Men's Volleyball
    No. 8 USC Men's Volleyball Upsets No. 2 Pepperdine

    Micah Christenson
    Jan. 16, 2015

    Final Stats

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    Christopher Orenic had 14 kills, Cristian Rivera added 13 kills and Micah Christenson served 5 aces and had 11 digs to lead the No. 8-ranked USC men's volleyball team to a 25-23, 20-25, 25-14, 26-24 upset over No. 2 Pepperdine in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match before 1,000 fans in USC's Galen Center on Friday (Jan. 16).

    USC, playing its MPSF opener, improved to 2-0 overall. Pepperdine lost for the first time in 2015, falling to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the MPSF.

    The Trojans hit .223 to the Waves' .206. USC served 11 aces and had 47 digs to Pepperdine's 35. The Waves outblocked Troy, 13.5 to 7.0.

    Alex Slaught added 10 kills for USC, Andy Benesh hit .429 with 8 kills and 3 blocks and Robert Feathers had 3 aces and hit .429.

    For Pepperdine, Josh Taylor had 13 kills, 8 digs and 4 blocks, Scott Rhein and Matt Tarantino each had 8 kills, Mitch Penning had 7 kills while hitting .462 and added 5 blocks and Brennan Anderson had 12 digs.

    In the first set, Pepperdine used a 4-0 run to overcome a 21-18 deficit, but USC scored the next 2 points to go back up, 23-22, and then closed the set on an Orenic kill after a long rally (the Trojans hit .343). The Waves jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the second set and, although USC closed to within 18-14, Pepperdine held on to capture the set while getting 6 blocks. USC turned the tide in the third set by scoring 6 of the first 7 points and steadily pulled away while hitting .429 and serving 5 aces. It was more of the same at the start for USC in the final set, as the Trojans got out to a 5-1 lead and extended it to 19-13, but had to hold off the Waves, who tied it at 21-21, and it wasn't over until Christenson served his fifth ace of the match.

    USC next hosts No. 12 Stanford on Monday (Jan. 19) at 5 p.m. in the Galen Center in a match that will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.