No. 4 USC Wipes Out Wazzu in Straight Sets
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Oct. 25, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The fourth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (18-2, 8-1 Pac-12) rebounded from its first loss in conference play by taking out Washington State (15-7, 2-7) in three sets (25-18, 25-13, 25-19) at Galen Center on Friday, Oct. 25. The Women of Troy were led by sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio who posted her fourth double-double of the season (15th of her career) with 12 kills (3e, 28att, .321) and 12 digs. Bricio also moved into a fourth-place tie in USC's single-season record books with Janice Johnson (1982) as she collected three service aces to total 53 this season.
The Trojans got 12.0 points from freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu who put up 11 kills (1e, 26att) with a .385 hitting percentage. Senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard had another clean outing with no errors and eight kills on nine swings (.889). Senior outside hitter Sara Shaw (4-2-16, .125), junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer (4-1-8, .375), and junior outside hitter Emily Young (4-1-10, .300) each had four kills for USC while senior libero Natalie Hagglund claimed match-high honors with 19 digs.
For Washington State, Hailey Bethune led with seven kills (1e, 21att, .286) while Emmy Allen had six kills (2e, 21att, .190). Kate Sommer put up 14 digs and Kyra Holt added 10 digs to go with her five kills.
The first set started as a drag-out battle but the Trojans used a WSU service error to break a seven-all tie and never trailed from that point on. Schraer took a quick set from Pizzasegola to earn a kill and the 9-7 lead but the Cougars pulled within a point at 11-10 on a kill by Bethune. USC stayed patient and built its lead to four when Olgard went quick for a kill on a set from Crone for a 16-12 lead. Hagglund put up seven digs in the opening frame but earned a big assist when Young terminated for an 18-12 advantage. Young went crosscourt a few rallies later to give the Trojans set point at 24-18. A USC error saved one set point, but Nwanebu's sharp cut shot on the final rally secured the 25-18 win for the Trojans. USC posted a .222 hitting percentage in the opening set with 16 kills (6e) on 45 swings and dug up 29 balls to help keep WSU down at .065 (9k, 6e) on 46 attempts.
The Trojans scored earned points on six rallies topped off by Young's right-handed tip kill to pull out to a 7-4 lead in the second set. Bricio's kill lifted USC to an 8-5 lead, but she came up with three straight kills for push the Trojans ahead by five a 11-6 and forced a Cougar timeout. Nwanebu's kill for a 12-6 Trojan lead had USC hitting .909 on 11 swings without an error. WSU fought to get back in the set, but Nwanebu went down the line for a kill and a 17-8 USC lead. Olgard's quick-set kill from Pizzasegola put USC up by nine again at 21-12. The Trojans collected the final four points of a 25-13 win which culminated in a block by Nwanebu and Kiara Wright. The Trojans were unconscionable as they earned 18 kills (one error) on 26 swings in the second set to record a .654 hitting percentage. The Cougars struggled against USC's defense and finished with a .077 rate (7k, 5e) on 26 attacks.
USC never trailed and was rarely threatened in the final frame. Schraer's solo block of Jaicee Harris helped pull the Trojans out to a 5-1 lead while Bricio bounced a ball of the ground to maintain USC's distance at 11-5. Washington State mounted a comeback and got within a point at 12-11 on Allen's kill, but the Women of Troy had a response and pulled away to lead, 18-14, when Bricio and Alicia Ogoms teamed up to block Holt. Nwanebu went high-hands for a kill to give USC a 21-16 lead and did the same to keep the Trojans up at 22-17. Wright took a quick set from Crone for a kill and got the Trojans set point, but the Cougars kept on clawing and saved two before Nwanebu's kill ended the match with a 25-19 third-set win for USC. The Trojans posted a .200 hitting percentage in the final stanza with 15 kills (6e) on 45 attempts and out-did the Cougar offense which had 10 kills (5e, 42att) for a .119 hitting rate.
The Women of Troy get a day off between matches and will host No. 3 Washington (15-1, 7-1 Pac-12) at the Galen Center on Sunday (Oct. 27) at 5 p.m. PT. The Trojans and the Huskies will do battle on the Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson and Holly McPeak on the broadcast. It is also USC's official PINK match. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a special pink mini ball as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information and for a complete schedule.