Trojans Rough Up Rider to Break Seal on 2014|
Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCWomensVolleyAug. 29, 2014
STOCKTON, Calif. - The fifth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (1-0) opened the 2014 campaign with a resounding 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-7, 25-9) of Rider (0-1) in the Community Bankers Volleyball Classic at the Alex G. Spanos Center on Friday, Aug. 29. The Women of Troy improved to 12-2 in season openers under head coach Mick Haley; 33-6 all-time with an 11-3 mark in road openers.
The Trojans were led by junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio who put up 15.0 points on 10 kills (1e, 19att) with a .474 hitting percentage and five service aces. It was the eighth time in Bricio's career that she recorded at least five service aces in a single match.
USC also got 11 kills (1e, 14att) from freshman outside hitter Lauryn Gillis who hit .714 in the match. Gillis also notched a service ace, a solo block, and led all players with eight digs. Senior setter Hayley Crone, who had 14 assists and five digs, and sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola, who finished with 21 assists, ran the Trojan offense. USC hit .520 in the match with 44 kills (5e, 75att) and put up a big second set in which it hit .700 (15k, 1e, 20att).
Senior outside hitter Emily Young added seven kills (1e, 9att, .667) while sophomore outside Elise Ruddins (4k, 1e, 9att, .333) and senior middle blocker Hannah Schraer (4k, 0e, 5att, .800) had four kills each. For Rider, Kayla Wong led with six kills (.308), while Jennifer Borio contributed five kills (.200). The Trojans held the Broncs to a negative .013 hitting percentage with just 15 kills against 16 errors on 75 swings.
The Trojans never trailed in the opening set and ripped open a quick 5-1 lead on a crosscourt kill by Gillis. The Broncs got within four at 13-9 on a kill by Wong, and stayed within striking distance, but Bricio's kill made the score 20-14 before Young added a second straight point. Bricio went back to the line and serve a pair of aces and Gillis put a ball through the Rider seam for set point at 24-14. Young had the last word with a kill to end the set. USC hit .519 in the first set with 16 kills (2e) on 27 swings and outpaced the Broncs who had a .227 hitting rate (9k, 4e, 22att).
It was more of the same in the second set. Bricio's third ace of the night gave USC a 4-1 lead but the Trojans really started to run away when Gillis rose out of the back row to crush a pipe shot for a 13-6 lead. Sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham came in and served 13 straight rallies during a 13-0 Trojan run that culminated in a tip kill by freshman outside hitter Sarah Livingston at 23-6. Freshman middle blocker Jordan Dunn put the finishing touches on the set with a kill on an overpassed ball to seal a 25-7 win. USC was on fire with a 15-kill performance (1e) on 20 attacks that produced a .700 hitting percentage. Rider hit a negative .071 with four kills (6e, 28att) in the second set.
Bricio set the tone in the third set as she put together a pair of back-to-back aces to start the Trojans off, 3-0. The Broncs committed too many errors to stay with USC and fell back, 7-1, on a wide attack. The Women of Troy went up by 10 points at 15-5 on a kill by Bricio, and took a 19-5 lead on a service ace by Ruddins. Rider tried to make a run, but a couple of errors gave USC set and match point before the Trojans converted a block into the 25th point of the final set. USC hit .393 in the third stanza on 28 swings (13k, 2e). The Broncs got just two kills (6e) on 25 attacks for a negative .160 rate.
USC is back in action on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 10 a.m. PT against Arkansas-Little Rock, and will conclude the Bankers Classic with a matchup against host Pacific at 7 p.m. PT. Fans can watch all matches live on the West Coast Conference's digital network at theW.tv. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.