Women's Volleyball
    No. 5 Trojans Sink Titans in Three-Set Sweep

    Three-time All-American middle blocker Emily Adams had her No. 9 raised to the rafters at the Galen Center.

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    Sept. 20, 2013

    Final Stats | Box Score (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader

    LOS ANGELES - Behind 15 points from sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio, the No. 5-ranked USC women’s volleyball team (10-1) claimed its fourth consecutive victory with a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-16, 25-23) of Cal State Fullerton (7-4) at Galen Center on Friday, Sept. 20. Bricio led the Women of Troy with 12 kills (1e, 34att) and a .324 hitting percentage and added three service aces and seven digs.

    On a night when USC honored three-time All-American middle blocker Emily Adams by raising her No. 9 jersey to the rafters, senior middle Alexis Olgard came up big with seven kills (1e, 11att) and a .545 hitting percentage to go with three blocks. Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu had 10 kills (4e, 24att, .250) and a match-high four blocks.

    Senior libero Natalie Hagglund put up 17 digs and senior outside Sara Shaw added 14 digs to go with a pair of aces and three kills. Junior outside hitter Emily Young had five kills and set out of the back row in the third set to pick up five assists. Junior setter Hayley Crone had 14 assists and five digs while freshman setter Alice Pizzasegola had 17 with five digs. USC’s trio of setters helped the Trojans log a .233 hitting percentage in the match with 44 kills (14e) on 129 attacks. The Trojans have posted a better hitting percentage than their opponent in all 11 of their matches, this season.

    The Titans were led by Alyse Hensley who had nine kills (4e, 28att, .179) and 14 digs in the match. Both Leah Best (8k, 3e, 22att, .227) and Holland Crenshaw (8k, 1e, 17att, .412) had eight kills apiece. McKenna Painton led her team with 17 digs while Paige Reed had 16. The Titans were held to a .107 hitting percentage with 32 kills (20e) on 112 swings.

    The first set was tied nine times before Olgard earned a kill to push the Trojans ahead, 15-14, and give USC the lead for good. Shaw served an ace on the next rally and was followed by a crosscourt kill from Bricio to extend the Trojan lead to three at 17-14. Nwanebu tooled the Titan block for a kill to give USC a 20-16 lead before a pair of back-to-back service aces by Bricio put the Trojans up by six at 23-17. Junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer connected with a quick set from Crone to give USC set point at 24-19 before a Titan error sealed a 25-19 win for the Trojans. USC posted a .250 hitting percentage in the first set with 13 kills (4e) on 36 swings and outpaced the Titan attack, which hit for .184 (12k, 5e, 38att).

    The Trojans were rarely challenged in the second set and pulled out to a 15-8 lead thanks to a 5-0 run that was sparked by a kill from Shaw and topped off by three straight kills by Olgard. USC continued to control the set and went up by seven, 19-12, on a crosscourt kill by Bricio. Nwanebu and sophomore middle blocker Kiara Wright teamed up for a block to put the Trojans up by nine points, 23-14, before Wright’s kill on a slide play ended the set, 25-16, for USC. The Trojans logged 16 kills (3e) on 45 swings to post a .289 hitting percentage in the second set and had four blocks to hold CSUF to a .000 hitting rate (9k, 9e) on 34 attempts.

    USC took control of the third set early on and scored three straight points as Young earned back-to-back kills for a 6-2 lead. Nwanebu tattooed a Titan defender to give the Trojans a 9-6 lead, and scored two in a row to put USC up, 11-8, but CSUF went on its own run and scored three straight points to knot the score at 11-all. The Trojans couldn’t shake the Titans who continued to press the matter to take a 16-14 lead when Bricio registered her only hitting error of the evening. Bricio atoned for her mistake when she blasted a shot down the line to put USC back on top at 17-16. Her kill gave USC a two-point cushion at 20-18 and the Trojans extended their lead to three on a couple of occasions before Young’s kill ended the set, 25-23, and sealed the 3-0 sweep for USC. The Trojans registered their worst hitting set of the match with 15 kills (7e, .167) on 48 attacks but still outdid the Titan effort of .125 (11k, 6e) on 40 swings.

    The Trojans will open Pac-12 play, next week, as hosts to crosstown rival UCLA. The 11th-ranked Bruins are 9-1 and dropped their only match on the road against a then ninth-ranked Hawai’i squad. USC and UCLA will take the court for a 7 p.m. PT match at Galen Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The match will be carried live by ESPNU. Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information and a complete schedule.


    • USC improved to 23-0 in its all-time series against Cal State Fullerton.
    • The Trojans won their 12th consecutive home match and improved to 96-10 (.906) in all-time matches at the Galen Center.
    • USC won its fourth consecutive match and is on its second-longest winning streak of the season. The Trojans won their first six matches to open the season.
    • USC honored three-time All-America middle blocker Emily Adams between sets two and three and raised her No. 9 jersey to the rafters of Galen Center.
    • The USC volleyball programs (women, men, and sand) are celebrating Reunion Weekend as part of USC Athletics’ 125-year celebration.
    • Senior L Natalie Hagglund reached double digits in digs for the sixth straight match. It is her ninth double-digit digs match of the season.
    • Senior OH Sara Shaw logged a new season high with 14 digs. Her career mark is 30.
    • Sophomore OH Samantha Bricio had at least three service aces in a match for the fourth time, this season. She has 26 aces to lead the team (0.70 saps).


    Natalie Hagglund | Sr. Libero

    On the team’s performance against Cal State Fullerton
    “I think we played really well. We had times of greatness and times where we had to step back and take a deep breath, but I think that happens with any young team.”

    On the team’s younger players stepping up
    “We had some players who had the chance to perform. Emily [Young] got to come in and set, which was incredible because she has not had that opportunity. Kiara [Wright] came in and played awesome by hitting some great balls and had some big blocks. It was really cool to see.”

    On making third-set adjustments
    “We have practiced this before. It is always hard for a setter to go down because they are such an important aspect to the team, but Emily [Young] is a great setter and we were confident that what we had coming up was going to be alright for us. We just pushed together, played well, and Emily came in and played a good game for us.”

    Mick Haley | USC Head Coach

    On overcoming some of the team’s struggles as the match progressed
    “We were not in rhythm and we are still struggling to get a rhythm, so we were kind of drained. I really think it was the trajectory of our passes and then losing Hayley [Crone], of course, added to that stress. But it was a 3-0 win. They had opportunities to come back and get us, but we were able to hold them off and we were constantly adding points. This game was a confidence builder because we were able to come back and win without Hayley.”

    On what the team needs to improve on before it plays UCLA in the Pac-12 opener
    “We can’t make so many errors. I thought Fullerton provided us a chance to practice against a different offensive system and that showed us two and three different timings. So our block jump timing had to be adjusted whether they set back row, front row, or quick and they did a nice job of alternating those. That is something we need to get better at and practice.”