No. 6 Trojans Trounce Utah State to Open USC Classic|
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Sept. 10, 2015
LOS ANGELES -- The sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (7-0) claimed its 20th consecutive set victory in a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-9, 25-14) of Utah State (2-6) to open the USC Classic at the Galen Center on Thursday, Sept. 10. Senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio powered the Women of Troy to the win with 12 kills (1e, 25att, .440) and tied her career mark and USC single-match record with eight service aces for 20.0 points.
The Trojans also got six kills (3e, 17att, .176) from sophomore outside hitter Niki Withers and four kills apiece from freshman setter Baylee Johnson (1e, 8att, .375) and sophomore hitter Sarah Livingston (2e, 7att, .286). Johnson also had 21 assists, four digs, and a pair of blocks. Junior setter Alice Pizzasegola tallied nine assists, an ace, and four digs, as she helped the Women of Troy to a .284 hitting percentage (36k, 13e, 81att). Junior libero Taylor Whittingham picked up 11 digs and had three assists in the match.
For the Aggies, Kaylie Kamalu led with eight kills but had 11 errors on 30 swings for a negative .100 hitting percentage. Kamalu served three aces and picked up a pair of digs as well. Hannah Gleason led her team with 10 digs, and Lauren O'Brien recorded five blocks (one solo).
Bricio scored a pair of aces to open the match, but a 5-1 USC lead was short lived as the Aggies came within one at 11-10, and then tied the score at 14-all on a block. The Trojans tightened up and pulled away to get a five-point lead at 21-16 on a crosscourt kill by Bricio, but Utah State kept fighting and came within two points at 23-21. The Trojans staved off the Aggies' comeback and completed the 25-22 win to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
USC went up, 5-1, to open the second set as well, but quickly turned that into a seven-point lead at 11-4 on a kill from junior middle blocker Elise Ruddins. The Trojans never let up and led by 12 at 20-8 on an off-speed tip from Bricio. She then went back to serve and picked up two more aces to give USC set point at 24-9 before an Aggie error ended the set, 25-9, in favor of the Women of Troy.
The Trojans opened the third frame on fire as they raced out to a 7-1 lead, but the Aggies flipped the script on USC and scored on eight of the next 10 rallies to tie the score at nine. Back-to-back kills by Johnson helped the Trojans begin their run. Two kills from Withers got USC a seven-point lead, 18-11, but several Aggie errors helped put the match away as a block by Johnson and freshman middle blocker Rachel Reed scored the final point in a 25-14 victory.
Up next, USC faces Pepperdine (6-1) in the nightcap at 8 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks with Kevin Barnett and Kevin Wong on the call. The Waves play New Mexico in the second match of the USC Classic at 12:30 p.m. PT.
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.