Trojans Chew Through Chanticleers In NCAA First-Round Match|
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2014 NCAA DI Women's Volleyball Championship
Dec. 5, 2014
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Women of Troy (16-15) completed a 3-0 win (25-20, 25-19, 25-11) over Coastal Carolina (25-7) in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament at Carmichael Arena on Friday, Dec. 5. USC has now won 24 consecutive first-round matches and will face either seventh-seeded site host North Carolina (26-2) or Hampton (21-10) in the second round on Saturday (Dec. 6) at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).
The Trojans were led by sophomore outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu who had 17 kills (3e) on 34 attacks for a .412 hitting percentage to go with five digs and two blocks. Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio tallied 15.5 points with 11 kills (2e, 37att, .243), four service aces, and a block. Bricio also had 14 digs to log her 18th double-double of the season; the 40th of her career. It was the 29th time in her career that she has had three aces or more in the same match.
Senior setter Emily Young had 20 assists and added a pair of kills while sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola dished out 16 assists and had six digs. Under their direction, the Trojans posted a .293 hitting percentage in the match with 45 kills (11e, 116att). USC set its middles 16 times and got nine kills (2e) as junior Alicia Ogoms (.333) and senior Hannah Schraer (.500) hit a combined .438. In the backcourt, sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham had 14 digs while sophomore defensive specialist Anne Marie Schmidt had 12.
Leah Hardeman had 14 kills (8e, 51att, .118) to lead Coastal Carolina. She had eight of those in the first set and added seven digs to complete her season. Eszter Nagy added six kills (1e, 15att, .333) while setter Sam Skryd put up 22 assists to go with 11 digs for a double-double. The Chanticleers hit .149 in the match (33k, 16e, 114att).
The Trojans started out slow and found themselves in an early five-point hole at 8-3, but USC chipped away at the Chants' lead slowly and scored a 5-1 run to knot the score at 13-all. Bricio's ace pushed the Trojans in front by two, 15-13, but Hardeman earned back-to-back kills to pull the teams into a sixth tie at 19. Nwanebu scored three kills and Schraer served an ace as the Women of Troy put the clamps on and completed a 6-1 run to close out the 25-20 win. USC hit .180 in the first set with 15 kills (6e) on 50 swings and outpaced the Chants, who had 13 kills (5e, 50att) for a .160 rate.
USC jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead in the second set as Bricio served a pair of aces and Ogoms knocked down a pair of kills, but the Chants used a 3-0 run to lead, 9-8, before Nwanebu, Bricio, and Young scored three straight kills to put a 12-11 lead in the Trojans' hands. Tied for a seventh time at 12-all, Nwanebu crushed a shot out of the pipe and gave USC the last lead it would need. The Women of Troy scored three straight points with kills form Schraer, Bricio, and Nwanebu to lead, 23-17, before Nwanebu did the honors with a final kill on an overpassed ball for the 25-19 win. USC had 17 kills in the second set (4e) on 45 swings for a .289 hitting rate. The Chanticleers were .270 with 12 kills (2e) on 37 attacks.
The Women of Troy went up by four in the third set when Bricio bounced a crosscourt shot for a 10-6 lead. In a flash, the Trojans had doubled that advantage and had an 18-10 lead when Nwanebu cut down a quick set from Pizzasegola for the kill. Bricio went down the line for her next kill and put the Trojans up by 10 at 21-11. Schraer stuffed an attack by Nagy and then scored on a slide set from Young before Hardeman went wide on her last offering to seal the Trojans' 25-11 win. USC earned sideout on 90 percent of its third-set opportunities and hit .571 with 13 kills (1e) on just 21 attacks. The Trojan defense stole the show as it claimed four blocks and held the Chanticleers to a negative .037 hitting rate with eight kills and nine errors on 27 attacks.
USC's match against either the Tar Heels or the Lady Pirates will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and can be viewed via the WatchESPN app available for both iOS and Android devices. For complete scores from the NCAA tournament, visit NCAA.com/volleyball. 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.