No. 8 USC Cuts Up No. 10 Kentucky for Fifth Straight Victory|
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Sept. 5, 2015
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The eighth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (5-0) posted a 3-0 victory (25-11, 25-19, 25-21) over No. 10 Kentucky (4-2) in the UNI Tournament at the McLeod Center on Saturday, Sept. 5. The Women of Troy ran their winning streak to five straight matches with 14 straight set victories. It is also USC's third win over a ranked opponent this season.
The Trojans posted a scorching .487 hitting rate in the match with 43 kills (5e) on 78 attempts. In fact, USC was error-free in the opening frame with 14 kills on 23 swings for a .609 hitting percentage and had a 100-percent sideout rate (12-for-12). Freshman setter Baylee Johnson dished out 24 assists and added eight digs, three kills (0e, 5att, .600), two service aces, and a block. Junior setter Alice Pizzasegola had 15 assists, two aces, and two digs.
Offensively, the Women of Troy leaned on their pin-hitters to get the job done. Senior outside Samantha Bricio and freshman Alyse Ford each finished with 11 kills and 12.5 points. Bricio hit .375 (2e, 24att) and put up eight digs, an ace, and a block. In the match, she earned her 1,500th career kill and became just the sixth Trojan to register 1,500 kills and 1,000 digs. She is the first Trojan to do so since All-American Alex Jupiter. Ford hit .688 (0e, 16att) and had three blocks.
Not to be outdone, USC's middle attack inflicted plenty of damage on the Wildcats as well. Senior Alicia Ogoms had eight kills without an error on 12 swings to post a .667 hitting percentage with five digs and four blocks. Junior middle Elise Ruddins earned six kills (1e, 7att) and hit .714 to go with four blocks.
For the Wildcats, Kaz Brown led with 12 kills (2e, 20att, .500) while Darian Mack (9e, 32att, -.062) and Brooke Morgan (0e, 13att, .538) had seven kills apiece. Ashley Dusek logged 11 digs and setter Morgan Bergren had 27 assists.
Running like a well-oiled machine, the Trojans quickly rolled out to a 10-4 lead in the first set on a kill by Ford. That lead ballooned to 13 at 23-10 when Ford knocked another shot off the Kentucky block. Johnson and Ruddins teamed for a block to give USC set point, but appropriately, Ford finished things off with her kill for a 25-11 win.
A more settled Kentucky came out in set two and took an 8-6 lead, but USC stayed close and knotted the score at 13 on a kill by Bricio. The Trojans turned it on right then and stunned the Cats with a 10-3 run for a 23-16 lead. Kentucky tried to claw its way back into the set, but surrendered the final two points on service errors to give USC a 25-19 win.
The teams slugged it out in set three and were tied 17 times before the Trojans pulled away for the 25-21 win and the sweep. Bricio had four kills to get USC started, but with the score tied at 19, Ford revved up and earned three of her five kills to start the Trojan run. The setters put the final nail in the coffin as Pizzasegola served up an ace and Johnson secured the final point of the match with her kill.
USC wraps the UNI Tournament against host Northern Iowa (1-3) at 7:30 p.m. CT (5:30 p.m. PT). The match will be carried live on ESPN3. Go to ESPN3.com or WatchESPN to watch.
To purchase season or single-match tickets for USC home matches, 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.