No. 1 USC Men's Volleyball Sweeps At UC Santa Barbara
Jan. 26, 2011
Murphy Troy hit a blazing .632 with 12 kills to lead the No. 1-ranked USC men's volleyball team to a 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 sweep at No. 6 UC Santa Barbara in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Wednesday (Jan. 26).
The win kept the Trojans unbeaten this season, as their 5-0 overall start is their best since starting off 6-0 in 1994. All 5 victories have been in MPSF matches, giving USC its best league start since starting off 7-0 in 2000.
The Gauchos dropped to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the MPSF.
USC hit .493 overall to UCSB's .337 and the Trojans had more blocks (7.5 to 4.0) and digs (29 to 21).
Troy, who earned AVCA and MPSF Player of the Week honors last week, had no hitting errors in his 19 attempts against the Gauchos. Teammate Tony Ciarelli added 9 kills (hitting .375) and 6 digs, while Tri Bourne started again and added 8 kills (hitting .400). Steven Shandrick hit .700 with 7 kills and added 3 blocks, Austin Zahn also had 7 kills (hitting .364) and Henry Cassiday notched 9 digs.
UCSB was led by Cullen Irons, who had a match-high 14 kills with 6 digs. Jeff Menzel added 9 kills, Scott Slaughter had 8 kills (hitting .500) and 3 blocks and Trey Valbuena had 7 kills while hitting .429.
In the first set, USC opened up a 7-4 lead and steadily pulled away while hitting .625. The Trojans broke a 12-12 tie in the second set with a Shandrick kill followed by a Gaucho hitting error and USC never relinquished that lead while hitting .423. The third set unfolded in similar fashion, with the Trojans breaking a 16-16 tie with consecutive kills by Troy and Shandrick and then, after UCSB used a 4-point run to close within 23-22, USC broke the momentum with a timeout followed by a Gaucho serving error and a match-ending triple block by Troy, Zahn and Maddison McKibbin (USC hit .440 in that final set).
USC next plays at No. 4 UCLA on Friday (Jan. 28) at 7 p.m. and will look to improve to 6-0 overall for the first time since 1994. That MPSF contest, which will have Crosstown Gauntlet points on the line, will be the fourth of a 5-match road trip for the Trojans.