USC 3, Coll. of Charleston 0

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LOS ANGELES -- Behind 16 kills from junior All-American Bibiana Candelas, the eighth-seeded USC women's volleyball team defeated College of Charleston, 3-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night at the Lyon Center. With the victory, the Women of Troy advance to the second round to face 23rd-ranked Kansas State on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.

The Trojans took care of the visiting Cougars 30-22, 30-24, 30-23 to improve to 20-5 on the season. College of Charleston, the Southern Conference Tournament Champion, ended its year at 26-6.

USC got help from all three of its 2004 All-Pac-10 first team picks. Candelas led in kills on a .438 attack effort and contributed 18.5 points. Senior Keao Burdine posted a double-double with 11 kills and 17 digs, in addition to a match-best four blocks. Fellow senior Emily Adams also added 11 kills and committed only one error for a .667 attack percentage.

The Cougars were led by right-side hitter Rebecca Wieters and outside hitter Amanda Timmers, who each contributed 12 kills on the night. Three players finished with double-digit digs, including Marie Dobrens (19), Sara Davis (15) and Kaycie Carr (10).

College of Charleston challenged the Women of Troy defensively throughout the match, out-digging the Trojans 63-to-60. USC won the battle at the night with 56 kills and 10 blocks to Cougars' 39 kills and nine team blocks.

Earlier this evening, Kansas State defeated Cal State Northridge, 3-0 (30-20, 30-23, 30-25), to move into tomorrow's second round match-up.

NCAA First Round - Los Angeles (Dec. 2)
USC-College of Charleston Post Match Quotes

USC Head Coach Mick Haley
"College of Charleston gave us very worthy competition. It was a great match for us because we had to work very hard to come out with a victory. They out-dug us tonight when only three or four teams have managed to out-dig us all season."

(On his thoughts playing a team from a smaller conference like Charleston's)
"You never discount a team no matter who they play, especially if theyre the ones attacking and making things happen. Charleston proved to be just that."

Senior Middle Blocker Emily Adams (On what they may need to improve on for their second round match) "Im sure well tweak the game plan. We got to see our next opponent - Kansas State - in their first game and they looked very athletic. I liked our energy tonight and well definitely need that tomorrow. I dont think well stray to far from the game plan. Well continue running our system."

(On if they have a special countdown to the title)
"Were taking it one game at a time this year. There arent any countdowns to the finals like in years past. So far were 1-0!"

Junior Middle Blocker Bibiana Candelas
(On her outlook for the playoffs)
"We were excited before the game. We knew everybody would be good and we were going to get everybodys best effort."

College of Charleston Head Coach Sherry Dunbar
"I am very proud of our team. There was a lot of fight in us. We blocked well and dug well, but they out-killed us and I think that was the difference."

Junior Right-Side Hitter Rebecca Wieters
(On what its like facing two players like Emily Adams and Bibiana Candelas)
"Its just like playing anyone else. We still have to see the block coming and hit around it. Its definitely a bigger blocker but still the same concept."

(On what she came away with after the loss to USC)
"We go away knowing were right there. With some hard work in the off-season we know we can get back and go further."

Freshman Middle Blocker Tiffany Blum
(On what she came away with after the loss to USC)
"Performing the way we did tonight shows people what were made of and it gets us excited for next year."

--Courtesy USC