No. 3 USC Suffers 3-0 Setback at No. 5 Washington
Sept. 28, 2012
SEATTLE - The third-ranked USC women's volleyball team (13-2, 1-2 Pac-12) suffered a heartbreaking 3-0 loss (25-23, 26-24, 25-21) at the hands of No. 5 Washington (13-0, 4-0) at Alaska Airlines Arena on Friday, Sept. 28. It was the second victory over a top-five team in as many matches for the Huskies who took out a fourth-ranked UCLA squad just two days earlier. Washington maintained its unblemished record as the Trojans dropped back-to-back matches for the first time since early last season.
Despite winning many statistical head-to-head battles throughout much of the match, USC committed too many errors to overcome a UW squad that is off to its best start since 2009 when it was 15-0 and 5-0 in Pac-10 play.
The Trojans got 12 kills (6e, 24att, .250) from senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller and 11 kills (3e, 25att, .320) from freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio but were undone by their errors in the serving and passing game. USC finished the match with 12 service errors and surrendered eight service aces to the Huskies. Washington gave up its share of unearned points as well as it logged 12 service errors, as well.
Junior libero Natalie Hagglund led all players with 15 digs while sophomore setter Hayley Crone dished out 33 assists in the match. Junior outside hitter Sara Shaw came up with eight kills (7e, 25att, .040) and had eight digs.
For the Huskies, Krista Vansant followed up a 31-kill match by leading her team with 13 points on 12 kills (2e, 27att, .370). Kylin Munoz had four kills but did some major damage from off the court as she scored on five service aces. Behind USC's hitting percentage for most of the match, the Huskies maintained their course to finish with a .239 rate (35k, 13e, 92att) while USC logged 40 kills (19e, 95att) for a .221 attack percentage.
The Trojans turned a 20-19 deficit into a 21-20 lead on back-to-back kills by Fuller, but Washington's Amanda Gil responded to knot the first set for a 13th time at 21-all. The Huskies grabbed set point at 24-21, but USC saved a pair of them; one on Fuller's sixth kill of the set. Washington cut short any hopes of a Trojan comeback as Munoz tipped a shot into the 10-foot area for the 25th Husky point. USC held Washington to just nine kills (5e, 31att, .129) and a stretch of 20 rallies during which the Huskies had no kills, but Washington stayed afloat with blocks, service aces, and Trojan errors to win the first set. USC posted 16 kills (8e, 37att) with a .216 hitting percentage in the first.
Both teams struggled to create any space on the scoreboard as the second set opened, but the Huskies went ahead by three points, 12-9, on a kill by Vansant. The Trojans trailed by three points, 15-12, before a Bricio kill ignited a USC run that knotted the set at 16-all. The Trojans built their lead to three points, 22-19, when Fuller knocked a shot off the Husky block, but Washington responded yet again. USC earned set point first at 24-22 when Shaw went off the block for a point, but a pair of Trojan errors put the lead back on the Husky side of the scoreboard. Munoz earned a kill before the Washington block shut down Shaw's attack for a 26-24 win. USC recorded points on 14 kills in the second set (6e, 29att, .276) but was blocked three times and surrendered points to the Huskies on six service errors and three reception errors.
Service woes continued for both teams at the outset of the third set, but the Huskies took advantage to pull away for a 10-7 lead on a kill by Gil. The Trojans fought back and got three kills from Fuller to come up with a 12-all tie, but the Huskies went ahead by two points, 17-15, when Munoz went down the line for one of her four kills. USC fell behind by four points when Washington tooled the Trojan block for a kill and a 20-16 lead. The Huskies came up with a 24-20 lead before the Trojans scored another point, but that was all Washington would give up as it closed out the sweep with a 25-21 win in the third set. The Huskies had 15 kills (5e, 33att, .303) in the final stanza and held USC to just 10 kills (5e, 29att, .172).
The Trojans return to action with a road matchup against Washington State (10-5, 0-3 Pac-12) at Bohler Gymnasium in Pullman, Wash., on Sunday, Sept. 30. First serve is set for 11:30 a.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks with Kevin Barnett calling the action and Kelli Tennant with color commentary. Please check your listings for availability.