No. 16 USC Opens Home Schedule With 3-0 Sweep Of Florida Gulf Coast|
Sept. 3, 2009
LOS ANGELES -- Sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach/Redondo Union HS) recorded 16 kills on a .481 night (16-3-27) Thursday as the No. 16 USC Women of Troy opened the 2009 Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational with the 3-0 sweep over the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (25-22, 25-19, 25-15) at the Galen Center. Jupiter added four digs, two solo blocks and one service ace in the home opener for the Trojans.
Senior All-America outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS) had five kills and a team-high 12 digs in the victory for USC (3-1) with junior outside hitter Kimmee Roleder adding nine kills and nine digs. Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman had 35 assists and two digs as USC hit .276 as a team.
"We tried too hard tonight at the start," said USC head coach Mick Haley. "We had good velocity and that's encouraging. Jessica had 12 digs tonight and when she does that, it's big time for us because it really helps our team defense."
"We will have one step back and two steps forward with Alex, but she's really growing up," said Haley. "Alex and Kendall are really coming along, but they won't be perfect until they get their confidence going. Kimmee was much improved tonight. Geena (Urango) came in there and did a good job for us, especially with a lot of terminations late in the match. All three middles are working hard with Kendall to get their rhythm going. It's been very encouraging with this team."
Jelena Simic led the Eagles (1-3) with 10 kills and seven digs while hitting .360 (10-1-25) as Emma Racila added eight kills.
USC stumbled out of the gate as FGCU led 7-5 in the first set. The Trojans tied it at 9-9 as both teams traded points to a 17-17 score. Jupiter recorded a solo block on Jacqueline Cowden for the 18-17 lead as the Trojans used the 8-5 run to close out the set win on Gysin's kill.
In set two, USC jumped out to a 7-3 lead as the Eagles called a timeout. An Eagle service error gave USC a four-point lead at 10-6, but the Eagles came back and cut the lead to one with three straight points. Roleder sparked four straight points for the Women of Troy as the team hit .355 in the set to take the 2-0 lead in the match.
Jupiter's kill opened the third set and a 7-1 run to open the set led the way for the Trojans. With freshman Carolyn Hillgren serving late in the set, the Trojans scored five straight as Jupiter later put the finishing touch with her final kill to finish the sweep.
Florida Gulf Coast plays Northern Arizona tomorrow in a 4:30 p.m. match at the Galen Center before USC hosts No. 16 Pepperdine at 7 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast with a live video webcast on usctrojans.com.
Notes: USC is now 38-3 all-time at the Galen Center...senior Alli Hillgren now has 1,014 career digs and needs 36 more to tie Yleana Carrasco (1986-89) for 10th place on USC's all-time list...in the third set, the Hillgren sisters (Alli and Carolyn) were on the court at the same time...Saturday's match against Northern Arizona will start at 10 a.m., moved up one hour from the original 11 a.m. start, to accommodate the USC-San Jose State football game at the Coliseum with a 12:30 p.m. start.