No. 3 Trojans Clip Eagle Wings in 3-0 Sweep of Marquette
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Sep 6, 2013
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Behind strong performances from its outside hitters, the third-ranked USC women’s volleyball team defeated host Marquette in three sets, 25-16, 25-19, 25-14, in the Marquette Challenge at Al McGuire Center on Friday, Sept. 6. The Women of Troy remained undefeated (5-0) as the Golden Eagles fell to 1-2. Trojan freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu hit .320 as she led all players with 10 kills (2e, 25att) in the match.
Sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio put together another complete match with nine kills (4e, 22att, .227) to go with seven digs, a service ace, and a pair of blocks (one solo). Bricio led all players with 11.5 points. Midwest native Emily Young enjoyed a strong homecoming as she matched her career high with eight kills (1e, 12att) and hit .583. Senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard hit .455 as she added six kills (1e, 11att) for the Trojans.
On the defensive side of the net, senior libero Natalie Hagglund led the Trojans with eight digs. Freshman setter Alice Pizzasegola had 15 assists to go with two service aces while junior setter Hayley Crone had 16 assists and five digs.
For the Golden Eagles, Autumn Bailey led with eight kills (6e, 23att, .087) and had five digs. Julie Jeziorowski posted a match-high 11 digs. As a team, Marquette had trouble producing offense as it posted a .045 hitting percentage with 24 hitting errors (28k) on 89 swings. USC out-blocked its opponent for the fourth time in five matches.
Marquette held a 7-6 lead in the first set, but fell into the frame’s fifth tie score at seven-all on a service error. Another error put the lead into USC’s hands and the Trojans ran with it. Young and Olgard earned back-to-back kills to spark a run that put the Trojans up by four, 12-8. Crone found Bricio on the outside to produce a kill to make the score 14-11. Five serves later, Bricio earned an ace to pull USC out to a 19-11 advantage. The Eagles fought back but were grounded as a pair of their own errors created a nine-point Trojan lead and gave USC set point at 24-15. Bricio swooped in to crush a set from Pizzasegola for her fifth kill and claimed a 25-16 first-set win for the Trojans. USC’s efficiency netted a .367 hitting percentage in the opening frame (14k, 3e, 30att) and helped the Trojans outpace the .231 hitting percentage of the Eagles who produced 10 kills (4e) on 26 attempts.
A 4-3 lead in the second set quickly turned into a five-point deficit for the Eagles as they committed six consecutive hitting errors. Twice through that 6-0 run, the Trojans blocked Marquette attacks, but that was no consolation for an Eagle squad that would get no closer than four points of USC the rest of the way to a 25-19 decision. Nwanebu had four kills without an error on 10 swings in the second set and got one of them off a set from Crone to create a 16-11 lead. Not to be outdone, Young had four kills without an error on five attempts and got one of them off a set from Pizzasegola to make the score 23-16 for the Trojans. The Eagles fought to get three more points, but faced set point when Bricio earned a kill. Bricio came back to finish of the set with another kill and put USC up, 2-0. The Trojans hit .344 in the second set (13k, 2e, 32att) and suffocated the Marquette attack which produced as many kills as errors for a .000 hitting rate (11k, 11e, 37att).
The Trojans wasted no time seizing momentum in the third set and went up by five points at 8-3 on one of Young’s two kills in the frame. Olgard served up an ace to help the Trojans create a 12-5 lead, but the Eagles had an answer as they scored three straight to get within four points at 14-10. USC awoke and produced an 8-2 run topped off by Young’s other kill to hold a 10-point lead at 22-12. Olgard’s two kills kept the Trojans’ lead and gave USC set point at 24-14. She had a big third set as she earned four kills on just four swings and had a service ace and a block for 4.5 of USC’s points. Marquette put the final nail in its own coffin on an attack error to seal a 3-0 USC sweep. The Eagles went south in the final set with a negative .077 hitting percentage (7k, 9e, 26att). The Trojans had just 10 kills and hit .179 in the final stanza.
Next up, USC will face Northern Illinois on Saturday (Sept. 7) in DeKalb, Ill., at 1 p.m. CT (11 a.m. PT). For more information and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com.