No. 11 USC Men's Volleyball Clinches MPSF Tourney Berth With Win Over Cal Baptist|
April 6, 2017
Seniors Lucas Yoder had 17 kills and Andy Benesh had 13 kills while hitting .722 and added 6 blocks as the No. 11-ranked USC men's volleyball team clinched the eighth and final spot into next week's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament with a 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22 win over Cal Baptist in an MPSF match on Thursday (April 6) in USC's Galen Center.
USC evened its overall record to 13-13 and moved to 7-10 in the MPSF, while Cal Baptist fell to 7-19 overall and 2-15 in league play.
The teams meet again on Saturday (April 8) at 7 p.m. PT in Riverside in the MPSF regular season finale for both squads.
The match was the final Galen Center appearance for USC's 5 seniors: Yoder, Benesh, Christopher Orenic, Vinnie Rios and Michael Mullahey. Former USC men's head coach and current Wake Forest women's head coach Bill Ferguson, who recruited the seniors to USC, was in attendance for the post-match Senior Night ceremony.
USC hit .330 overall to Cal Baptist's .316 and the Trojans served 4 aces, but the Lancers had more blocks (10.0 to 8.0).
Luis Palos led CBU with 18 kills while hitting .536 and he had 4 blocks, Enrique Garcia had 10 kills (hitting .471), Caleb Miller had 4 blocks and both Rohit Paul and Emmett Enriques had 7 digs.
USC went on a 3-0 run in the first set to go up 11-9 and steadily pulled away while hitting .600. The Trojans scored the first 3 points of the second set, and 7 of the first 8, and the Lancers were unable to catch up as Troy posted 4.0 blocks. Cal Baptist scored 6 of 7 points to build a 13-8 lead in the third set and then held a 23-17 lead, but USC pulled to within 23-22 before the Lancers finished out the set while hitting .387 and getting 13 digs. In the fourth set, USC scored 5 consecutive points to move out to a 17-12 lead, all the edge it needed to hold off the Lancers and clinch an MPSF tourney berth as senior Orenic scored the match's final point.