No. 1 USC Wins Inaugural Pac-12 Conference Championship|
Nov. 19, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Senior Night proved to be a winner for No. 1 USC as the Women of Troy swept the Arizona Wildcats, 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-21), to win the first-ever Pac-12 Conference regular-season championship. Senior outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Paris, France) had 18 kills, five digs, three blocks and two aces while hitting .607 (18-1-28) and set a new USC record for career kills, passing the previous mark of 1,799 career kills by Jennifer Kessy (1995-98). Jupiter now has 1,804 kills in her career.
Senior setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had 40 assists (13.33 aps) with six digs while orchestrating USC's offense that hit .488 for the match. Senior middle blocker Lauren Williams (Houston, Texas) posted 10 kills with no errors for an .833 night (10-0-12) with two blocks.
USC (24-4, 19-2) has won 19 of its last 20 matches and won in 3-0 fashion for the 20th time this season. Arizona fell to 18-11 overall and 10-10 in conference play.
Madison Kingdon and Courtney Karst had 10 kills each for the Wildcats.
Alexis Olgard, who had nine kills for a .692 performance (9-0-13), figured for three kills in the first set as USC took the 10-6 lead. Jupiter delivered from the back row for the 16-10 margin and would add to the 9-2 run with her kill making it a 23-12 score. She posted the final three points as USC posted a monstrous .708 in the first set with 17 kills and no errors.
With USC up 7-5 in the second set, Arizona was called for the wrong server and the mishap sparked a Trojans' run. After Maddie Lozano and Taylor Arizobal blocked to cut the deficit to 14-10, USC scored five straight points with Jupiter recording two service aces for the nine-point lead. Jupiter finished off the set to give USC the 2-0 match lead. With a 14-13 lead in the third set, Jupiter broke Kessy's record for career kills to give USC the 15-13 advantage. Arizona came back to tie it at 15-15, but the Women of Troy would not trail after that with three straight points to break the tie. Back-to-back hitting errors by the Wildcats gave the conference title to the Trojans.
USC travels to UCLA next Friday (Nov. 25) for the final match of the regular season with a 5 p.m. start at the Wooden Center. The match will be broadcast (audio only) on usctrojans.com.
Notes: USC won the school's seventh overall conference title in women's volleyball and the third under current head coach Mick Haley...three of the conference titles came in the WCAA (1976, 1977 and 1980) with three coming in the Pac-10 Conference (2000, 2002 and 2003)...Mick Haley won his 17th conference title (14 in the Southwest Conference at Texas and three at USC)...Alex Jupiter's .607 hitting percentage was the second-best this season for USC for players with 12 or more kills in a match...USC's .488 hitting percentage was the second-highest of the season...Kendall Bateman needs 40 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
UA 14-18-21 USC 25-25-25