty easily, but we can’t take that lightly.”
Along with figuring out the mental game, the Trojans have studied footage and looked at stats. Having played both teams once before, they also have looked at their own game footage and figured out what areas need improvement. The last time the Trojans faced Oregon, they had 10 service errors and finished the game with a 54 percent side out percentage The Women of Troy know that these are areas to improve.
“We are trying to pass more balls in system on serve receive, so [Tuesday], that’s we did for an hour,” Garrick said. “Just in system serve receive, hoping to pass 60 percent in system and that will make everyone happy.”
Oregon is the 15th-ranked opponent that USC will have to face this season, and the Trojans so far defeated eight of those ranked opponents. USC has won 53 of 66 matchups against Oregon overall.
After facing Oregon, the Trojans hope to add a couple wins to their record before returning home to take on both Washington schools.
With Washington State holding the same conference record and a victory against them in their last meeting, the Trojans are looking to make this weekend count in preparation for next weekend.