Feb. 4, 1997
Trojans Upset Second-Ranked BYU
LOS ANGELES - The USC men's volleyball team came back twice from a game down to upset No. 2 Brigham Young 10-15, 15-13, 12-15, 15-11, 15-10 in a two-hour, 50-minute thriller in front of 175 at the North Gym. USC improved to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with the win, while BYU fell to 3-1, 1-1.
The Trojans were led by sophomore opposite hitter Gabe Gardner's career-high tying 34 kills, senior swing hiter Chris Guigliano's 25 kills and 11 digs, senior middle blocker Eric Seiffert's 20 kills and six blocks and freshman setter Donald Suxho's 85 assists and 16 digs.
The Cougars were paced by sophomore middle blocker Ryan Millar's 30 kills and sophomore outside hitter Ingo Lindemann's 28 kills and 12 digs.
Game four proved to be pivotal for the Trojans after BYU took a 2-1 lead. Both teams traded leads until USC ran off five straight points to take a 12-8 lead. BYU closed to within 12-11, but the Trojans scored the game's final three points and won game four on a Guigliano kill.
In the rally-point fifth game, Suxho's solo block gave USC the first advantage at 4-2 and junior swing hitter Shadd Walker's solo block improved the lead to 9-6. After back-to-back kills by BYU's Oswald Antonetti, the Cougars pulled to within 9-8, but back-to-back BYU hitting errors pushed USC's lead back to 11-8 and the Trojans closed out the match.
"We played terrible in a loss to Long Beach State on Saturday," USC coach Pat Powers said. "I told the players that it comes down to how we come back from losing a match, how we come back from losing a game, how we come back from losing a point. We have to take care of ourselves. The players did a great job tonight."
In game one, the Cougars opened a 10-4 lead. The Trojans closed to within 11-10, but BYU scored the game's final four points. USC battled back in game two, taking an early 8-1 lead before BYU came roaring back to take a 13-12 lead. The lead didn't last, however, as a Cougar hitting error, a Szilard Kovacs block and a service ace by Gardner gave USC the game. The Cougars never trailed in game three.