Trojans Live the Life of Pi as No. 22 USC Knocks Off No. 7 North Carolina|
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Aug. 28, 2015
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 22-ranked USC women's volleyball team (1-0) locked in its first upset victory of the season as the Trojans defeated No. 7 North Carolina (0-1) in four sets (25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 25-11) in the second match of the Women of Troy Baden Invitational at Galen Center on Friday, Aug. 28.
The Trojans were led by senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio who had 24 kills (10e, 57att, .246) and 27.5 points to lead all scorers. Bricio also had 18 digs to log her 42nd-career double-double and finished with a service ace and five blocks. Sophomore opposite Brittany Abercrombie matched her career mark with 13 kills (2e, 30att, .367) and also had five blocks. Senior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms finished with 10 kills (1e, 15att) as she hit .600 and posted seven blocks (one solo) and freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford tallied 10 kills (4e, 25att, .240).
Junior middle blocker Elise Ruddins had five kills (1e, 12att, .333) and put up seven blocks (one solo) for nine points. Defensively, junior libero Taylor Whittingham had 13 digs and two service aces while freshman defender Victoria Garrick had 14 digs in her first collegiate match. The Women of Troy hit .268 in the match and finished with 64 kills (22e, 157att) thanks to the setting of junior Alice Pizzasegola (27 assists) and freshman Baylee Johnson (30 assists). Johnson also had 11 digs to post her first-career double-double.
For the Tar Heels, Leigh Andrew and Hayley McCorkle each had 10 kills. Jordyn Schnabl had 22 assists and 11 digs while libero Heather Gearhart had 13 digs but gave up four aces.
The Trojans set the tone quickly as they rolled out to a five-point lead in the first set, 10-5, on a pipe-set kill from Bricio. The Heels climbed to within one point, but Bricio picked up two more kills to push USC ahead, 16-12, before Abercrombie and Ruddins teamed up for a big block to get the Trojans a 23-18 lead. USC finished off the set with a 25-20 win and looked like they were in position to do the same in the second as they got out to a 4-1 lead. UNC flipped the tables on the Trojans though, as its 5-1 run gave the Heels a 15-11 lead. The teams went back and forth and were tied for the ninth time at 18-all before USC pulled away for a 21-19 lead on a crosscourt shot from Abercrombie. It wasn't enough as North Carolina fought back to take the second set, 25-23.
There would be no let-up in the third set as USC claimed a three-point lead on three straight kills by Ogoms, Bricio, and Abercrombie, 7-4. Bricio went at it on her own for three straight points and a 14-9 lead before the Trojan block showed up again and got USC an 18-12 lead on back-to-back blocks by Ogoms. UNC closed within five just once, but the Trojans maintained their distance and topped the Heels, 25-18, to go ahead, 2-1, in the match.
Despite its quick 2-0 lead in the fourth set, North Carolina couldn't come up with enough offense to stay with the Trojans and finished with a negative .100 hitting percentage (6k, 9e, 30att). USC went up by five, 10-5, on a crosscourt shot from Abercrombie and continued to climb for an 11-point lead when Ford drove down the line for a kill and made the score 17-6. There was little fight left in the Tar Heels, who went down by 12 on Bricio's service ace, 22-10, before a couple of errors and another block for Ruddins put the Trojans at match point, 24-11. Ford completed the upset when she tooled the block for the 25-11 win.
The Women of Troy are back in action for two matches tomorrow (Aug. 29). The Trojans face Chicago State (0-1) at 10 a.m., and wrap the tournament with a match against No. 11 BYU (1-0) at 8 p.m., on the Pac-12 Networks. At 12:30 p.m., BYU and North Carolina face off before UNC and Chicago State play at 5 p.m.
To purchase season or single-game tickets, visit GetTrojanTix.com or call (213) 740-GOSC. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope.