No. 1 Trojans Cool Off No. 24 Sun Devils For Five-Set Win|
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Nov. 22, 2015
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team (29-1, 17-1 Pac-12) avoided the desert trap to earn a five-set victory (21-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-14, 15-10) over No. 24 Arizona State (19-10, 8-10) at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday, Nov. 22. The Women of Troy were led again by senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio who celebrated her 21st birthday with 24 kills (9e, 58att, .259), four aces, and 17 digs in the win.
Bricio scored 28.0 points to lead all players and produced her 14th double-double of the season (54th of her career). It was also the 42nd time in her career that she has served three aces or more in the same match. Bricio's second kill of the contest moved her into seventh place in Pac-12 history. She now has 1,966 career kills.
Sophomore opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie contributed 12 kills (2e, 26att) and hit .385 in the match. Abercrombie also served a crucial ace in the fifth set to help the Trojans pull away for the win. Freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford scored nine kills and added a pair of digs and a block.
In the middle, senior blocker Alicia Ogoms had seven kills (1e, 15att, .400) and produced four blocks. Junior middle blocker Elise Ruddins earned four kills (1e, 12att, .250) to go with four blocks as well. Junior libero Taylor Whittingham had 14 digs while freshman defender Victoria Garrick tallied 10 digs and one of USC's six service aces.
The Trojans hit .227 in the match and collected 60 kills (25e, 154att). Freshman setter Baylee Johnson dished out 35 assists to go with 12 digs, three blocks, and four kills. Junior setter Alice Pizzasegola added 19 assists and three digs. The Women of Troy had 10 blocks in the match and tied the Sun Devils with 61 digs.
For Arizona State, BreElle Bailey led the way with 18 kills (8e, 50att .200). Whitney Follette earned 12 kills (4e, 26att, .308) to go with two service aces and three blocks. Kylie Pickrell earned a double-double with 19 assists and 10 digs while Halle Harker led all players with 23 digs. The Devils hit .137 (49k, 28e, 153att) and had 12 blocks in the match.
The first set was tied five times, but the Trojans never led. The Devils earned a quick five-point lead at 8-3 but USC used an 8-3 run to knot the score at 13-all. Arizona State kept on inching ahead and eventually ripped open another five-point lead at 20-15 as Follette served one of her aces. USC scored three straight with two kills from Bricio to get within two points at 20-18, but the Devils closed out the 25-21 win with a kill by Cassidy Pickrell.
USC flipped the score for a 25-21 win in the second, but it wasn't an easy road for the Trojans. With the scored tied for a fourth time at five-all, USC created a little space on kills from Ruddins and Bricio, and then went up by four, 13-9, to force an ASU timeout. The Devils went on a 6-1 run out of the timeout to grab a 15-14 lead but the Women of Troy came back to take a two-point lead, 19-17, on another kill from Bricio. The Devils got no closer than two points the rest of the way and had their comeback hopes snuffed out when Bricio took a set from Garrick to put the final kill of the set down.
The third frame was a tug-of-war struggle as the teams faced the 10th tie of the set at 15-all. The Devils saw an opening and quickly jumped out for a 5-1 run to lead, 20-16, and by then had forced the Trojans to burn both of their timeouts. The stoppage made no matter as Arizona State rolled for another 5-2 run to complete its 25-18 win for a 2-1 lead in the match.
Whatever momentum the Devils had created in the third was all for naught as the Trojans came out of the gates firing for a sudden 8-1 lead in the fourth. USC had five kills in the opening run and ended up hitting .265 in the set. The Women of Troy gave no quarter and went ahead by 11 points at 20-9. Arizona State battled for a couple of points, but USC maintained its distance and earned set point at 24-13 on Bricio's third service ace of the match. The Devils saved one set point, but Abercrombie delivered the final point in a 25-14 win to send the match to a fifth set.
Though the fifth set started out tight, the Trojans broke a three-all tie and went ahead, 6-3, on Bricio's fourth ace of the match. Abercrombie powered USC to a six-point advantage when she scored on a kill and then from the back line with her service ace for an 11-5 lead. Ford's kill got USC up by seven at 12-5, but the Devils went on a short 3-0 run to close within four points at 12-8. Abercrombie stopped the bleeding again with her kill before Bricio took over for the final two USC points in a 15-10 victory.
The Women of Troy complete the regular season with matches at Galen Center during Thanksgiving week as they host rival UCLA (22-6, 13-5 Pac-12) this Wednesday (Nov. 25) at 8 p.m. PT. Fans can purchase special $5 tickets for the Crosstown Cup rivalry by visiting GetTrojanTix.com/ucla. In the final regular-season home match, USC celebrates seniors Samantha Bricio, Alicia Ogoms, and Eve Ettinger as it hosts California (9-20, 3-15) on Friday (Nov. 27) at 4 p.m.
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.