No. 1 USC Men's Volleyball Beats UCLA In MPSF Quarters
April 23, 2011
Tony Ciarelli had a match-high 21 kills to lead the No. 1-ranked USC men's volleyball team to a 23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-21 win over No. 8 UCLA in a quarterfinal match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament on Saturday (April 23) in USC's Galen Center.
USC, the tourney's top seed and the MPSF regular season champion, improved to 22-2 overall. It is USC's most victories since 1999 (24) and its 16th consecutive home victory.
The Trojans now host No. 3-ranked and fourth-seeded UC Irvine in an MPSF tourney semifinal match on Thursday (April 28) at 7:30 p.m. in the Galen Center. The other Thursday semifinal pits sixth-seeded Long Beach State against No. 7-seed UC Santa Barbara at 5 p.m. in the Galen Center. The winners then play in the MPSF Tournament championship match on Saturday (April 30) at 7:30 p.m. in the Galen Center.
UCLA, the tourney's eighth seed, concluded its season with a 16-15 mark.
It was USC's fifth consecutive victory (and eighth in the past 9 meetings) over its crosstown rival. Trojan head coach Bill Ferguson is now 9-2 all-time against legendary UCLA head coach Al Scates.
USC outhit UCLA, .306 to .203, in the match and had more blocks (8.0 to 6.0) and aces (4 to 1). The Bruins had more digs (46 to 40).
Ciarelli hit .375 and had 3 blocks and 2 aces. Teammate Murphy Troy added 12 kills and 5 digs, Tri Bourne had 9 kills, 10 digs, 4 blocks and 2 aces, Steven Shandrick had 6 kills while hitting .385 and added 6 blocks, Austin Zahn had 5 kills (hitting .400), Henry Cassiday had 10 digs and Riley McKibbin had 9 digs and 48 assists.
For UCLA, Gonzalo Quiroga had 15 kills while hitting .312 and he added 7 digs, Kyle Caldwell had 9 kills, 8 digs and 30 assists, Thomas Amberg had 9 kills (hitting .353), Jeremy Casebeer had 8 kills, 6 digs and 3 blocks, Jack Polales had 12 digs and Tom Hastings had 8 digs.
USC built a 10-5 lead in the first set only to have UCLA forge ahead 14-13, but the Trojans reclaimed the lead and moved out to a 21-18 lead before the Bruins scored 3 in a row to tie it and eventually UCLA went up 24-22 to get control of the set while hitting .375 to USC's .152 and outdigging the Trojans, 15-5. USC turned it around in the second set after falling behind 3-0, as the Trojans went ahead 6-5 and steadily pulled away while hitting .464 to UCLA's .152 and getting 4.0 blocks. It was more of the same for USC in the third set after trailing 5-2, as USC used a 4-point run to go up 16-12 and was never threatened the rest of the set while UCLA hit just .081. In the fourth set, USC had a 3-0 run to move to a 9-6 lead that it never relinquished while hitting .400.