No. 5 USC Knocks Off Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans in Four|
Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCWomensVolleyAug. 30, 2014 Samantha Bricio put on another serving showcase as she posted six aces to help the fifth-ranked Women of Troy (2-0) to a four-set win, 25-15, 13-25, 25-19, 25-13, over Arkansas-Little Rock (0-2) in the Community Bankers Volleyball Classic at the Alex G. Spanos Center on Saturday, Aug. 30. Bricio added 10 kills (2e, 31att) with a .258 hitting percentage and 12 digs for her 23rd career double-double match.
The Women of Troy had three players reach the 10-kill mark and four that had double-digit digs. Senior outside hitter Emily Young catalyzed the USC attack and finished with a career-best 10 kills without an error (17att) for a .588 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms matched her career high with 10 kills (3e, 20att) and had a .350 hitting rate. Ogoms also led USC with three blocks (one solo).
Senior middle blocker Hannah Schraer collected nine kills (2e, 14att, .500) while freshman outside hitter Lauryn Gills had seven kills (5e, 29att, .069) and freshman opposite Brittany Abercrombie finished with six kills (4e, 14att, .143). Senior setter Hayley Crone posted the 14th double-double of her career with 20 assists and 13 digs. Sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola had 23 assists. USC’s setters helped the Trojans to a .265 hitting percentage in the match (58k, 19e, 147att).
Sophomore outside hitter Elise Ruddins added five kills (2e, 18att, .167) and a pair of service aces while sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham got the start and finished with nine digs and an assist that went to Ruddins.
For the UALR Trojans, Edina Begic provided all the firepower with 18 kills (3e) on 46 swings and a stellar .326 hitting percentage. Sonja Milanovic had seven kills but hit .000 with seven errors (37att) and added 12 digs. Libero Capri Rino led all players with 16 digs while setter Megan Mathis finished with a double-double on 29 assists and 11 digs. UALR out-blocked USC, 11-3, in the match thanks in part to five by Edina Selimovic and four each by Carolee Dillard and Begic.
UALR scored the first four points of the match and stayed ahead by as many as four points until Bricio tooled the block to pull USC within one at 10-9. Abercrombie bounced her shot off the ground to tie the score at 11 before Bricio earned three aces over the course of four serves to get the Women of Troy in front, 15-11. Bricio’s aggressive serving buoyed USC to an 11-2 run, and Ogoms put away back-to-back kills to push USC in front, 20-12, but Bricio sealed the deal with a kill off an overpassed dig to finish off the 25-15 first-set win. USC hit .310 in the first set with 18 kills on 42 swings (5e) and held UALR to a .143 outing with just six kills (2e) on 28 attacks.
USC and UALR went back and forth to open the second set. The score was tied seven times before UALR posted a pair of back-to-back blocks to pull in front by three at 10-7. UALR logged seven blocks in the second set and held the Women of Troy to a stunning negative .065 hitting percentage (8k, 10e, 31att). On the other side, Begic blew up for seven kills and helped her team to a .385 hitting rate on 26 swings (13k, 3e). USC tried to get back into the set, but UALR held off any overtures by the Women of Troy to complete the 25-13 win and knot the match at one set apiece.
The Women of Troy came out with a different mentality in the third set and raced out to a 6-1 lead thanks to three kills by Young and Bricio’s fifth service ace of the match. No lead was safe though as UALR fought to within two points at 12-10. USC stood fast to pull away for a 15-10 lead on a bad set by Mathis. Despite getting the kills, USC couldn’t get away and UALR got within a point at 17-16, but USC wouldn’t break as Bricio’s tip to the center of the UALR court gave her team set point at 24-19. A final error by the Little Rock Trojans sealed USC’s 25-19 win for a 2-1 lead in the match. USC posted a .359 hitting percentage in the third with 17 kills (3e) on 39 swings and out-did UALR’s .133 rate (9k, 5e, 30att).
The fourth set started much the same way the second set did, with the teams trading barbs until a crosscourt kill by Young broke the sixth tie and put the lead in USC’s hands for good. Young came up with five kills in the next seven rallies to push the Women of Troy ahead by five, 12-7. USC continued to push and doubled up at 18-9 thanks to a 4-0 run with two kills by Gillis, one by Schraer, and a service ace by Pizzasegola. Bricio went through the block for her ninth kill to double up the score again at 22-11 before her 10th kill gave USC a 23-12 lead. Bricio’s sixth service ace of the match sealed a 25-13 win in the fourth set and completed the match victory. The Women of Troy hit .400 in the final set with 15 kills (1e, 35att), and were stingy on defense as they allowed just eight kills (4e, 32att) to hold UALR to a .125 hitting percentage.
USC concludes the Bankers Classic with a matchup against host Pacific at 7 p.m. PT tonight. Fans can watch the match live on the West Coast Conference’s digital network at www.TheW.tv. For more information on the USC women’s volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.