No. 8 USC Salts Utah's Wounds in Four-Set Victory
Nov. 9, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Behind a balanced attack that included four players with double-digit kills, the eighth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (23-4, 11-4 Pac-12) knocked off Utah (12-16, 3-12) in four sets, 25-22, 15-25, 25-16, 25-23, at Crimson Court on Friday, Nov. 9.
The Utes outhit the Trojans, .289-.264, but USC overcame a solid Utah defense to earn its second straight win; the seventh win in eight outings for the Women of Troy.
It was a night of double-doubles for the Trojans as three players registered double digits in both kills and digs. Freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio was one of three players with 13 kills (7e, 42att, .143) and added 13 digs to log her ninth double-double of the season. Senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller had 13 kills as well (6e, 32att, .219) and added 10 digs for her fifth of the season and junior outside Sara Shaw logged 13 kills (5e, 33att, .242) to go with 10 digs for her fourth double-double of the year.
Junior libero Natalie Hagglund led all players with 20 digs and added a service ace. Sophomore setter Hayley Crone dished out 47 assists to go with six digs and helped her middle hitters to strong offensive showings. Freshman middle Alicia Ogoms had 10 kills (1e, 14att) to hit .643 and junior Alexis Olgard knocked down nine kills without an error (21att) for a .429 hitting rate. Both Olgard and Ogoms had four blocks each as the Trojans earned eight team blocks.
For the Utes, Chelsey Schofield (4e, 34att, .235) and Shelby Dalton (0e, 26att, .462) each had 12 kills to lead the way while Morgan Odale had 10 kills (4e, 28att, .214) with nine digs. Schofield came on strong late in the match and registered a double-double with a team-high 18 digs.
The Trojans never trailed in the first set, but needed every point to finish off a 25-22 win. USC went ahead by as many as seven points at 13-6 on back-to-back kills from Bricio, and led by six later when Bricio crushed another shot across the court for a 16-10 lead. That was when the Utes began to mount a comeback. Utah ripped off a 6-1 run to close within a point of the Trojans at 17-16 on an attack error by Shaw, but USC pushed back to hold its lead. The Utes came rushing back to get within a point at 20-19 on a kill by Bailey Bateman, but the Trojans tightened up to grab set point at 24-22 on a kill by Bricio. Ogoms and sophomore setter/opposite Emily Young then teamed up to block a Schofield shot to end the set on the next play.
Utah earned its first lead of the match at 4-3 in the second set and was tied at five-all before the Utes ran away with a 25-15 win and a split heading into the locker room. A trio of USC errors gave Utah an 8-5 lead. Ogoms earned a kill on a quick-set from freshman Cinnamon Sary to stop the Utah run and start USC on a run of its own. Bateman put a ball in the net to put USC at a one-point deficit, 10-9, but the Utes earned the next five points to lead by six, 15-9. Utah led by eight points at 14-22 on a kill from Schofield out of the back row and got two straight kills from Odale to cap its 10-point win, 25-15. Utah's defense held the Trojans to a match-low .048 hitting percentage with points on just nine kills (7e, 42att).
Tied at five in the third set, a 3-0 run helped the Utes take a three-point lead, but the Trojans fought back to earn a tie at 10-all. Fuller went off-speed for a kill to put USC up, 13-12, and the Trojans never looked back. USC never trailed and forced a Utah timeout at 15-12 when Olgard served up an ace. Ogoms earned three of her kills in the span of four rallies to run USC out to an 18-14 lead before a another tip-kill from Fuller pushed the Trojans into a 19-15 lead. The Utes had no answer after that as the Trojans seized set point at 24-16 on a tool-shot by Shaw. Crone set her middle once more with a quick one to Olgard who terminated for a 25-16 Trojan win. USC was efficient as it posted 14 kills (2e, 27att) and hit .444 in the third.
Olgard had the tip and Fuller went cross-court for the kill and USC looked like it was going to run away with the fourth set as it built a five-point lead at 11-6. Olgard went quick off a short set from Crone to knock down a kill for another five-point lead at 18-13, but the Utes had a reply and went on a 6-1 run with four Schofield kills to tie the score at 19-all. Olgard went quick again to stop the Utah run and put the lead in USC's hands at 20-19, but Utah scored two straight to take its first lead of the set at 21-20. The Trojan freshmen took matters into their own hands as Ogoms and Bricio logged back-to-back kills for a 22-21 lead, but two straight Utah kills from Schofield and Odale put the Utes ahead, again. A Utah service error gave the ball back to the Trojans who got to set point at 24-23 off a kill by Young on a dumped pass. Shaw went with her line shot on the next rally to close out the match on a 25-23 fourth-set USC win.
The Trojans have little time to rest as they get set to face Colorado (14-13, 4-11 Pac-12) in a 7 p.m. MT (6 p.m. PT) match on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo. USC defeated the Buffaloes, 25-16, 25-18, 25-19, on Oct. 21, at Galen Center, the last time the two teams played. Live stats and streaming video will be available for the match via links at CUBuffs.com and USCTrojans.com.