No. 6 USC Bounces Back for Four-Set Win at Arizona
Nov. 4, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - The sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (22-4, 10-4 Pac-12) got back on the winning track with a four-set win (25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23) over Arizona (13-12, 5-9 Pac-12) at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz., on Sunday, Nov. 4. The Women of Troy were led by freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio who enjoyed her eighth double-double outing of the year with 18 kills (5e, 45att, .289) and 10 digs.
USC's junior class made a large impact in the day's win as outside hitter Sara Shaw had 12 kills (4e, 36att, .222) and seven digs. Middle hitter Alexis Oglard came up with nine kills (1e, 17att) to hit .471 while libero Natalie Hagglund shared match-high honors with 19 digs. Sophomore setter Hayley Crone logged her 10th double-double of the year with 44 assists and 10 digs.
For the Wildcats, Madi Kingdon had 18 kills (55att) but had 10 errors to hit .145 and shared match-high honors with Hagglund with 19 digs. Shaquillah Torres had 11 kills (4e, 21att, .333) for Arizona while Taylor Arizobal had nine kills to go with 15 digs.
Shaw scored the first point of the match for the Trojans but Arizona quickly wrestled away control of the first set and held a five-point lead at 11-6 on three straight unforced USC errors. The Wildcats continued to lead and went ahead by five points again at 15-10 when Kingdon knocked down a kill off an overpassed ball, but Bricio blasted a kill off the Wildcat block to start USC's comeback. Shaw's kill cut the Arizona lead to three before a cut shot by Bricio made the score 18-16. Shaw served up an ace on the next play to pull USC within a point at 18-17 but it was an Arizona error that knotted the score at 20-all. Bricio's kill down the line gave USC the lead at 21-20 before a couple of Wildcat miscues gave the Trojans a 23-21 lead. Ogoms and Shaw teamed up to block a shot by Torres for set point at 24-22 but that was all USC needed to do as Arizona did itself in with an error on the final rally of a 25-22 USC win.
The second set went back and forth with the score tied for the eighth time at 11-all when the Wildcats stuffed one of Bricio's left-side offerings. The Cats went ahead on the next rally and staved off all of USC's attempts to tie the score once more as they earned a 25-23 win to even the match at one-all. USC fell behind by as many as four points at 18-14 when Arizona got consecutive service aces from Chanel Brown, but the Trojans replied to get within a single point on several occasions. Shaw's cut-shot kill out of transition pulled USC into an 18-17 deficit and Olgard's kill off a quick set made the score 21-20, but Arizona continued to hold on. Crone's set off a picture-perfect pass from Hagglund gave Olgard another shot at a quick-set kill for a 23-22 deficit, but Arizona earned set point at 24-22 on a kill by Halli Amaro. USC saved one set point when Ogoms and Fuller teamed up to block Kingdon but Kingdon was unfazed as she earned the final point on a kill to give the Cats a 25-23 win.
The Trojans rolled out to a 5-0 lead in the third set and looked to be in control of things but Arizona chipped away at the USC lead until a kill by Rachel Rhoades flipped the lead to the Wildcats' side of the scoreboard at 9-8. The Cats led until senior middle blocker Natasa Siljkovic crushed a shot down the line on a slide play to pull USC within a point at 12-11. Shaw found the seam on the next rally to earn a kill before Crone set the pipe for Bricio who got the kill and a 13-12 USC lead. Fuller went off the Wildcat block to give the Trojans a 15-14 lead and served up an ace to put a four-point advantage in USC's hands at 19-15. Arizona mounted a small comeback, but Bricio earned a back-row kill off a broken play to stop the bleeding and give the Trojans a 23-20 lead. Fuller went up on the right side and earned the final kill of the set to seal a 25-20 USC win.
While it appeared the Trojans had run away with the fourth set, things were far from over as the Wildcats battled their way back to tie the score at 22-all; the first tie since the two teams were locked at four-all. USC led by as many as seven points at 15-8 and held a six-point advantage at 20-14, but the Cats continued to fight and got three kills from Torres in the span of four rallies to get Arizona within three points at 21-18. Olgard knocked down a kill off a quick set to give USC some breathing room at 22-19 but two Wildcat kills and a block tied the set at 22. The Trojans had more in the tank and took the final lead of the set when Bricio got her pass back from Crone to tool the Arizona block for a 23-22 USC lead. Ogoms rose up for a solo block to set the Trojans up with match point at 24-22 before a pair of untimely errors closed out the match with a 25-23 win for USC in the fourth set.
The Trojans will have two more matches on the road, next weekend, as they head to the mountain states to face Utah (Nov. 9) and Colorado (Nov. 10). Both matches will start at 7 p.m. MT (6 p.m. PT). Please visit www.USCTrojans.com for more information.