No. 6 Women of Troy Capture USC Classic Crown on 3-0 Sweep of Lobos|
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Sept. 11, 2015
LOS ANGELES -- Powered by yet another remarkable performance from senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio, the sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (10-0) claimed the USC Classic tournament title with a 3-0 victory (25-23, 25-10, 25-20) against New Mexico (4-4) on Friday, Sept. 11, at the Galen Center. The Women of Troy pushed their streak of consecutive sets won to 29 and are now 10-0 to start a season for the seventh time under head coach Mick Haley.
Bricio was unconscionable as she racked up 21 kills despite the fact that she sat out several rallies to open the third set. She hit .487 (2e, 39att) and added a service ace, three blocks (one solo), and eight digs. During the match, Bricio surpassed three-time All-American and Olympic medalist April Ross (1,576 from 2000-03) on USC's career kills ladder and moved into sixth place in the program's history with 1,586.
Freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford supplemented Bricio's effort with a season-high matching 11 kills (2e, 28att) on a .321 hitting night. From the opposite position, sophomore Brittany Abercrombie added eight kills (4e, 20att, .200). Junior middle blocker Elise Ruddins had six kills (1e, 12att, .417) and senior middle Alicia Ogoms finished with four blocks and three digs in addition to one of USC's three service aces.
The Women of Troy hit .293 (50k, 14e, 123att) on the setting of junior Alice Pizzasegola and freshman Baylee Johnson. Pizzasegola delivered on 23 assists and had six digs while Johnson logged her third double-double of the season with 17 assists and 12 digs to go with a pair of blocks. Defensively, junior libero Taylor Whittingham had 19 digs to lead the team.
For New Mexico, Devanne Sours put up 12 kills (5e, 41att, .171) and had five digs. Setter Hannah Johnson dished out 23 assists and had 10 digs for a double-double while Mercedes Pacheco put up 12 digs. The Lobos hit .110 in the match with 31 kills against 18 errors (118att).
Bricio collected 10 of her kills in the first set, but the Trojans needed every last one of them to get by the Lobos and secure a 25-23 win. USC controlled the tempo at the outset, but New Mexico stayed close enough to strike and claimed a 20-18 lead on a 3-0 run before Bricio's kill stopped the bleeding. The Trojans then went ahead, 23-22, but defense kept the Lobos in it for a fifth tie at 23. Ruddins knocked down an overpassed ball and then Ford went crosscourt for consecutive points to seal the victory for Troy.
The second set was the difference between night and day from the first. Before anyone had noticed, the Trojans had rolled out to a 10-2 lead when Ruddins and Johnson teamed up for a block. The Lobos tried to fight back, but trailed by eight again at 16-8. The Trojans then put UNM away with a 9-2 run that culminated in three kills for Ford that ultimately closed the door on the Lobos for a 25-10 USC win.
The winds of change blew in for the third set and this time, New Mexico ran up a tab and led, 8-2, out of the gate. It took a while, but Bricio took matters into her own hands and scored five points on seven rallies (four on kills and one on a solo block) to bring the Trojans a 12-11 lead. The Lobos caught USC at 15 and again at 16, but Ford tooled the block to get USC in front by three, 19-16. UNM errors and a pair of big blocks by the Trojans left the Lobos wanting as USC completed the 3-0 sweep with a 25-20 win in the third.
The Women of Troy return to the road for the Oklahoma Invitational in Norman, Okla., next week (Sept. 17-18) at the McCasland Field House. USC will face host Oklahoma and Maryland. Following the two matches, the Trojans will begin Pac-12 play with a road bout against rival UCLA on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 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.