Jupiter Carries USC To Five-Set Win At Hawai'i
Dec. 10, 2011
HONOLULU - Senior All-America outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Paris, France/Redondo Union HS) posted career highs with 33 kills and 26 digs Friday as the No. 7 seed USC Women of Troy defeated the No. 10 seed Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine in five sets (19-25, 29-27, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12) in an NCAA Honolulu Regional semifinal. USC advances to face Pepperdine tomorrow night in the regional final with the winner advancing to the NCAA Final Four next weekend at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
USC (28-4) snapped a four-match post-season losing streak against Hawai'i (31-2) after both teams were meeting for the fourth time in the last six years. It was USC's first win over Hawai'i in the postseason since a four-set win in the 1981 NCAA regional semifinal match. The Women of Troy won their 11th straight match and have now won 23 of their last 24 matches.
After hitting negative through the first set with just three kills against four errors, Jupiter rallied with 30 kills for the remainder of the match. In the final set for the 2011 Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, Jupiter accounted for eight kills and one service ace for the Women of Troy.
"(Hawai'i coach) Dave (Shoji) said as we were passing each other in the fourth set, `are we getting too old for this?' and I was about ready to say yes," said USC head coach Mick Haley. "Great match and hats off to Hawai'i. I thought that was a tremendous effort---inspiring in some cases with the quality of play and the effort by both teams."
Senior All-America setter Kendall Bateman had 59 assists, 11 digs and three blocks. Katie Fuller finished with 12 kills, eight digs and three blocks while Alexis Olgard and Lauren Williams had seven kills and five blocks each. Sophomore libero Natalie Hagglund finished with 25 digs.
Freshman Jane Croson led the Rainbow Wahine with 25 kills and 23 digs while senior outside hitter Kanani Danielson finished her career with 21 kills, 23 digs and two blocks. Mita Uiato finished with 65 assists, 11 digs and four blocks while Brittany Hewitt had six with with a team-high 11 blocks (two solo, nine assisted). Emily Hartong chipped in 10 kills for UH while Chanteal Satele had 12 kills and six blocks.
Hawai'i used its crowd early in the first set as Croson and Hewitt went back-to-back for the 5-2 lead. Sara Shaw went down the line to bring USC within two at 7-5, but Danielson terminated and the Women of Troy had back-to-back errors as USC called timeout down by five, 10-5. USC still trailed by five after two kills from Jupiter as Hewitt stuffed Lauren Williams in the middle to make it a 17-10 score for the Rainbow Wahine. Hagglund served four straight points as USC got within three, 17-14, on Shaw's shot down the line. Shaw would later get a solo block on the left side to finish a 7-1 run with UH still holding on for an 18-17 lead. Emily Hartong stopped the Trojan rally and Danielson pushed the Rainbow Wahine back to three, 20-17. Croson came on strong in the rotation late with three kills and Kaela Goodmann and Hewitt blocked Jupiter to close out the set for Hawai'i.
USC took a 4-1 lead to start the second set, but UH returned the favor for a 5-4 lead. Croson and Satele started a 6-1 run as Hawai'i took the 12-9 lead. The Rainbow Wahine's blocking game delivered back-to-back points for the 16-13 score. Jupiter then hit back-to-back kills and used a solo block to put USC ahead, 17-16. UH used a 7-4 run to put USC in the possibility of a 2-0 deficit for the match at 23-21. Jupiter stopped the run and Sara Shaw served up an ace to tie the match. After a UH timeout, Jupiter gave set point to USC. Two service errors by USC would keep UH in the set, but it was Jupiter who delivered each time. Hawai'i served an error for a 27-26 lead before Croson tied it again. Bateman and Williams then stuffed a UH attempt and with USC's fifth set point, Fuller gave the Trojans their first set win in the match.
The third set played out similar to the first as Hawai'i would push the lead to seven at 16-9. Jupiter hit one from the back row and the play sparked an 8-1 run as the Trojans would rally to tie it at 17-17 with Jupiter accounting for four kills during the streak. Croson quickly halted the Trojans' rally with three straight kills and, after two straight blocks on Jupiter, a service ace would make it a 2-1 lead for the host Rainbow Wahine.
With another tough fight in the fourth set, Satele would give UH the lead at 19-17. Williams started three straight points with USC leading 20-19. Danielson put UH back on top as her back row kill put USC on the ropes with the 23-22 advantage. After USC used its final timeout, Jupiter hit one from the back row to tie it and gave her team set point with another kill. Shaw then hammered a serve that just hit inside the backline as the ace sent the match into the fifth and deciding set.
After a UH block made it 3-2 in the fifth, Jupiter took over. She had two straight kills and rolled up an ace for the 5-3 lead. Fuller terminated and Bateman/Williams recorded another block for a big 7-3 lead. Shaw later recorded a solo block as USC led by four, 9-5. Hewitt brought UH back with Croson adding another kill, culminating with a UH block on Jupiter to cut the deficit to one at 9-8. Fuller and Hewitt traded kills, but it was Jupiter who went back-to-back again for the 12-9 score in favor of USC. Hewitt and Jupiter traded kills for the 13-10 score, but Hartong and Croson made it close again, 13-12. USC called timeout and came out of the break as Jupiter and Shaw finished off the victory for the Women of Troy.
USC and Pepperdine will play at 7 p.m. (Honolulu time) tomorrow with a live broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. A live audio broadcast will be available online at usctrojans.com.
Notes: USC advances to its eighth regional final in the last 12 years...USC is 37-8 all-time against Pepperdine and has won the last four meetings in the series...USC is 5-2 all-time against Pepperdine in the post-season with the last meeting taking place in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament (USC swept 3-0)...USC is 5-0 this season when splitting the first two sets of the match...Alex Jupiter moved into fourth place on USC's career list for solo blocks with 121 (passing Emily Adams who had 120 from 2001-04)...she needs two to tie Leslie Devereaux (1982-85) for third place.
USC 19-29-19-25-15 UH 25-27-25-23-12