No. 3 USC Men's Volleyball Sweeps At No. 2 UCLA
March 14, 2012
Tony Ciarelli had match highs of 14 kills and 6 aces to lead the No. 3-ranked USC men’s volleyball team to a 25-18, 25-22, 25-23 sweep at No. 2 UCLA in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Wednesday (March 14).
USC has won nine consecutive matches since its last loss, a 3-0 home defeat by the Bruins in early February. The Trojans are now 14-4 overall and 11-4 in the MPSF, while UCLA fell to 18-4 overall and 12-3 in the MPSF.
The win was the 99th in the six-year career of USC head coach Bill Ferguson and it raised his record to 10-3 against legendary UCLA head coach Al Scates.
Ciarelli has now served an unheard-of 13 aces in his past two matches, after posting 7 last Saturday at Pepperdine. He hit .407 against the Bruins.
Steven Mochalski, whose father played on UCLA’s 1982 NCAA championship team, added 12 kills for the Trojans while hitting .421 and he had 7 digs. Maddison McKibbin, whose insertion into the USC starting lineup coincided with the Trojans’ 9-match winning streak, had 11 kills.
UCLA, which tried a variety of lineups to stop the Trojans, had no player with more than Jeremy Casebeer’s 7 kills. Weston Dunlap added 6 kills (hitting .455) and 4 blocks.
USC hit .373 to UCLA’s .282 and the Trojans had more digs (31 to 21).
Troy jumped out to a quick 5-1 start in the first set and steadily pulled away while hitting .522 and getting 11 digs. The Trojans fell behind 4-1 in the second set, caught up at 7-7 and then scored 8 of the next 10 points to build a lead that the Bruins couldn’t overcome, although UCLA did pull within a point at 20-19. In the third set, USC forged a 6-3 lead only to see UCLA storm ahead at 15-10, but the Trojans went on a 5-0 run to go up 22-19 before the Bruins tied it at 23-23, then USC closed out the match with the final 2 points.
USC next travels to No. 14 UC Santa Barbara on Friday (March 16) for a 7 p.m. MPSF contest.