No. 1 USC Men's Volleyball Goes 5 Sets Second Night In Row To Beat No. 2 BYU
March 5, 2011
For the second consecutive night, the No. 1-ranked USC men's volleyball team needed 5 dramatic sets to beat No. 2 BYU, this time by a score of 25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 22-25, 15-10, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match in front of 3,000 fans on Saturday (March 5) in USC's Galen Center.
Friday's (March 4) score was 25-21, 17-25, 25-17, 21-25, 15-12 in favor of the Trojans.
The big crowd turnout was due in part to the post-match jersey retirement ceremony for former USC All-Americans and Olympians Dusty Dvorak and Celso Kalache. Dozens of former Trojan players were in attendance to honor Dvorak and Kalache, including such greats as Tim Hovland, Steve Timmons, Bryan Ivie, Tom Duke, Donald Suxho, Bob Yoder, Bill Yardley, Nick Becker, Lawrence Hom, Bill Stetson and former coach Ernie Hix.
With the victory, USC upped its overall and MPSF records to 12-1. It is the Trojans' best overall 13-match start since 2000 (also 12-1) and best MPSF 13-match start since 1994 (also 12-1).
BYU fell to 13-6 overall and 9-5 in the MPSF.
All-American Murphy Troy led USC with 18 kills while hitting .438. He added 8 digs and 3 blocks. His ace in the second set was the 125th of his career, a new USC rally scoring era career record (breaking Joao Grangeiro's mark set from 2003 to 2006).
Tri Bourne added 16 kills (hitting .483) and 10 digs for USC, Austin Zahn had 13 kills (hitting .611) with 4 blocks, Tony Ciarelli had 8 kills, 7 blocks, 5 digs and 2 aces, Steven Shandrick had 7 blocks, Henry Cassiday had a match-high 15 digs and Riley McKibbin contributed 58 assists, 7 digs and 3 blocks.
For BYU, Robb Stowell had a match-best 22 kills with 10 digs and 3 blocks, Taylor Sander added 17 kills and 9 digs, Futi Tavana had 11 kills (hitting .611), BJ Hiapo had 14 digs and setter Joe Kauliakamoa came off the bench in the second set and posted 45 assists.
Overall, USC outhit (.346 to .218) and outblocked (13.0 to 6.0) BYU and served more aces (5 to 1).
In the first set, USC got off to a 4-2 lead and never relinquished it while hitting .440.
BYU then clawed back from a 14-9 deficit in the second set, scoring 4 straight points to gain a 24-22 lead (the Cougars hit .457 to USC's .464).
USC got it back together quickly in the third set, forging an 8-4 lead and steadily pulling away while hitting .360 (BYU hit just .071) and getting 5 blocks.
Like it did in the second set, BYU fought back from a big deficit in the fourth set, overcoming a 16-11 gap by going ahead 18-17 and then holding off the Trojans.
The final set was full of momentum shifts as BYU began with 3-0 and 5-1 leads, but USC scored 5 unanswered points with Bourne serving to go up 7-6, then built it to 9-7 only to have the Cougars knot it at 9-9 before the Trojans had another 5-point run to gain control of the match.
USC continues on a 6-match homestand next week by hosting No. 13 UC San Diego on Friday (March 11) and No. 7 UC Irvine on Saturday (March 12). Both MPSF matches start at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center.