No. 20 USC Candy Crushes Cougars on Halloween Night|
Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCWomensVolleyOct. 31, 2014
The Trojans were led by junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio who had her 12th double-double of the season (32nd of her career) with 19 kills (4e, 54att, .278) and 10 digs. Bricio also served a pair of aces and had two blocks to finish with 22.0 points. Sophomore outside hitter Elise Ruddins had her first-career double-double with 11 kills (2e, 28att, .321) and 13 digs. She also added a service ace and had a solo block for 13.0 points.
Sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola had her second double-double of the season (third of her career) with 28 assists and 10 digs. Junior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms scored nine kills (1e, 14att) and hit .571 in the match. Ogoms notched a pair of service aces and led all players with six blocks to tally 14.0 points. Sophomore outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu added eight kills (7e, 32att, .031) with six digs and three blocks. Sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham had her fourth consecutive 20-dig match with a total of 20 to lead the Trojans.
For the Cougars, Kyra Holt racked up 18 kills (9e, 51att, .176) and 21 digs while Jaicee Harris logged 13 kills (10e, 48att, .062) to go with 20 digs. Each player also had a service ace while Harris totaled five blocks on the night. Stephanie Logan added nine kills (2e, 20att) and hit .350 and Ver'Leea Hardaway finished with seven kills (3e, 22att, .182).
The Trojans rolled out to a quick 5-1 lead in the first set but had to fight their way through six tie scores to edge the Cougars, 26-24. USC led by as many as six points at 19-13, but WSU scored five straight to get within one at 19-18, and then tied the score at 20-all. Washington State went ahead, 22-21, when a Trojan shot went long, but USC steadied itself and claimed set point when Pizzasegola set Ogoms a quick-tempo ball for the kill. The Cougars saved one point but Ruddins cut the next one down to secure the Trojans' win. USC hit .216 in the first set with 14 kills (6e, 37att) and outpaced WSU, which took some time to warm up to its .103 hitting percentage (9e, 39att).
Washington State equalized the match with a 25-20 win in the second set thanks in part to Trojan errors. USC hit .070 in the second frame with 11 kills (8e, 43att) while the Cougars posted a .189 outing on 37 swings (14k, 7e). WSU took a small 9-7 lead but the Trojans closed the gap with kills from Bricio and Nwanebu. It was Logan's kill and a pair of blocks by the Cougars that sent WSU on its way to the victory. The Cougs led by as many as five at 21-16 on back-to-back kills by Holt. The Trojans fought back and picked up three blocks in four rallies to get within three at 22-19, but a 24-19 lead was too much for USC to overcome as three of the final WSU points came from Trojan errors.
USC fought off nine tie scores and endured five lead changes before it could break open the third set and pull away from a 17-all tie for the 25-21 win. Bricio's crosscourt terminator gave the Trojans set point before a Cougar error sealed their fate. WSU scored four of the first five points and later led by as many as three thanks to a 3-0 run on kills by Holt and Hardaway. The Trojans caught Washington State at 16-all on a pipe-set kill by Bricio and took their 18-17 lead on the same set by Pizzasegola. The Trojans hit .353 in the third frame with 14 kills (2e, 34att) to stay ahead of the Cougars' .256 hitting percentage (17k, 6e, 43att).
The Cougars held their only lead of the fourth set at 8-7 following a 3-0 run on kills by Hardaway and Logan, but Bricio responded with back-to-back kills of her own and sent the Trojans on a 12-3 burst that crushed the Cougars' hopes for a fifth set. Ogoms dropped a quick set to the floor for a kill before Bricio served her second ace of the night to extend USC's lead to six at 16-10. Ogoms' ace set the Trojans up with a 19-11 lead, but WSU wouldn't go quietly. Despite grabbing set point at 24-14, the Trojans surrendered three straight Washington State kills before USC completed the 25-17 win. USC hit .233 in the fourth with 13 kills (3e, 43att) and held the Cougars down at a .045 hitting rate (11k, 9e) on 44 swings.
The Trojans head to the mountains next weekend and will take on Utah in Salt Lake City at the Huntsman Center on Friday (Nov. 7) at 6 p.m. MT before a Sunday matinee with Colorado in Boulder, Colo., at the Coors Events Center (Nov. 9) at noon MT. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.