Women Of Troy Complete NCAA Title Run With Loss To Minnesota|
Dec. 16, 2004
LONG BEACH -- Fourth-seed Minnesota (29-6) defeated the USC women's volleyball team, 3-1 (30-25, 29-31, 30-26, 30-20), in the second semifinal match of the NCAA Division Championship in front of 8,339 at the Long Beach Arena on Thursday. The loss capped the Women of Troy's season at 23-6 and ended the team's quest for an unprecedented third-straight national title.
With the win, the Golden Gophers advances to their first-ever championship final and will face Stanford on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m. The Cardinal defeated Washington, 3-1, in the first semifinal to earn their spot in the final.
USC was led by Keao Burdine's 18 kills and 26 digs, while Bibiana Candelas hit .312 with 13 kills. Freshman Sarah Florian contributed 12 kills and 16 digs and libero Debora Seilhamer led with 28 digs on the night.
Outside hitter Erin Martin led Minnesota with 18 kills to go with six blocks.
The Golden Gopher hit .214 as a team, while holding the Trojans to a .132 team attack percentage. Minnesota out-blocked the Women of Troy 17.0-to-5.0 and posted a slim 98-92 margin in team digs.
Minnesota broke a 23-all tie in game one by outscoring the Trojans down the stretch 7-2 en route to the 30-25 win. In game two, USC battled back from deficits of 5-0 and 8-3 to eventually win the set 31-29 and evened the match at a game apiece.
The Gophers controlled the early stages of game three with a 7-2 start, then weathered a Trojan comeback. The Women of Troy took a four-point lead at 20-16, but allowed the Gophers to knot the score at 24-24 and eventually close out the game on a four-point run.
Like it did in the third game, Minnesota jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in game four and held onto the momentum for the remainder of the match. USC put together a quick run that narrowed the deficit to six at 21-15, but the Gophers kept pushing and clinched the victory with a 30-20 decision.
The match marked the final outing for USC's three outstanding seniors - Keao Burdine, Emily Adams and Alicia Robinson. During their four-year career at Troy, these players guided USC to a 112-11 (.917) overall record and 65-7 (.903) conference mark. They won two NCAA Championships and two Pac-10 Championships, in addition to advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight as freshmen and this year's NCAA Semifinal.
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