Women's Volleyball
    No. 9 San Diego Upends No. 1 USC in Four-Set Stunner
    USC senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard

    USC senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard
    
    

    Sept. 13, 2013

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    SAN DIEGO - The No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team (6-1) was upset in four sets, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, 25-19, by No. 9 San Diego (5-1) in the USD Tournament at Jenny Craig Pavilion on Friday, Sept. 13. Despite 13 kills (2e, 36att, .306) from freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu and 11 kills (0e, 19att, .579) and seven blocks from senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard, the Women of Troy dropped their first decision of the season.

    The upstart Toreros who were unranked to open the season secured their fourth win over a top-20 team and punished the Trojans with their quick offense. USC posted a .268 hitting percentage in the match (54k, 12e, 157att) and put up 15 blocks but were still undone by a USD offense that found ways to keep plays alive and produce points out of broken plays. It is USC's first loss to USD in 10 meetings.

    Junior outside hitter Emily Young posted seven kills (0e, 16att, .438) and had four blocks and junior middle Hannah Schraer put up six kills (1e, 11att, .455) to go with five blocks. The Toreros found ways to neutralize USC's outside attack and were able to hold sophomore Samantha Bricio to nine kills (6e, 43att) and a .070 hitting percentage. Senior libero Natalie Hagglund led the team with 19 digs.

    For USD, Chloe Ferrari ran the slide to perfection as she knocked down 21 kills on a .531 hitting night. Katie Hoekman also slid her way to 17 kills (5e, 31att, .387). On defense, C'era Oliveira led all players with 25 digs while USD setter Jianna Bonomi had 18 digs to go with 31 assists for a double-double.

    Down 7-6 in the first set, the Trojans mounted a comeback that netted them a 6-1 run and a 12-8 lead, but USD fought back to tie the set for a sixth time, 14-all, on a tip kill by Ferrari. Nwanebu tooled the Torero block for a kill to break the tie as the Trojans held USD at bay. USC went up by two points, 22-20, on a crosscourt kill by Bricio, but Alaysia Brown pulled the Toreros into a tie with her first of back-to-back kills and handed USD the lead for good on her next attack. The teams traded errors before the Toreros ran a slide to Ferrari for the final point in a 25-23 first-set win. The Trojans hit .286 in the opening frame and logged 13 kills (3e) on 35 swings, but USD dug up 17 balls and earned enough breaks during a 5-1 run to end the set with a .250 hitting percentage with 18 kills (8e) on 40 attacks.

    Like they did in the first set, the Trojans built a quick three-point lead in the second as senior outside Sara Shaw tooled the Torero block for the 6-3 advantage. But USD kept coming and reeled off a 4-1 run to tie the score at seven all. Shaw's kill broke the set's sixth tie and put an 11-10 lead in USC's hands. This time, it was the Trojans' turn to go on a run as they built another three-point lead, 15-12, on Young's kill. From there, USC stepped on the gas. Shaw and Young earned back-to-back kills before Bricio stuffed Hoekman on back-to-back plays to put the Trojans up by six, 19-13. USC went up by as many as nine points at 22-13 on a USD error, but Hoekman ended the slump with a kill on another slide play. The Toreros fought tooth and nail, but the Trojans earned set point at 24-17 when Schraer crushed a quick set from freshman setter Alice Pizzasegola for a point. USD tested USC's mettle with three straight points, but Nwanebu put a stop to the Torero's comeback bid with her kill for a 25-20 win. The Trojans were efficient in the second stanza with a .441 hitting percentage on 34 swings (16k, 1e) and out-dueled the Toreros who posted a .205 rate with 17 kills (9e) on 39 attacks.

    Nwanebu opened the third set with a kill down the line and a pair of Trojan blocks extended USC's run to 4-0, but the Toreros chipped away at that lead and got within a point on a kill by Ferrari. USC led until an error knotted the set at 11-all. The Trojans pushed ahead again, but USD stayed point-for-point until a pair of Ferrari kills put the Toreros on top for good at 18-16. USC got within two points at 19-17 when Nwanebu crushed a cut shot to the ground, but USD was unrelenting as it claimed set point at 24-20 on a kill by Sandra Lozic. The Trojans picked up two more points but it wasn't enough as USD claimed a 25-22 win in the third set for a 2-1 lead in the match. USC posted 13 kills (3e, 40att) for a .250 hitting percentage in the third set and had four blocks to hold the Toreros to a .192 outing (18k, 8e, 52att).

    USC rolled out to a three-point lead at 7-4 in the fourth set when Olgard put the ball on the ground off a quick set from Pizzasegola, but again, the Toreros pulled out all the stops and tied the score at 10-all when they forced the Trojans into an error. USD earned four straight points to come up with a 16-13 lead on back-to-back Hoekman kills, but Olgard's kill stopped the bleeding. Olgard ended another rally to make the score 17-19 before Young took a set from Shaw for a kill and pulled the Trojans within a point at 19-18, but the Toreros continued to produce points off broken plays to climb out to a 21-18 lead. USD put the pedal to the metal from that point on and completed the 3-1 upset as Taylor Hollins went crosscourt for the final kill of the match. USC hit .146 in the final set with 12 kills (5e, 48att) while the Toreros enjoyed their best set with a .302 hitting percentage (18k, 5e) on 43 swings.

    The Trojans are back in action with a noon PT match against UC Santa Barbara (3-4) on Saturday, Sept. 14, and close out the USD Tournament with a 5 p.m. bout against Eastern Washington (3-5). Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information and links to live stats.

    The Trojans are back in action with a noon PT match against UC Santa Barbara (3-4) on Saturday, Sept. 14, and close out the USD Tournament with a 5 p.m. bout against Eastern Washington (3-5). Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information and links to live stats.

    Match Notes

    • USC falls to 9-1 in all-time matchups with San Diego. It is the first time that the Trojans have faced the Toreros away from Los Angeles.
    • The Trojans dropped to 10-4 in all-time matches that have taken place on Sept. 13. They are now 4-2 in all-time matches that have taken place on Friday the 13th.
    • USC fell to 10-5 in all-time matches in the City of San Diego
    • The Trojans hit .441 in the second set with just one error on 34 attacks (16 kills).