No. 14 Ducks Fly Away with Four-Set Win Over No. 25 USC|
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Nov. 23, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 25-ranked USC women's volleyball team (14-14, 7-11 Pac-12) fell in four sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-13, 25-22, to No. 14 Oregon (21-7, 11-7) at Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday, Nov. 23. The Trojans dropped their fourth straight match and will need to get one victory in the final two matches of the regular-season to become eligible for the NCAA tournament.
USC got 18.5 points from junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio who finished with 17 kills (4e, 48att) and a .271 hitting percentage. Bricio added 11 digs for her 15th double-double of the season (37th of her career) to go with a service ace and a block. Sophomore outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu tallied 13 kills (2e, 43att, .256) and 12 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.
The Trojans set their middle blockers 26 times including 14 times to junior Alicia Ogoms who finished with eight kills (1e, 14att) to hit .500. Ogoms also added five blocks including two solo stuffs. Senior middle Hannah Schraer had four kills and a block and added a pair of service aces.
Beyond Bricio and Nwanebu, the Women of Troy had five players reach double digits in digs including sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham who had 27. Sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola earned 11 digs to go with 29 assists for her third double-double of the season (fourth of her career) and sophomore defensive specialist Anne Marie Schmidt had 11 digs.
For the Ducks, Martenne Bettendorf logged a career-best 22 kills (4e, 43att) and hit .419 to go with five blocks. Liz Brenner added 10 kills but hit .079 to do it. Brenner had a double-double night with 16 digs. Taylor Agost had 11 kills (2e, 25att, .360), and Frankie Shebby topped things off with 11 kills (6e, 39att, .128). Amanda Benson had 21 digs to lead the Ducks while Shellsy Ashen dished out 24 assists and had 11 digs. Maggie Scott put in 27 assists and had 18 digs to put each Oregon setter in double-double territory.
USC controlled the match at the outset and rolled to an 11-9 lead on a kill from Nwanebu, but the Ducks pulled into a 12-all tie on a kill from Kacey Nady. The Trojans went up by two again when Ogoms knocked down a quick set from Pizzasegola, but Oregon came up with the set's second tie at 17-all. The Ducks took flight for a 7-1 run that produced a four-point lead at 22-18, but USC continued to fight and pulled within a point at 24-23 when Bricio knocked one off of Nady's head. Oregon had the last word as Bettendorf scored her seventh kill of the frame to seal a 25-23 win. USC earned 15 kills (2e) on 40 swings for a .325 hitting percentage, but the Ducks had 20 (6e) on 47 attacks (.289) to win.
The Trojans fought off several Oregon runs, and some unfortunate line calls to equalize with a 25-23 win in the second set. USC led by as many as four at 19-15, but the Ducks chipped away at that lead to knot the score for a seventh time at 20-all. USC went ahead each time, but was tied again at 22-all on a kill by Serena Warner. This time, the Trojans ended the set with their own run. Nwanebu hit the hole before Elise Ruddins went crosscourt to terminate and grab a 24-22 Trojan lead. USC thought it had won, 25-22, but a reversed call gave the Ducks one more shot. The Women of Troy slammed the door as Nwanebu and Ogoms teamed up to stuff Shebby and take the win. USC scored 15 kills (6e, 45att) to hit .200 in the second set and outpaced the Ducks who hit .167 (15k, 6e) on 54 swings.
What began as a competitive third set got out of hand when the Ducks ripped off a 5-0 run with four kills and a service ace to lead, 10-6. The Trojans fought to get back into the conversation and came within three at 11-8 on a crosscourt kill by Bricio, but the Ducks continued their barrage and closed out the 25-13 win with an incredible 8-0 run to end the set. Oregon logged three blocks and posted 20 digs in the third set to keep the Trojans off balance. USC hit .182 in the third frame (9k, 3e) on 33 attacks while the Ducks finished with 15 kills (2e, 33att) for a .394 hitting rate.
The Ducks seized early control of the fourth set and led by three at 12-9, but a quick 3-0 run by the Trojans on two kills and an ace by Bricio pulled USC into a 12-all tie. Oregon broke a 13-all tie on a kill by Brenner and scored a 5-0 run to lead, 18-13. Back-to-back kills by Ogoms and Nwanebu got USC within three at 23-20, and the Trojans saved two match points to trail, 24-22, before one last error stopped the comeback run for a 25-22 Oregon win. USC was held to a .130 hitting rate in the final set with 12 kills (6e) on 46 attacks. Oregon topped off its win with 17 kills (6e) on 50 swings for a .220 hitting percentage.
USC wraps up the regular season on the road with matches at Arizona (22-8, 11-7 Pac-12) and against crosstown rival UCLA (19-10, 10-8). The Trojans and the Wildcats will meet at McKale Center (Tucson, Ariz.) for a Thanksgiving-eve match on Wednesday (Nov. 26) at 6 p.m. MT (5 p.m. PT). The Women of Troy and the Bruins will square off on Black Friday (Nov. 28) at 8:30 p.m. PT in a match that will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
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.