NCAA Men's Volleyball Countdown: No. 10 USC

USC Athletics Andy Benesh USC Men's Volleyball

FloVolleyball is excited to introduce our NCAA Men's Countdown, ranking the top 10 collegiate men's volleyball teams in the country leading up to the start of the 2017 season.

The No. 10 spot goes to the University of Southern California this year, and here's why:

The Upshot


Healing veterans and promising freshmen make USC a 2017 wild card.

Last Season


7-19 overall, 5-17 in MPSF (11th place)
Final 2016 RPI: 25
Team Hitting Percentage: .230 (#32 in NCAA)
Team blocks per set: 1.76 (#36)

The Players


RETURNING STARS
Lucas Yoder USC men's volleyballLucas Yoder | 6-foot-4 | Senior | Outside Hitter
3.21 kills/set (#37 in NCAA); .266; 0.39 blocks/set
Andy Benesh | 6-9 | Senior | Middle Blocker
1.45 kills/set; .377; 0.69 blocks/set
Jon Rivera | 6-6 | Junior | Opposite
2.58 kills/set; .169; 0.36

PROMISING NEWCOMERS
Tyler Resnick | 6-7 | Redshirt Freshman | Middle Blocker
Lucas Lossone | 6-7 | Freshman | Opposite
Aaron Strange | 6-4 | Freshman | Outside Hitter
Sean Morrissey | 6-5 |Freshman | Outside Hitter
Matt Faraimo | 6-3 | Freshman | Setter
Matt Hassel | 6-8 | Freshman | Middle Blocker
Michael Chang | 5-8 | Freshman | Libero
Jackson Wedbush | 6-2 | Freshman | Outside Hitter

BIGGEST LOSSES
Brooks Varni | 6-2 | Libero
1.79 digs/set (#43 in NCAA)
Alex Slaught | 6-4 | Outside Hitter
2.40 kills/set; .176; 0.31 blocks/set
Tommy Leonard | 6-8 | Middle Blocker
1.50 kills/set; .319; 0.74 blocks/set
Josh Kirchner | 6-6 | Opposite
1.09 kills/set; .402; 0.60 blocks/set

Non-Conference Matches to Watch


January 6 at Ohio State
January 7 at Penn State
March 9 vs. Lewis

Outlook


Gert Lisha USC Men's VolleyballThe Trojans were hit with several injuries during the fall, which makes them a bit of an enigma as the 2017 season begins. Coach Jeff Nygaard (second season) reports that senior middle blocker Andy Benesh powered through "hard-core therapy" the past few months and appears to have overcome lingering back issues.

Freshman Lucas Lossone may crack the roster as the second starting middle, if he can beat out 6-6 sophomore Connor Inlow and 6-8 redshirt freshman Tyler Resnick. Another freshman, lefty Aaron Strange, may displace Jon Rivera at opposite. With Jack Yoder no longer playing volleyball, junior Gert Lisha will contend for the setter's job now that his broken finger has healed. Senior Michael Mullahey and freshman Matt Faraimo are also in the setter mix. Lucas Yoder (Jack Yoder's cousin) will be the OH1. Nygaard calls him a "strong physical specimen and one of the most natural passers" on the USC roster. Six others will compete for OH2, with 6-4 sophomore Blake Markland among the strongest contenders. Maybe the most secure spot belongs to 5-9 senior Matt Douglas, who will start the season at libero.

Prediction


The Trojans struggled in 2016 but could be 2017's Cinderella team. Coach Nygaard says that he has never been part of a volleyball match that he doesn't believe his team will win.

Photos courtesy USC Athletics.

MUST SEE FloFilms of 2016


The Program: Penn State
Watch Episode One here.

null


All In: USA Women's National Volleyball Team
Watch Episode One here.

null

Raegan Steiner Is The Perfect Ambassador For Montana Volleyball

Courtesy Chantelle Steiner Raegan Steiner

Yes, they play volleyball in Montana.

No, they don’t ride horses to volleyball practice.

In fact, Raegan Steiner would like you to know that high school volleyball is very much alive and kicking in a state better known for rodeo, skiing and — until recently — basketball. Steiner should know: the 6-foot-0 opposite from Billings Senior High is the first Montanan ever selected to the AVCA Under Armor High School All-American team.

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Raegan Steiner

Courtesy Chantelle Steiner Raegan Steiner

Becoming the first Under Armour High School All-American from the state of Montana is the perfect way to conclude Raegan Steiner’s prep volleyball career. 

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Emma Schriner

Jamestown Volleyball | Twitter Emma Schriner

Tennessee-bound outside hitter Emma Schriner is as physical as they come. Standing 6-foot-3 and touching over 10 feet, Schriner was one of only two starters returning for her Jamestown High School team this fall. 

Last Four Teams Standing Book Their Tickets To Kansas City

USA Today Sports USATSI_10470305_168383134_lowres.jpg

On Saturday night, the eight remaining teams in the 2017 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament faced off to determine which four would advance to the Final Four in Kansas City next week. 

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Adanna Rollins

Hebron High School DO9edCFVoAAbsXk.jpg-large.jpeg

Adanna Rollins led Hebron High School to the 6A Texas state championship last year as a junior and was named the MVP of the tournament. This fall, Hebron, missing graduated setter and reigning Texas Gatorade Player of the Year Kylee McLaughlin, wasn’t expected to repeat, but with some inspired play from Rollins, they did just that.

Regional Hosts Survive Sweet 16 Tests

Matt Pendleton/UAA Communications Rhamat Alhassan

The regional semifinal rounds of the 2017 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament wrapped up last night, leaving only eight teams remaining in the hunt for the championship. 

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Ella May Powell

Courtesy AVCA Ella May Powell.jpg

The list of colleges Ella May Powell considered before making her commitment to Washington features some of the most decorated women’s volleyball programs in NCAA history: Stanford, UCLA, Florida, and Nebraska.

This Week's College Commits: 12/8/17

Hebron High School DO-XpTIV4AAvjb5.jpg-large.jpeg

A Texas high school state champion from the class of 2020 made her verbal commitment to Florida this week, Florida State added a 2021 libero from Walton High School in Georgia, and the beach programs of Missouri State and TCU celebrated the addition of talent to their 2019 teams.

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloVolleyball!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Jonni Parker

Courtesy AVCA Jonni Parker.JPG

Miami East senior Jonni Parker led the 2017 Viking squad with 449 kills and 315 assists, but perhaps the most impressive line item on her stats sheet is the 153 aces; that mark ranks her fifth in state history for aces in a single season, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association website.

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Ade’ Owokoniran

Courtesy Triangle Volleyball Club IMG_0251.JPG

To get an idea of what Ade’ Owokoniran’s contributions at the collegiate level might be like when she makes her debut at Duke next fall, think of Danielle Cuttino of Purdue. Like Cuttino, Owokoniran is a middle blocker with the skill and athleticism to play on the outside, while putting on a display of explosive power when in the middle.