No. 5 Trojans Cool Off Sun Devils in 3-1 Win
Oct. 7, 2012
LOS ANGELES - One match after she notched a career best with 22 kills, freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio wiped the record clean with another career night as she logged 24 kills (5e, 60att, .317) and a career-high 16 digs for her fifth double-double of the season as the fifth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (16-2, 4-2 Pac-12) defeated Arizona State (13-6, 2-4) in four sets, 25-17, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Galen Center.
The USC win was head coach Mick Haley's 300th with the Women of Troy. He now has at least 300 wins with three different schools: USC, Texas, and Kellogg Community College. Between sets two and three, the Trojans honored former All-Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross who won the silver medal in women's Olympic beach volleyball during the 2012 London Games.
Junior outside hitter Sara Shaw bolstered the USC attack as she posted her second double-double of the season with 13 kills (3e, 36att, .278) and 10 digs. It was a double-double kind of night as sophomore setter Hayley Crone had her seventh of the season with 15 digs and 44 assists.
The Trojan middles had a strong connection with Crone, tonight, but were even bigger on the block as USC knocked down a season-best 19.0 ASU attacks. Junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard had a career high with 11 blocks and added eight kills (3e, 21att, .238). Senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller had seven kills and a career best nine blocks.
Junior libero Natalie Hagglund was one dig shy of tying her career high and finished 32 to go with one service ace. For the Sun Devils, Nora Tuioti-Mariner had 10 kills (6e, 40att, .100) and 15 digs while senior outside Erica Wilson led the way with 19 kills (10e, 53att, .170). Freshman Macey Gardner 14 kills (7e, 47, .149) and 21 digs.
With the first set tied for the fourth time at six-all, a pair of USC blocks grabbed the last lead change of the set and spurred the Trojans into a run that turned into a 21-10 lead when Olgard went up for a solo block. The Sun Devils made a small push to slow the USC offense, but the Trojans grabbed set point when Fuller tooled a shot off the ASU block. The Devils scored three more points before Fuller shut things down on a cross-court kill to give USC a 25-17 win. The Trojans had 15 kills in the first set (4e) on 40 swings and posted a .275 hitting percentage while the USC defense held ASU to a .093 outing (10k, 6e, 43att).
The lead changed hands four times in the second set before the Sun Devils took control for good. At one point, the Trojans scored three straight points to hold a 12-10 lead, but ASU wrestled that lead away with a 5-0 run. The Devils maintained their lead as they traded points with the Trojans, but USC threatened to tie the score one more time on three straight points to get within one a 24-23. ASU sealed the win on a kill from Tuioti-Mariner. USC had 13 kills (8e, 45att) for a .111 hitting rate in the second set, but the Sun Devils outpaced the Trojans with a .140 rate on 43 swings (14k, 8e).
The teams traded barbs to open the third set but the Devils took the first two-point lead at 6-4 when Gardner went off the USC block for a kill. The Trojans tied the set for a sixth time on a kill from Shaw before Crone's service ace pushed USC in front by two, 11-9. Wilson earned four kills in five rallies for a 13-12 ASU lead, but USC flipped the script and grabbed the last lead of the set at 14-13 when Bricio knocked a shot off the Devil block. The Trojans scored another trio of points that was capped with a service ace from Crone to lead by six points, 24-18, before Shaw blasted a shot down the line for a 25-20 win. USC had 14 kills (4e, 46att) for a .217 hitting percentage while the Devils hit .211 (14k, 6e, 38att).
Bricio rose up out of the back row to knock down a kill for an 8-6 USC lead in the fourth set, but the Sun Devils locked the score at eight-all with some solid defense. Bricio claimed two more kills off the ASU block to give the Trojans a 15-10 lead but the Devils wouldn't go away as Wilson earned back-to-back kills to pull her team within a point at 17-16. Bricio had an answer as she went cross-court on consecutive rallies to log her 23rd and 24th kills of the night to give the Trojans a 22-18 lead. ASU continued to fight and maintained striking distance, but Shaw's 13th kill gave USC set point at 24-21. Though the Devils scored on the next two rallies, an ASU error ended the match in USC's favor when Wilson's attack went long. ASU had more kills (17-14) than USC did in the final frame, but USC had just four errors to ASU's 10 and posted a higher hitting percentage (.189-.135).
The Trojans hit the road for Northern California and a pair of weekday matches, next. USC visits Stanford for a 7 p.m. PT match on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif., and then heads to the East Bay for a bout with California at 8 p.m. PT on Friday, Oct. 12, at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. Both matches will be carried live by the Pac-12 Networks. Please visit www.USCTrojans.com for more information.