No. 12 USC Men's Volleyball Defeats George Mason 3-0|
March 13, 2017
LOS ANGELES --Gianluca Grasso had 14 kills on the night (hitting .550) as the No. 12 USC men’s volleyball team swept the George Mason Patriots in three sets, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17 in a non-conference match on Monday night (March 13) in USC’s North Gym.
The Trojans improved to 8-12 overall with their second sweep in a row after upsetting previously ranked No. 5 Lewis last Thursday (March 9).
As a team, USC hit .453 while sophomore middle blocker Connor Inlow scored eight kills (hitting .778) and his counterpart senior captain and middle blocker Andy Benesh tallied four kills (hitting .667). Freshman opposite Lucas Lossone also notched seven kills from the pin (hitting .294). The ball was evenly distributed by junior setter Gert Lisha who recorded 35 assists on the night.
For George Mason, senior middle blocker Graham Gresham led the Patriots with 12 kills (hitting .625) and freshman outside hitter Hayden Wagner collected seven kills of his own (hitting .286). As a team, George Mason hit .275 on the night.
USC collected 39 kills to George Mason’s 35, and the Trojans had 15 digs while the Patriots tallied six. In addition, the Trojans served up five aces, three from Benesh, while George Mason only had one scored by Wagner.
The Trojans were once again without top outside hitter Lucas Yoder who is recovering from an abdominal strain.
USC started off strong in the first set. After taking a 15-11 lead, Lisha dished the ball to hot hitters Grasso and Inlow to push the score to 19-14. George Mason attempted to even out the score, but at 22-17, the Trojans scored three in a row to take the first set 25-17. As USC had a 9-6 lead in the second set, George Mason responded with two kills and a block to tie up the score at 9-9. The score remained close until the Trojans found their groove to surge ahead 20-15. The Patriots hadn’t given up and fought back to force USC into a timeout with the Trojans holding onto a small 22-20 lead. After the timeout, points were exchanged, but USC would come out on top 25-23. In the third set, Benesh set the tone as he served up two aces for the Trojans to push ahead 9-5. USC’s momentum continued to roll through the third set as they never lost hold of their strong lead and closed out the match with a 25-17 score.
USC will return to the Galen Center tomorrow night (March 14) to face Harvard in a non-conference match at 7 p.m. PT.