No. 5 Trojans Whack Wildcats in 3-0 Sweep
Oct. 5, 2012
LOS ANGELES - On a night that honored one former Trojan great, it was a new Trojan who stole the spotlight as the fifth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (15-2, 3-2 Pac-12) swept Arizona (9-7, 1-4) in three sets, 25-17, 25-16, 25-21, at the Galen Center on Friday, Oct. 5.
In as complete a match as she could have had, freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio put up a career-best 22 kills (3e, 40att) and hit an unthinkable .475 to power the Women of Troy to their sixth straight victory over Arizona. Bricio also logged 11 digs to notch her fourth double-double performance of the year. Junior libero Natalie Hagglund led all players with 17 digs while junior outside hitter Sara Shaw added eight kills (3e, 23att, .217) and two key service aces from the offensive side of the net.
The Trojans were able to slow Arizona's most effective weapons as the Wildcats received just eight kills apiece from Madi Kingdon (4e, 33att, .121) and Taylor Arizobal (4e, 30att, .133).
Between sets two and three, former USC libero Nicole Davis had her No. 4 jersey raised to the rafters of Galen Center as the Trojans honored her for her accomplishments on the court both as a USC player and on the international level as a two-time Olympic silver medalist. Davis helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back NCAA championships in 2002 and 2003 as the team's starting libero.
The Trojans used a pair of kills by Bricio to pull away from Arizona in the first set and led, 5-2. USC then extended that run and held a 10-2 lead before the Wildcats were able to get settled in. Arizona tried to chip away at the Trojan lead, but USC went ahead by seven at 14-7 when Shaw tooled a shot off the Wildcat block. Freshman middle blocker Alicia Ogoms and sophomore opposite hitter/setter Emily Young teamed up to stuff the Arizona attack and give USC set point at 24-17 before the Trojans completed a 25-17 win. USC posted 13 kills (4e) on 40 swings for a .225 hitting rate and held Arizona to a .026 outing on 30 swings (10k, 9e).
USC led, 13-9, in the second set when Crone connected with Shaw on back-to-back rallies for points. Shaw put a cut shot to the ground for a 14-10 lead before Fuller went down the line to get USC in front by six points, 20-14. Bricio knocked down her 12th kill of the night on a cross-court shot for a 21-15 lead and then Young dumped her pass to earn a kill. Bricio's service ace made the score 23-15 before Young set Shaw up for a kill and set point at 24-15. Bricio rose up out of the back row to knock down USC's 25th point of the set for a 25-16 win. The Trojans maintained their hot hand in the second set with 18 kills (4e, 39att) and a .359 hitting percentage while the USC defense held the Wildcats to just nine kills (4e, 38att) and a .132 hitting rate.
Though the Trojans never trailed in the third set, their six-point lead was completely erased as the Wildcats mounted a 6-1 run to knot the score at 16-all. USC retaliated and got a big block from junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard and Shaw to go in front, again. Arizona wouldn't go quietly and continued to stay within striking distance until USC went in front by three points, 22-19, on a service ace by Shaw. Fuller went off the Arizona block to make the score 23-19 before Bricio tooled the Wildcat block for her 22nd kill of the night and a 25-21 USC win. Bricio finished the final frame with nine kills and just one error on 15 swings for a .533 hitting percentage to help USC to a .263 outing (15k, 5e, 38att). The Wildcats stayed the pace with 14 kills (4e, 37att, .270) but it wasn't enough as the Trojans completed the sweep.
USC gets a day off before it hosts Arizona State (13-5, 2-3 Pac-12) for a 4 p.m. PT bout on Sunday, Oct. 7. The Trojans will honor former All-Americans and Olympic beach volleyball silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy during in-match ceremonies. The USC-ASU match is also Dads and Daughters Day at Galen Center. $25 receives admission for two as well as a special apron for dads and a canvas tote bag for daughters. The match with the Sun Devils will also be broadcast live by the Pac-12 Networks with Kevin Barnett and Mike Dodd on the call.