No. 1 Women of Troy Ambushed by Arizona
Oct. 20, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team (17-2, 7-1 Pac-12) had its 11-match winning streak snapped as Arizona (15-5, 5-3) stunned the Women of Troy in a 3-0 sweep (27-25, 25-21, 25-21) at McKale Center on Sunday, Oct. 20. The Trojans battled for every point but were out-hit by a team for the first time, this season.
USC had three players lead the offense with 11 kills apiece. Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu had 12.5 points with 11 kills (2e, 20att, .450), a service ace, and a block assist. Sophomore outside Samantha Bricio picked up her third double-double with 11 kills (4e, 31att, .226) and 13 digs. She also collected one service ace to tie Julie Mariani(1999) for fifth in USC's single-season record books at 50 aces.
Senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard was the third player with 11 kills (2e, 21att) as she hit .429 to go with five digs and two blocks. Senior outside Sara Shaw (3e, 22att, .136) and junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer(2e, 16att, .250) each added six kills for USC. Shaw had 13 digs while Schraer contributed with a pair of blocks.
On the move in the record books, senior libero Natalie Hagglund put up 12 digs and jumped into eighth place in the Pac-12's career records with her fifth dig. She now has 2,017. Junior outside hitter Emily Youngfinished with four kills (1e, 17att, .176), four digs, and three blocks.
For the Wildcats, Madi Kingdon led the way with 20 kills (4e, 47att) and a .340 hitting percentage. She also served an ace and collected six digs. Jane Croson also enjoyed a strong match with nine kills (4e, 31att, .161) to go with a match-high 17 digs. Olivia Magill kept the Trojans off balance as she put up 11 kills (1e, 27att) on a .370 hitting percentage and shared team-high honors with three blocks. Halli Amaro added seven kills (1e, 15att, .400) and Taylor Arizobal had seven (0e, 18att) for a .389 hitting rate to go with three blocks.
The Cats battled their way to a 27-25 win in the first set despite 15 tie scores and several USC overtures to break up the party. Arizona went up by three points at 10-7 but the Trojans scored the next two points. The Wildcats created another three-point lead at 13-10, but Bricio climbed out of the back row for a kill before Young dumped a dig from Nwanebu for a kill. Shaw then tooled the Arizona block to create a 13-all tie. USC finally went up at 17-16 when Schraer and Young stuffed Croson at the net. The Trojans led once more, but Arizona wrestled their way into a 23-21 advantage when Magill earned a kill. USC staved off two set points, but a pair of back-to-back kills for the Cats sealed the win. USC hit .296 in the opening frame with 20 kills (4e) on 54 swings. Arizona was .293 with 21 kills (4e, 58att).
The first set saw 15 ties before a winner was decided and the second was no different. The teams went back and forth nearly the whole way. Schraer ran the slide for a kill and an 11-all tie, but the Cats responded. Olgard went quick for a kill to tie the score at 12 and came up with another kill to give the Trojans a little separation at 15-13. USC couldn't hold its lead as a pair of kills by Arizobal tied the score for an 11th time at 15-all. This time, Arizona seized control and went up by four points at 22-18 on two straight kills by Kingdon. USC wouldn't fold as a pair of quick-set kills by Nwanebu and Olgard helped pull the Trojans within two at 23-21. That was as close as they would get though as Kingdon's kill gave the Cats set point before a USC error sealed a 25-21 win for Arizona. USC posted a .306 hitting percentage in the second frame with 14 kills (3e) on 36 swings but were outdone by the Wildcat offense which produced 19 kills (5e) on 37 attacks for a .378 hitting rate.
The Trojans came out of the break with a different mindset and rolled out to an 8-3 lead; the largest by either team in the match. But the Wildcats slowly chipped away at the lead and came up with an 11-all tie on a block. Nwanebu went down the line for a kill to put the Trojans up, 12-11, and had to tool the Wildcat block for another point to pull USC into a 13-all tie. It was just the third tie of the set, but Arizona quickly ran away to go up by three, 17-14, with her eighth kill of the match. Magill terminated two more rallies to give the Cats a 20-15 lead. Nwanebu's kill brought the Trojans within four at 21-17 and Olgard's kill got USC within three at 23-20, but Arizona claimed match point at 24-20 on Magill's 11th kill. Olgard saved one more match point before Kingdon came through with a kill to seal the Wildcat upset. Arizona made few mistakes in the final set and posted a .319 hitting rate with 16 kills (1e, 47att) while USC finished at .225 (16k, 7e, 40att).
USC returns home for a pair of weekend matches with Washington State (Friday, Oct. 25) and Washington (Sunday, Oct. 27) at Galen Center. Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information and a complete schedule.