No. 3 Trojans Top Terrapins in 3-0 Sweep|
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Sept. 18, 2015
NORMAN, Okla. -- The third-ranked USC women's volleyball team (12-0) defeated Maryland (10-4) in three sets (25-18, 25-15, 25-17) in the Oklahoma Invitational at the MacCasland Field House on Friday, Sept. 18. The win solidified the Trojans' perfect mark through pre-league non-conference matches for the seventh time in 15 years under the direction of head coach Mick Haley. In four of those previous six years, USC later advanced at least as far as the NCAA national semifinals and twice won the NCAA crown (2002, '03).
The straight-set win over the Terrapins was the Trojans' 10th sweep of the season. Senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio led all players with 18.0 points. She scored 13 kills (1e, 23att) and hit .522 in the match. Bricio also served five aces and had seven digs. It was the 16th time in her career that Bricio has served five or more aces in a single match. It was also the 33rd time that she has had at least three aces in the same contest.
Freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford was beyond efficient as she posted 10 kills (0e) on 13 swings for a .769 hitting rate. Ford also added five blocks to finish with 12.5 points. At the opposite position, sophomore Brittany Abercrombie totaled eight kills (2e, 16att, .375) and three blocks. In the middle, sophomore Elise Ruddins added six kills on six attempts (1.000) and also had five blocks. Senior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms was the third Trojan with five blocks.
USC hit .478 in the match with 43 kills (7e) on 73 attempts and produced 10.0 blocks against the Terrapins. The Trojans were efficient on offense thanks to the setting of freshman Baylee Johnson (19 assists) and junior Alice Pizzasegola (16 assists). On defense, junior libero Taylor Whittingham had nine digs. Freshman Victoria Garrick finished with seven digs.
For the Terrapins, Liz Twilley had eight kills (3e, 18att, .278) while Adreene Elliott (6e, 22att, .000) and Angel Gaskin (4e, 15att, .333) each had six. Amy Dion led all players with 10 digs. Carlotta Oggioni finished with 15 assists and three digs.
The Trojans were rarely threatened in the first set and rolled out to a five-point lead at 10-5 on a big block by Ogoms. USC then went on a 6-1 run to extend its lead to eight at 16-8. The Terps pulled to within five at 20-15, but it wasn't enough as The Women of Troy closed out a 25-18 win to open the match.
Trailing, 3-2, the Trojans scored on seven of the next eight rallies to get out to a 9-4 lead in set two. The long run included three kills by Ruddins. USC led, 14-9, before Ford took matters upon herself and scored on four straight kills to help the Trojans double up the Terrapins, 18-9. The teams traded points for some time, but Maryland ran out of opportunities as the Trojans claimed a 25-15 win to go up, 2-0, in the match.
In the third, Bricio terminated back-to-back rallies to give USC a 7-4 lead, but a 4-1 run by the Terrapins tied the score at nine-all. The Trojans' block came alive to help secure a six-point lead at 21-15. Only two USC errors would net Maryland points as the Trojans topped off a 25-17 victory on a 4-1 run that culminated in a kill by Abercrombie.
The Women of Troy will open the Pac-12 schedule with a pair of road matches. First, USC heads to Westwood for a crosstown showdown with rival UCLA on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. PT, at Pauley Pavilion. Four days later, the Trojans make the trip to the Bay Area to face defending Pac-12 champion Stanford on Sunday, Sept. 27 (4 p.m. PT), at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. Both matches will be carried live on the Pac-12 Networks.
To purchase season or single-match tickets for USC home matches, visit GetTrojanTix.com or call (213) 740-GOSC. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope.