No. 14 USC Upsets No. 5 Lewis in Sweep|
March 9, 2017
Gianluca Grasso had 19 kills and 10 digs to help the No. 14 USC men's volleyball team upset No. 5 Lewis in a 3-0 sweep, 25-23, 25-23, 29-27 in a non-conference match on Thursday (March 9) in USC's North Gym.
The Trojans improved to 7-12 overall after breaking a three-match losing streak. This is USC's fifth win against a Top-10 team this season.
Lewis dropped to 15-5 overall after also losing to UCLA on Wednesday (March 8).
As a team, USC hit .407 while Lucas Lossone tallied nine kills (hitting .333). The production out of the middle was efficient as Andy Benesh collected six kills (hitting .667), and teammate Connor Inlow recorded six kills of his own (hitting .417).
For Lewis, Mitch Perinar led the Flyers with 13 kills (hitting .407) and teammate Trevor Weiskircher earned 10 of his own (hitting .273). As a team, Lewis hit .354 on the night.
The Trojans collected 46 kills to the Flyers' 38, and USC had 32 digs to Lewis' 25. It was a big night from the service line as the Trojans served up six aces, while the Flyers had five of their own. Finally, Troy recorded 5.0 blocks to Lewis' 4.5.
The Trojans were without top outside hitter Lucas Yoder who missed the match with an abdominal strain.
USC trailed Lewis 9-15 in the first set, but pushed back to close the gap to 16-18. Benesh then went back to the service line to collect four aces in a row for Troy, surging them ahead 20-18. USC used this momentum to take the first set 25-23. Set number two was tight with both teams exchanging points back and forth. With the score tied at 23-23, Gert Lisha, who transferred from Lewis to USC in 2016, put up a clutch block to make it set point Trojans. During the next rally, the Flyers hit the ball out of bounds which gave the second set to the Trojans. USC didn't hold a lead in the third set until Lisha proved to be an offensive threat as he dumped the ball to push the Trojans ahead 15-14. Exciting offensive plays and defensive stops on both sides of the net kept the score close with USC continuing to remain just one point ahead. After going to extra points, Grasso, the night's kill leader, tooled the Flyer block for a kill to close out the night's match.
USC's next action will bring them back to the iconic North Gym where they will take on George Mason in a non-conference match on Monday (March 13) at 7 p.m. PT. On Tuesday (March 14), the Trojans return to the Galen Center where they will face non-conference opponent Harvard at 7 p.m. PT.