Oh, Deer! Trojans Crash Stag Party for NCAA First-Round Victory
Nov. 29, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Behind the strength of a season-high .518 hitting percentage, the fourth-ranked and sixth-seeded USC women's volleyball team (28-5) dismissed Fairfield University (22-9) in three sets, 25-8, 25-11, 25-10, in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Galen Center.
The Women of Troy advance to the second round where they will face Saint Mary's College (18-10) for the first time in program history. The Gaels defeated San Diego State in five sets earlier in the evening. The second-round match is set for 7 p.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 30, at Galen Center. The winner will move on to the Austin Regional semifinal set for Dec. 7.
USC finished the night with 47 kills on 83 swings with just four errors. The Trojans also won the serving and passing game as they logged nine service aces and surrendered none. Freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio led the way with 18.0 points as she put down 16 kills (3e) on 30 attacks for a .433 hitting rate. Junior libero Natalie Hagglund led all players with 13 digs and had one of USC's service aces.
Sophomore setter Hayley Crone dished out 31 assists and had a service ace as she had her hitters humming along. Junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard came up with seven kills (0e, 8att) to hit .875 while junior outside Sara Shaw had nine kills (0e, 12att) for a .750 hitting percentage. Shaw also had 10 digs and three service aces. Senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller had nine kills (1e, 20att) for a .400 hitting rate and matched Shaw with three aces of her own.
For the Stags, Caitlin Stapleton had five kills (3e, 20att, .100) while Kara Reis had nine digs. Rachel Romansky notched 18 assists and three digs from the setter position, but Fairfield managed just a .049 outing with 19 kills (15e, 82att).
The Trojans hit .625 in the opening set (16k, 1e, 24att) and got seven kills from Bricio (1e, 10att, .600) to record a 25-8 win. USC's defense put up nine digs and three blocks to hold the Stags to a .000 hitting rate (7k, 7e, 29att). Bricio's cross-court kill gave the Trojans their first 10-point lead at 14-4 to force a Fairfield timeout. USC extended that lead to 13 as freshman middle blocker Alicia Ogoms knocked down a quick set for a kill and followed that play up with a solo block. Fuller's service ace and Bricio's shot down the line put the Trojans in front, 21-6. A couple of Stag errors set USC up with set point before Shaw went high off Fairfield hands to close out the 25-8 win.
In a little bit of history repeating, the Trojans posted another .625 hitting rate in the second set with 16 kills (1e) on 24 swings. This time, Fuller led the way with five kills and served up a service ace to give USC a 17-6 lead. Fuller came out of the back row to maintain USC's 11-point lead at 18-7 and earned another cross-court kill to get the Trojans a 19-9 lead. Olgard tipped her set to the ground for a kill before Shaw served consecutive aces to put USC at set point, 24-11. One more time, Fuller crushed a cross-court shot to the ground to close out USC's 25-11 win. The Stags hit .154 in the second with eight kills (4e) on 26 swings.
Fairfield claimed the first two points of the third set, but the Trojans put a snag in the Stag plans with five straight points; three of which came on kills by Bricio. Bricio served up an ace and then took a bump set from Fuller to earn a kill to give USC an 8-4 lead, but the Trojans continued to push and got an 11-point lead at 19-8 on another pair of Bricio kills. USC scored the final five points of the match as Shaw came on strong to tool the block, and then went cross-court for a kill. Sophomore middle Hannah Schraer knocked down an overplayed dig for a kill to make the score 23-10 before Hagglund's service ace sealed USC's 3-0 win. The Trojans hit .371 in the third frame with 15 kills (2e, 35att) but were not threatened as the Stags posted another .000 set on 27 swings (4k, 4e).