No. 1 USC Wins Sixth Straight With 3-1 Victory Over No. 23 Arizona|
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Nov. 20, 2015
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team (28-1, 16-1 Pac-12) won its sixth consecutive match on a 3-1 decision (25-14, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20) over No. 23 Arizona (17-12, 7-10) at McKale Center on Friday, Nov. 20. The Women of Troy were led by senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio who had 23 kills (5e, 52att), hit .346, and logged three service aces and nine digs. Bricio moved two spots into eighth place in Pac-12 history for career kills during the win.
Sophomore opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie added 11 kills (1e, 29att) and hit .345 while freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford also had 11 kills to go with six digs and a block. In the middle, junior Elise Ruddins tallied five kills (2e, 10att, .300) and five blocks to go with a service ace. Defensively, the Trojans were led by junior libero Taylor Whittingham who finished with 22 digs and a service ace.
USC hit .273 in the match and got a 27-assist effort from junior setter Alice Pizzasegola who added four digs and two service aces. Freshman setter Baylee Johnson had 26 assists, eight digs, four blocks, and three kills. Freshman defender Victoria Garrick added 11 digs on the defensive side of the net.
For the Wildcats, Kalei Mau had 19 kills (12e, 58att) but hit .121. Halli Amaro tallied 10 kills (1e, 22att) with a .409 hitting percentage and had four blocks (two solo). Penina Snuka dished out 44 assists, had 14 digs, served three aces, and added four kills to her final tally. Libero Laura Larson led the `Cats with 16 digs.
The Trojans were seldom challenged in the first set and rolled to a 25-14 win. USC was successful on 14 of 15 sideout opportunities in the first frame and was the aggressor right from the beginning. The Trojans hit .520 (Tucson's area code) in the first set and had 15 kills (2e) on 25 swings. Arizona ran out to a 7-1 lead in the second set, but USC flipped the script and produced a 7-1 run of its own to tie things up at eight. The score was tied five more times, the last time at 13-all, before the Trojans pulled away and stayed ahead for a 25-22 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The `Cats again came out swinging in the second set, and climbed ahead by six at 10-4, but the Trojans stayed patient and caught Arizona at 15-all and then went ahead, 16-15, on back-to-back aces by Pizzasegola. The teams traded barbs to a 20-all tie but the Wildcats inched ahead, 21-20, and then 22-20 with back-to-back blocks. USC couldn't recover and fell, 25-22, and had a 12-set winning streak snapped.
The lead changed hands four times in the final set before USC came away with a 25-20 win. Bricio scored 10 kills and hit .348 in the frame and was helped by Ford who had five kills (.444). The Trojans hit .224 (16k, 5e, 49att) in the final set and battled through six tie scores to get the win. Tied at eight all, the Trojans went on a 7-1 run to lead, 15-9, but the Wildcats never stopped fighting and closed to within two points at 22-20. USC scored the final three points with two coming from kills by Bricio to seal the victory.
USC will travel to Tempe, Ariz., next to take on No. 24 Arizona State (19-8, 8-8 Pac-12) at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 1 p.m. MT (noon PT). The Trojans will complete the regular season with matches at Galen Center during Thanksgiving week as they host rival UCLA (Nov. 25) and California (Nov. 27) for Senior Day.
To purchase 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.