The No. 13 USC women’s volleyball team (12-2, 1-1) is looking to continue its solid Pac-10 Conference play this weekend in home matches against No. 9 Cal (8-3, 1-0) on Friday and No. 11 Stanford (7-4, 0-1) on Saturday.
After a weekend of career-highs for sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter (31 kills and 20 digs against Arizona State) and sophomore Kendall Bateman (60 assists), as well as season-highs for senior libero Alli Hillgren (24 digs) and senior All-American outside hitter Jessica Gysin (19 kills and 19 digs), USC is ready to regain its composure from a one-match loss last weekend and come out with wins this time around.
The Women of Troy begin the weekend tonight against Cal at 7 p.m., after their five-set win over Stanford on Saturday. The Golden Bears are hitting .258 this season thus far, with a 13.28 kills per set and a 2.64 blocks per set average.
USC has lead the series against Cal by a 43-9 margin thus far, winning six of the last seven meetings, but Cal is coming to the match ready for a battle. Armed with senior outside hitter Hana Cutura, the leader in kills and points in the Pac-10 — with 209 kills (4.86 kps), hitting .298 with 87 digs (2.02 dps) and 231.5 points (5.38 pps) — and Carli Lloyd, the fourth among Pac-10 players with a 10.47 aps average, the Golden Bears are not looking to lose.
After tonight’s match, the Women of Troy will take on Stanford on Saturday evening, also at 7 p.m. Stanford is coming back from a five-set loss to Cal last weekend and hitting .287 as a team; the third-highest team average in the conference.
The Cardinal have some strong defensive teammates coming to play this weekend as well. Senior middle blocker Janet Okogbaa, the third in the Pac-10, with a 1.32 blocks per set average, and junior outside hitter and setter Cassidy Lichtman with her 136 kills (3.32 kps), .328 hitting average with 144 assists (3.51 aps), and 92 digs (2.24 dps), held their own against the Golden Bears, but Stanford could not follow through with a win.