Stratford grad Williams helps lead USC to Final Four
Stratford HS grad Lauren Williams helped the No. 6-seeded USC Women of Troy defeat the No. 3-seeded Stanford Cardinals in five sets Saturday (20-25, 25-17, 22-25, 26-24, 16-14) to win the NCAA Dayton Regional final. USC advances to the 2010 NCAA Final Four to be held next weekend at the Sprint Center in Kansas City to face California.
The middle blocker tandem of junior Williams and Alexis Olgard combined for 21 kills with Williams earning 13 kills and five blocks for a .393 clip.
Willams is third on the team in kills with 257 on the season for a 2.38-kill-per-game average, and remains fourth on USC's single-season list with a .426 hitting percentage.
Williams was named to the Lone Star Volleyball All-Texas Team in her junior and senior seasons.
She played on the 2008 Women's A2 National Team, the 2007 Junior National Training Team, the U.S. Youth National Team in 2004 and 2005 and was a member of the High Performance squad in 2003. Williams also played for the squad that finished fourth at the World 18 and Under Games in 2005 in Macau, China, and the gold-medal squad at the 2004 NORCECA Championship.
Williams was born on Oct. 10, 1988. She is the daughter of Craig and Shirley Williams. Williams was a 2007 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection. She earned all-state honors as a senior at Stratford High under coach Becky Palermo. Williams was named to the Houston Chronicle All-Greater Houston Area first team in her senior season as well as being named as the best blocker. She earned all-district first-team honors in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She also was named best attacker at the 2007 Kingwood Tournament and played club volleyball for Texas Elite and Texas Tornadoes under coach and four-time Olympian Tara Cross-Battle.
USC will be seeking its seventh national championship for women's volleyball as the Trojans are making their sixth Final Four appearance in the past 11 seasons.