Women's Volleyball

    Sept. 7, 1997

    No. 10 USC Defeats No. 22 Colorado in 5-Game Thriller

    Jasmina Marinkovic
    Jasmina Marinkovic

    LOS ANGELES-- The No. 10 USC women's volleyball team, led by junior Jasmina Marinkovic's team-high 22 kills, came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat No. 22 Colorado, 13-15, 15-12, 8-15, 15-5, 15-13, in front of 673 at the North Gym on Sunday.

    USC improved to 5-0 while Colorado fell to 2-1.

    In addition to Marinkovic, USC had three other players finish with double figures in kills: junior outside hitter Jennifer Kessy (18), freshman outside hitter Antoinette Polk (12), and junior middle blocker Alaina Kipps (11). Kessy added 14 digs and Kipps had nine blocks. USC outblocked Colorado, 15-8, and had 30 block assists on the day.

    Colorado junior outside hitter Sarah Lodge had a match-high 29 kills and Buff junior outside hitter Tegan Lynch had 12. Sophomore setter Kelly Campbell had 58 assists.

    USC was cruising in Game 1, up 12-4, when consecutive service aces by junior outside hitter Courtney Owens spurred the Buffaloes to a 15-13 comeback win.

    The Women of Troy came back in Game 2 to even up the match but struggled again in Game 3. USC freshman setter Heidi Munneke, inserted in Game 3, helped lead the charge back in Game 4 with 11 assists as the Women of Troy sent the match into a final, rally-scored Game 5.

    Game 5 was as tight as the match and neither team led by more than two points at any time. The match was tied at 13-13 when a Kessy kill put USC up by one. On the following point, Polk made a standout dig to keep the rally going and the Women of Troy won shortly after on an Owens hitting error.

    "We won that match because we were fit and physical and because we played with a lot of heart," USC Coach Lisa Love said. "We had some trouble setting and getting into a good offensive rhythm all afternoon. But what we didn't do well in some areas, we did well in others. The longer the match got, the better we got.

    "Heidi came in and did really well. She gave our offense a different look. She gives the hitters really nice swings.

    "At 13-13 in Game 5, everyone is making eye contact, telling each other to make the play that has to be made. It comes down to who's going to make the last mistake and who's going to be the last person standing. We decided we weren't going to make the last mistake."

    USC is in action again on Tuesday (Sept. 9) when it hosts Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m.