Utah Upsets No. 19 USC in Three-Set Sweep|
Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCWomensVolleyNov. 7, 2014 Samantha Bricio and 10 kills (2e, 29att, .276) from sophomore outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu. Bricio added a service ace, a block, and seven digs.
Sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola dished out 18 assists while senior setter/outside hitter Emily Young had 13 to help USC hit .269 in the match with 38 kills (10e) on 104 attacks. Young also had six kills (0e, 8att) and hit .750. Sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham and sophomore outside hitter Elise Ruddins each had 12 digs to lead the Trojans.
The Utes were incredibly efficient to finish with a .429 hitting percentage with 52 kills and just seven errors on 105 attacks. Chelsey Schofield led Utah with 12 kills (2e, 28att, .357) and had an ace and seven digs. Setter Kalee Kirby had 10 digs and 19 assists for a double-double but also did damage with five points on two kills and three service aces. Three other Utes recorded eight kills including Eliza Katoa (2e, 14att, .500), Shelby Dalton (1e, 19att, .368), and Adora Anae, (2e, 19att, .316). Anae also had 10 digs. Lea Adolph led Utah with 15 digs.
Down three at 9-6, Bricio's cut-shot kill spurred a 4-0 run for the Trojans who took their only first-set lead, 10-9, when Bricio scored on the angle again. The Utes shut down the USC attack to tie the score for a fourth time at 10-all before Schofield earned back-to-back kills to send Utah to a 25-17 win. The Trojans got only as close as two points from then on when Nwanebu went down the line for the point. All of a sudden, a 5-0 run by the Utes put Utah up by seven at 20-13. The Trojans could manage just two more points before back-to-back kills from Anae and an ace by Kirby set the Utes up for the win. Utah tacked up a lofty .467 hitting percentage in the first set with 16 kills (2e) on just 30 swings. The Trojans struggled to keep up and finished at a .152 rate on 33 attempts (10k, 5e).
The Utes carried momentum from their first-set win into the second and stayed ahead the entire distance to grab a 25-22 victory. Utah went quickly and grabbed a five-point lead at 10-5 on a crosscourt kill by Anae. USC cut the lead to three at 13-10 on kills from Nwanebu and Ruddins, but the Utes never let the Trojans get any closer than that and pushed out to a 20-14 lead thanks to a kill by Schofield. Nwanebu tooled the Utah block and Young dumped her pass for her second kill in three rallies to get the Trojans within three once more at 22-19, but Anae's kill gave the Utes set point at 24-20. USC made things interesting at the end and got within a pair at 24-22 on Nwanebu's kill, but Katoa sealed Utah's win when she tooled the Trojan block. USC hit .355 in the second set with 14 kills (3e, 31att) but Utah scored 16 kills and hit .351 (3e) on 37 swings to edge the Trojans for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Out of the break, USC seized control of the third set and built a 10-6 lead as Bricio scored three kills on four rallies, but a 7-3 Utah run topped by a kill from Anae pulled the Utes into a 13-all tie. Senior middle blocker Hannah Schraer sparked the Trojans to another lead as she scored four points on five rallies--two kills on slides and back-to-back service aces--to give USC a three-point cushion at 17-14. The lead didn't last the Trojans long though as Schofield tipped a shot and then tooled the USC block to pull the teams into the set's fourth tie at 20-all. The Women of Troy went ahead three more times before Utah setter Kendall Cygan dumped her pass for the point and a 23-all tie. Utah blocked a swing from Bricio to take set point but she came back to dial up a crosscourt kill to knot the score one last time. Dalton's kill gave the Utes a 25-24 lead before Kirby earned the final point for Utah in a 26-24 win. USC hit .300 in the third frame with 14 kills (2e) on 40 attacks but Utah posted its best attacking set with 20 kills (2e) on 38 swings for a .474 hitting rate.
Next up, the Trojans travel to Boulder, Colo., for a Sunday-matinee (Nov. 9) with No. 21-ranked Colorado (15-10, 7-6 Pac-12) at the Coors Events Center at noon MT (11 a.m. PT). The match will be carried live on the Pac-12 Networks with Rich Burk and Elizabeth Moreau on the call. 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.