No. 5 USC Men's Volleyball Sweep UC San Diego In MPSF, Home Opener

    Alex Slaught

    Jan. 10, 2014

    Final Stats

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    Alex Slaught had a match-best and career-high 14 kills to help the No. 5-ranked USC men's volleyball team open its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation schedule with a 25-17, 25-23, 25-22 victory over UC San Diego in the Trojans' home opener on Friday (Jan. 10) at USC's Galen Center.

    USC improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the MPSF, while the Tritons fell to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

    Freshman Lucas Yoder added 13 kills while hitting .706 for the Trojans, who hit .404 as a team. Maddison McKibbin and Andy Benesh each had 8 kills, with Benesh hitting at a .583 clip. Henry Cassiday had a match-high 9 digs, while Micah Christenson had 8 digs and 3 aces (all consecutively in the middle of the third set).

    For UCSD, Matthew Schnitzer had 6 kills (hitting .556) and 5 blocks off the bench, while Scot Metzger also had 6 kills. Mike Brunsting had 7 digs.

    The Tritons, who hit just .205, were outdug by USC, 30-17.

    USC hit .704 in the first set and scored 4 out of 5 mid-match points to open a 13-9 lead it never relinquished. The Trojans jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second set, but UCSD crawled back to tie it at 22-22 before USC tallied the set's final 3 points. UCSD kept it close in the third set, trailing just 23-22 before USC was able to close it out.

    USC next hosts 2-time defending NCAA champion UC Irvine, ranked No. 3 in the nation currently, on Tuesday (Jan. 14) at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center. The match will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks.

    On Saturday (Jan. 11), a "Tribute to Ernie Hix," who guided the USC men's volleyball team to its first 2 NCAA titles as its head coach, will be held in the Galen Center as part of the program's pre-season banquet. The event, which includes dinner, begins at 5 p.m. and tickets are available at the door for $50. More than 200 former players, coaches and fans are expected to join Hix at the event.