No. 6 USC Pounds Pepperdine for 3-0 Sweep|
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Sept. 10, 2015
LOS ANGELES -- The sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (8-0) was unrelenting in a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-15, 25-18) of Pepperdine (7-2) in the third match of the USC Classic at the Galen Center on Thursday, Sept. 10. The Women of Troy claimed their 23rd consecutive set victory and moved to 8-0 to start a season for the seventh time in 15 years under head coach Mick Haley.
Senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio scored 22.5 points against the Waves and came through with a match-high 17 kills (4e, 33att) and a .394 hitting percentage. Bricio also notched five service aces in the match to mark the 15th time in her career that she has had at least five in one match. It was also the 31st time that she has served at least three aces in one outing. On top of that, Bricio moved into seventh place at USC on the career kills list and now has 1,548.
The Trojans displayed a balanced attack as sophomore opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie logged eight kills (3e, 21att, .238) and freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford came through with seven kills (3e, 22att, .182) and three blocks. In the middle, senior blocker Alicia Ogoms finished with six kills on 13 swings for a .462 hitting rate to go with five blocks. Defensively, junior libero Taylor Whittingham picked up 16 digs against the Waves.
USC hit .317 in the match with 44 kills (11e, 104att) thanks to the setting of freshman Baylee Johnson and junior Alice Pizzasegola. Johnson had an all-around performance in which she tacked on three kills, seven digs, and a block, to go with her 22 assists. Pizzasegola tallied nine assists and five digs with a service ace.
For the Waves, Tarah Wylie led the offense with eight kills (4e, 19att, .222) and was helped by Gaby Palmeri's seven kills (3e, 16att, .250). Becca Strehlow had 24 assists and nine digs, and Lara Dykstra finished with 14 digs. As a team, Pepperdine hit .155 for the evening with 31 kills (16e) on 97 swings.
USC led by as many as four points through the belly of the first set, but the Waves rolled in and tied the score for a fourth time at 16-all on a setter dump by Strehlow. The Trojans scored the next four points and led, 20-16, thanks to a crosscourt kill by Abercrombie. Ford bounced a ball off the ground before Bricio went down the line for a point to put USC up, 23-20. Johnson scored the final two points of the set with a kill down the line and a tool shot to seal a 25-20 win for the Trojans.
Tied at five in the second set, the Trojans wrestled the lead away from Pepperdine and never trailed again en route to a 25-15 victory. USC was quick to break the Waves as a 5-2 run created a 14-9 lead. Pepperdine scored a couple of points, but the Trojans rose up to complete a 7-1 run and led, 21-12, when Abercrombie crushed a shot down the line for the point. Three straight points went to the Waves before an ace from Pizzasegola and a kill by Ford ended the set.
Bricio served her third and fourth aces to force a Pepperdine timeout in the third set with USC up, 6-3. USC extended that lead to five at 15-10 when Bricio bounced a ball off the floor for another point. In a blink, the Trojans led by eight at 20-12 when Ogoms caught a quick set from Johnson for the kill. The Waves picked up four points to pull within five at 23-18, but Bricio stopped the comeback with back-to-back kills for a 25-18 win in the third.
USC continues play on Friday, Sept. 11, as the Trojans take on Idaho State (5-2) in a 10 a.m. PT match. The Women of Troy then conclude the tournament with an 8 p.m. match against New Mexico (4-3), which will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson and Kevin Wong on the call.
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.