No. 7 USC Men's Volleyball Defeats Lindenwood|
March 12, 2015
Alex Slaught had 14 kills off the bench and Josh Kirchner added 13 kills to lead the No. 7-ranked USC men's volleyball team to a 25-27, 25-12, 26-24, 25-15 win over Lindenwood in a non-conference match on Thursday (March 12) in USC's Galen Center.
It was the first-ever meeting between the schools. USC, a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, improved to 11-6 overall. The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association's Lindenwood, an NCAA Division II school from St. Charles, Mo., fell to 6-7 on the year.
USC hit .319 in the match to Lindenwood's .183 and the Trojans served 11 aces and had 40 digs. The Lions had more blocks, 11.0 to 8.0.
Slaught hit .417 and Kirchner hit .333 with 4 blocks. Teammate Micah Christenson had 14 digs and a match-best 4 aces, while Andy Benesh had 6 kills and 4 blocks, Larry Tuileta had 7 kills and libero Riley Mallon had 7 digs in his first career start. Lucas Yoder, the 2014 National Freshman of the Year who saw his first extended action of 2015 after getting off to a slow start in this past fall's practice, had 6 kills off the bench.
Colin Hackworth led Lindenwood with a match-high 16 kills (hitting .314), while Logan Jarus added 9 kills (hitting .571) and 4 blocks and Jake Duckworth and Kyle Overby each had 8 kills. Ryan Vorderer had a match-high 15 digs.
Lindenwood used a 7-0 run in the first set to open a 17-10 lead, but after subbing in Slaught and Yoder at outside hitters USC soon after used a 6-0 run to go up 22-21 only to see a Trojan hitting error followed by a Lion ace and block end the set in which Lindenwood served 3 aces. USC came out on fire in the second set, scoring 7 of the first 8 points to forge a 7-1 advantage and steadily pulled away while hitting .733, serving 7 aces and getting 3.0 blocks (the Lions hit just. 148). USC broke a 4-4 tie in the third set by scoring 5 of the next 6 points to go up 9-5, but Lindenwood crept back to go up 18-17 behind a 3-0 run and the Lions then used another 3-0 run to build a 22-19 lead and were up 24-21 before the Trojans scored the set's final 5 points on a pair of kills by Tuileta sandwiching a Kirchner kill and a Christenson ace and then a set-ending Lion setting error (Lindenwood had 6.0 blocks in the set). USC went on an early 5-0 run in the fourth set to go ahead 9-5 and was never threatened the rest of the way while hitting .355 and getting 17 digs (Lindenwood hit .188) to close out the match.
USC now returns to MPSF play with a pair of road matches, first at Cal State Northridge on March 18 and then at No. 8 Long Beach State on March 20.