No. 2 USC Drops 3-0 Decision to No. 8 Oregon
Sept. 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 2 USC women's volleyball team (13-1, 1-1 Pac-12) had its 13-match winning streak snapped and suffered its first loss of the season in a three-set defeat (25-19, 25-15, 25-23) to No. 8 Oregon (11-0, 2-0) at the Galen Center on Friday, Sept. 21. It was the first time since 1990 that the Trojans have lost a match to the Ducks at home.
USC struggled to develop any rhythm as Oregon earned 61.0 points and attacked at a .357 rate (55k, 14e, 115att). The Trojans notched just 32 kills (12e, 106att) for a .189 hitting percentage.
For Oregon, Alaina Bergsma led the way with 18 kills (4e, 32att, .438) while Liz Brenner came up with 16 kills (1e, 26att) on a scorching .577 hitting rate. Katherine Fischer had 12 kills (5e, 33att) while Jacob Haley had a match-high 21 digs.
The Ducks claimed the first points of the match and though the Trojans were able to earn tie scores four times, Oregon never trailed in the set and came away with a 25-19 win. The Ducks logged just two errors in the first stanza and had 19 kills on 35 swings to post a .486 hitting percentage led by seven kills from Fischer. USC got behind by as many as seven points at 24-17 when Fischer knocked down her sixth ball, but saved one set point on a kill by Bricio. Fischer terminated the rally on the next serve and closed out the set for the Ducks.
Oregon suffered no letdown in the second set as it put up another scorching hitting performance with 16 kills (4e) on 29 attacks for a .414 percentage. The Trojans couldn't get things going as the Ducks dug up 15 balls and added a block to hold USC to a .036 hitting rate (6k, 5e, 28att). USC held a 4-3 lead on an Oregon service error, but a Trojan error tied the score one last time and the Ducks were off to the races. Junior outside hitter Sara Shaw went down the line to pull USC to within two points at 8-6, and sophomore opposite/setter Emily Young dumped a pass to get the Trojans within six points at 13-7, but the Ducks were unrelenting. Brenner notched three of her 16 kills in the final six rallies of the second set to power Oregon to a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set went through 14 tie scores and six lead changes, but the Ducks had the most important lead change of the set as they took a 24-22 lead on a pair of kills from Ariana Williams who finished with eight (2e, 16att, .375). USC led by two points, 9-7, when Shaw went down the line for a kill, but Oregon wrestled that lead away to take a 14-13 lead on a kill by Bergsma. The Trojans went ahead one final time when a Bergsma attack hit the net, but it wasn't enough as the Ducks flew off with the win. Oregon committed eight errors in the final set, but had 20 kills on 51 swings for a .235 hitting percentage.
With the Pac-12's new volleyball scheduling practices, the Trojans won't face Oregon a second time in the regular season. Instead, USC will meet Oregon State in a road match on Nov. 20.
Up next, the Trojans travel to the Pacific Northwest for their first conference road matches at Washington and Washington State. USC locks up with the Huskies in a 6 p.m. PT match on Friday, Sept. 28, in Seattle, Wash., and then takes on the Cougars at 6 p.m. PT on Sunday, Sept. 30, in Pullman, Wash. Both matches will be carried by the Pac-12 Networks. Please check local listings for availability.