Oct. 16, 1997
No. 5 USC Women's Volleyball Defeats No. 14 Pepperdine in 4 Games
LOS ANGELES - The No. 5 USC women's volleyball team, led by junior outside hitter Jennifer Kessy's match-high 22 kills, fought past upstart No. 14 Pepperdine, 15-8, 15-5, 10-15, 15-12, in a non-conference match in front of 533 at the North Gym on Wednesday night. The Women of Troy improved to 14-2 overall. Pepperdine fell to the same 14-2 mark.
With her fifth kill, which came in the second game, Kessy became only the eighth player in USC history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau. She now has 1,017. Ironically, junior middle blocker Jasmina Marinkovic needs only 14 more to become the ninth player to accomplish the same feat. In addition to Kessy, Marinkovic had 14 kills and 11 blocks, freshman outside hitter Antoinette Polk had 12 kills and 12 digs and junior setter Janice Mounts had 53 assists and 12 blocks. Pepperdine had 4 players with double figures in kills, led by senior outside hitter Nicole Sanderson's 16. Junior middle blocker Anna Witkowski had 14 kills, senior outside hitter Karen Benkovsky had 12 kills and 17 digs and sophomore middle blocker Jamie Hill had 10 kills. USC's 20 team blocks was a season high and it held Pepperdine to 10 team blocks.
The Women of Troy seemed to have the match in hand after the first 2 games. USC went up 11-1 in the first game and had similar ease in winning the second game.
But the Waves fought back in Game 3, turning a 6-6 tie into an 11-6 advantage that they would not relinquish. The Women of Troy fought back in Game 4, opening a 10-3 lead. But Pepperdine scored 9 consecutive points to take a 12-10 edge. USC however, finished off the match with 5 straight points for the victory. The win was USC's sixth in a row against the Waves. USC next goes across town to face UCLA on Friday (Oct. 17) at Pauley Pavilion at 7:30 p.m.