Men's Volleyball
    No. 1 USC Men's Volleyball Wins MPSF Title With CSUN Sweep

    Henry Cassiday and Bill Ferguson

    April 14, 2012

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    The No. 1-ranked USC men's volleyball team won its second consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title with a 25-19, 28-26, 25-17 win at No. 11 Cal State Northridge in an MPSF regular-season ending match on Saturday (April 14).

    The teams will meet again next Saturday (April 21) in a quarterfinal match of the MPSF Tournament at 7 p.m. in USC's Galen Center.

    USC, which improved to 22-4 overall and claimed the league crown with an 18-4 MPSF record, will be the No. 1 seed in the MPSF tourney. The winner of the MPSF tourney gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Final Four, where the Trojans have appeared 2 of the past 3 years.

    It was USC's 17th consecutive victory, its longest winning streak since a school-record 30 in a row in 1990-91. It also was Troy's 14th MPSF victory in a row, its longest streak since capturing 18 straight league matches in 1991-92.

    Cal State Northridge, 12-17 overall and 8-14 in the MPSF, will be the No. 8 seed.

    Tony Ciarelli led the Trojans with a match-high 19 kills while hitting an astronomical .818 (just 1 error on 22 attempts). Teammate Maddison McKibbin added 8 kills (hitting .312) and had 4 blocks, Robert Feathers had a match-best 6 blocks and Henry Cassiday had a match-leading 10 digs.

    For CSUN, John Baker had 11 kills, Brandon Lebrock added 10 kills and Julius Hoeffer had 6 kills (hitting .500) and served 2 aces.

    USC hit . 425 to the Matadors' .247.

    The Trojans used a 5-0 run to open a 19-12 lead in the first set and held off CSUN while hitting .464. The second set was close throughout until back-to-back kills by Feathers and Ciarelli provided the final points. Another 5-0 USC run gave USC an 18-12 margin in the third set and it was never threatened while hitting .474.