No. 1 USC Clinches Share Of Pac-12 Title With Win Over Arizona State|
Nov. 18, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 USC Women of Troy defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils in four sets (25-17, 19-25, 25-20, 25-12) in a Pac-12 Conference match Friday at the Galen Center. With UCLA's loss against Arizona, USC clinches a share of the Pac-12 Conference championship. It is the first time that USC has won a conference title in women's volleyball since 2003 with the Trojans having a chance to win the title outright with a victory tomorrow night against Arizona.
With tonight's win, USC head coach Mick Haley recorded his 800th Division I win as a women's head coach.
It was another strong night for USC's trio of senior All-Americans. Alex Jupiter had a match-high 17 kills with nine digs and tied a season-high with four blocks while hitting .325. Lauren Williams had 11 kills while hitting .429 with four blocks and became just the 18th player in USC history to record 1,000 or more career kills. Kendall Bateman set the Trojans to a .336 performance with 53 assists, four blocks and seven digs.
Sophomore middle blocker Alexis Olgard added 11 kills, one of her personal best, while hitting .500 with four blocks for USC (23-4, 18-2).
Sonja Markanovich had a monster night for Arizona State (8-20, 4-15), hitting .867 (13-0-15) on 13 kills. Nora Tuloti-Mariner had 11 kills while Erica Wilson and Ashley Kastl posted 10 kills apiece. Shannan McCready registered 48 assists and seven digs for the Sun Devils.
USC opened a 6-1 lead in the first set with Jupiter later making it a 10-4 advantage. With the 18-12 lead, Olgard started a 5-1 run as the Women of Troy pushed its lead to nine points and easily took the first set while hitting .452 (16-2-31) as a team. Arizona State put USC on its heels in the second set, breaking away from a 9-9 tie. Tuloti-Mariner and Wilson stuffed a USC attempt as the Sun Devils reeled off five straight points. Jupiter would bring the Trojans within two at 18-16, but Wilson's kill sparked a mini 4-1 run with a triple block against Jupiter sealing the tie in the match.
A 7-1 run put USC up the 12-8 score in the third set. Tuloti-Mariner and Markanovich paced the ASU comeback with four straight points to take the 17-16 lead. After the timeout, Sara Shaw tied the set as USC scored three straight to lead, 19-17. Kastl and Wilson tallied kills to tie the set, but Olgard's kill sparked a 6-1 run as the Trojans raced to the 2-1 advantage in the match.
In the fourth set, USC turned on the afterburners and built a commanding 15-5 lead. USC scored six straight points for the 22-7 score and finished off the Sun Devils for the 31st time in the last 32 meetings between the two schools. The Trojans hit .476 in the final set (12-2-21) while forcing ASU to hit negative .037 (9-10-27).
Tomorrow night's USC-Arizona match starts at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis by FOX Sports Net with Paul Sunderland and Holly McPeak calling the action. A free live audio broadcast will be on usctrojans.com with Paul Duchesne announcing.
Notes: Alex Jupiter needs 13 kills tomorrow to tie Jennifer Kessy's career record for kills...Jupiter tied her season high of four blocks (vs. California, Sept. 23)...Kendall Bateman needs 80 assists to tie the USC career record for assists, held by Janice Mounts...Alexis Olgard's 11 kills was a season high and one kill away from her career best of 12 set last season against California...Natalie Hagglund needs five digs tomorrow to break into USC's single-season Top 10 list for digs (currently has 459 digs on the season).
ASU 17-25-20-12 USC 25-19-25-25