Trojans Trample New Hampshire in Three For First-Round Victory

    USC freshman Ebony Nwanebu had 10 kills to lead the Trojans.

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    Dec. 5, 2013

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    LOS ANGELES - The sixth-seeded Women of Troy (27-5) completed a 3-0 win (25-9, 25-10, 25-12) over New Hampshire (20-13) in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championships on Thursday, Dec. 5, at Galen Center. From front to back, USC played just 73 minutes to outscore the Wildcats, 59-23, and out-hit UNH, .571 (45k, 5e, 70att) to .013 (21k, 20e, 76att).

    USC will advance to the second round of the tournament to face Cal State Northridge (24-6), which upset 12th-ranked Colorado State in five sets in the early match. It is the 23rd consecutive year that the Trojans have won their first-round NCAA match and is the 13th straight time under head coach Mick Haley. USC and CSUN will face each other at Galen Center in a 7 p.m. PT match which will be aired live regionally on the Pac-12 Networks.

    The Trojans were led by freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu who had 10 kills and no errors on 14 swings for a .714 hitting percentage to go with two blocks. Sophomore outside Samantha Briciohad seven kills (0e, 9att) to post a .778 hitting rate and put up 10 digs. Most impressively, Bricio served 18 times and produced four aces to mark the 12th time this season that she has had at least three in a single match. She now has 78 to move within two of tying the third highest single-season mark in Pac-12 history (80 by Kiyomi Morino, Arizona, 1987).

    In the middle, senior Alexis Olgard was flawless with six kills on six swings to hit 1.000. Olgard also had two blocks. Junior middle Hannah Schraer had two blocks to go with five kills (1e, 7att) and hit .571. Senior outside Sara Shaw put up eight kills (1e, 15att) for a .467 hitting percentage and picked up seven digs. Freshman outside Elise Ruddinshad eight kills (1e, 13att) for a .538 hitting rate.

    Freshman setter Alice Pizzasegola scored three points on service aces and like Bricio served 18 times including 11 in a row. Pizzasegola also dished out 19 assists and picked up four digs. Junior setter Hayley Cronehad 20 assists.

    For the Wildcats, Morgan Thatcher led the team with eight kills (4e, 16att, .250) while Madison Lightfoot had a team-high six digs. Destiny Tolliver had four kills, but hit .000 (4e, 12att) and Tori Forrest had three, but hit -.067 (4e, 15att).

    The Trojans built a quick 10-4 lead in the opening frame when Olgard crushed a Pizzasegola quick set to the ground for a kill. Bricio then went back to serve five straight points and picked up an ace through a run that was topped by a kill from Shaw to give USC a 20-6 lead. Bricio drove the ball down the line for a kill to earn set point for the Trojans before Forrest sent a ball long to seal a 25-9 USC win in the first set. The Trojans were unconscionable as they posted 15 kills (1e, 22att) for a .636 hitting rate in the first set and sided out at a 100-percent rate (10 for 10).

    USC never trailed and was never tied in the second set as it pulled away for a 25-10 victory and a 2-0 lead heading into the break. The Wildcats got within two points early on, but the Trojans were 9-for-10 on side-out opportunities and hit .577 (17k, 2e) on just 26 swings to hold down the Wildcats. USC posted three blocks and 13 digs to hold the UNH attack to a negative .038 rate with six kills (7e) on 26 attacks.

    Two service aces by Bricio and Schraer's kill off a quick set from Crone put a 5-0 lead in the Trojans hands in the third set before the Wildcats could get on the board. Up, 6-2, Pizzasegola went back to serve and notched a pair of aces through an 11-0 run that ripped open the final frame to give the Trojans a 17-2 lead. The Wildcats fought back and a pair of kills from Thatcher stopped the bleeding, but Bricio bounced a ball off the floor for a 23-9 lead, and Nwanebu tooled the UNH block for match point at 24-11. Shaw did the honors and put the last ball down for a 25-12 victory and the 3-0 sweep. USC hit .500 in the third set and had 13 kills (2e) on 22 attacks to outpace the Wildcats who had eight kills (7e, 24att) for a .042 hitting percentage.


    • With today’s victory, USC has advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 23 consecutive years; all 13 times in head coach Mick Haley’s tenure with the Trojans.
    • The Trojans met and defeated New Hampshire for just the second time in program history. The only other time USC faced the Wildcats, it also won, 3-0, in the first round of the 2003 NCAA championships en route to the second of back-to-back national titles.
    • USC won its fifth straight match and its 15th straight set. The 15 sets is the Trojans’ longest set winning streak of the season. They previously won 14 in a row from Sept. 14-25.
    • The Trojans out-hit New Hampshire, .571 to .013, and have posted a better hitting percentage than their opponent 29 times in 32 matches this season.
    • USC won its sixth straight home match and improved to 106-11 (.906) all-time at the Galen Center.
    • Sophomore OH Samantha Bricio had four service aces to push her season total to 78 and within two of tying Kiyomi Morino of Arizona (1987) for the third highest single-season total in Pac-12 history. It is the 12th time this season that she has had at least three aces in a match. It is also Bricio’s eighth straight match with at least one ace and the 30th match (out of 32) with at least one this season.
    • Senior libero Natalie Hagglund had her streak of 26 straight matches in double digits for digs snapped as she posted five against the Wildcats.
    • Freshman OH Ebony Nwanebu reached double digits in kills (10) for the 11th straight match.