No. 10 Gators Take Bite Out of No. 6 Trojans|
Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCWomensVolleySept. 12, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (6-2) was defeated in three sets, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22, by No. 10 Florida (5-2) in the final match of the USC Classic at Galen Center on Friday, Sept. 12. The Gators and Texas A&M each finished as co-winners of the Classic with 2-0 records. The Trojans and San Diego each went 0-2. Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio led the Women of Troy with 15 kills (5e, 34att) and a .294 hitting percentage and was chosen to the all-tournament team.
Bricio also added seven digs and a service ace. Her first kill of the night was the 1,000th of her career.
The Trojans finished with 43 kills (15e) on 111 swings to post a .252 hitting percentage. Senior setter Hayley Crone dished out 14 assists and had 10 digs to log her fifth double-double of the season; the 18th of her career. Sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola got her first-career start and finished with 19 assists.
Freshman middle blocker Jordan Dunn also made her first-career start and knocked down seven kills (1e, 12att) with a .500 hitting percentage and had two blocks (one solo). USC got 17 digs from sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham who added six assists to her final line.
For the Gators, Alex Holston led the way with 13 kills (2e, 28att, .393), two service aces, and seven digs. Freshman Rhamat Alhassan had 11 kills (4e, 20att, .350) and a match-high seven blocks. Simone Antwi finished with 12 kills (2e, 20att, .500), a service ace, and a block. Defensively, Florida out-blocked USC, 10-4, and out-dug the Trojans, 50-44.
Despite posting 17 kills (6e, 36att) in the first set, USC hit .306, was blocked three times, surrendered three service aces, and had three service errors of its own as Florida came away with a 25-23 win. The Gators had 12 kills (2e, 24att) for a .417 hitting percentage and led by as many as four points at 16-12 when Alhassan went quick for the kill. USC went on a 5-0 run sparked by back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu to lead by two, 18-16, and stayed up, 21-19, on a quick-set kill from Pizzasegola to Dunn. Florida stayed close and caught the Trojans at 21-all before the Gators took set point at 24-23 on an Alhassan kill. Florida's block of a Nwanebu offering sealed its 25-23 win.
The Trojans held several leads in the second set including twice by as many as four points. USC was up, 15-11, at the media timeout, but the Gators maintained striking distance and grabbed the only lead that mattered for a 25-23 win. Holston's kill gave Florida its first lead of the set at 23-22 before Alhassan's quick-set kill put set point in the Gators' hands. Freshman outside hitter Lauryn Gillis saved one point with her kill but Alhassan did it again to seal the 2-0 set lead for Florida. USC had 13 kills (4e) on 43 attempts for a .209 hitting percentage. The Gators committed seven errors but had 19 kills (51att) and hit .235 in the second frame.
Florida claimed the first sizable lead of the final set at 6-3, but the Trojans came back to lead by three points themselves, 11-8, on a crosscourt kill by Nwanebu. The score was tied 13 times before a winner was decided. Tied at 15-all, the teams went to their big guns to get the job done as Alhassan and Bricio traded kills. The Trojans went up, 18-17, when Dunn blocked Alhassan, but Florida was unrelenting. Bricio hit the pipe before Nwanebu killed the next rally for a 20-19 USC lead, but Florida tied things up one more time at 22-all. Holston went down the line, Bricio's shot went long, and Antwi was terminal down the line once more to top off the 25-22 win in the third. USC had 13 kills (5e, 32att) and hit .250 in the final set, but the Gators were one step ahead with 15 kills (4e, 34att) for a .324 hitting percentage.
The Women of Troy will be back in action in their final two non-conference matches next week as the team travels to Seattle, Wash., to take on 2013 NCAA runner-up Wisconsin and Maryland in the Pac-12/Big Ten Showcase hosted by the University of Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena. Both matches will appear on the Pac-12 Networks.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
USC CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Rhamat Alhassan - Florida
Alex Holston - Florida
Shelby Sullivan - Texas A&M
Stephanie Aiple - Texas A&M
Alaysia Brown - San Diego
Samantha Bricio - USC