Women of Troy topple Colorado, Utah on road

The streak has reached six.

Senior outside hitter Alex Jupiter led the No. 5 USC women’s volleyball team in sweeps against Pac-12 foes Colorado (25-21, 25-21, 25-18) and Utah (25-13, 25-14, 25-19) over the weekend, pushing the squad’s win streak to a season-high six matches. All have come in the aftermath of USC’s straight-set loss to UCLA at home Sept. 9.

“We’ve handled things pretty well this weekend,” USC coach Mick Haley said. “It’s good when you can beat teams like [we did] at their own place.”

Stat stuffer · Senior outside hitter Alex Jupiter recorded 29 kills and 18 digs over the weekend in leading USC to sweeps over Colorado and Utah. - Carlo Acenas | Daily Trojan

Jupiter led the Women of Troy (11-3, 6-1) in kills in both victories with 14 against the Buffaloes (5-10, 0-7) and 15 against the Utes (6-10, 1-5), but she was far from the only USC player to stuff the stat sheet over the weekend.

Junior outside hitter Katie Fuller recorded a double-double against the Utes with 12 kills and 13 digs, and Lauren Williams chipped in 10 kills while hitting .529.

“The great thing about our team is that we have interchangeable parts,” Fuller said. “Everyone on the bench can come in and contribute.”

USC hit an efficient .400 (45-9-90) as a team in its road contest at Utah, holding its opponents to a .100 (29-19-100) hitting percentage.

“Our first ball kill was extremely good,” Haley said. “[Utah] couldn’t defend worth anything against that.”

Haley credited Jupiter for setting the tone in the first set, when five of her kills accounted for the team’s first 17 points.

USC strung together run after run against the Utes, who never managed to score more than two points in a row.

“We were pretty good in every area,” Haley said. “That let us get more opportunities for other kids to play, which is important.”

The Women of Troy weren’t quite as offensively dominant on Friday night at Colorado, but the defense picked up enough of the slack to pick up the road win.

Senior setter Kendall Bateman and sophomore outside hitter Sara Shaw both set career-highs with 12 digs, while freshman middle blocker Hannah Schraer added a career-high 11 kills.

Schraer posted a kill to break a 14-14 tie in the first set, sparking the Women of Troy to a 9-3 run that enabled them to close out the opening set.

Down 18-24 in the second set, Colorado scored three points in a row before Bateman set up Schraer for another crucial termination.

The Women of Troy staked out a 6-1 lead in the final set that the Buffaloes would never get within three points of, as USC clinched the victory.

“[Schraer] is a great, great freshman,” Haley said. “She keeps performing, she keeps learning, and she works hard… She’s just doing a great job.”

Schraer has been a fixture in the starting lineup all season, but could lose some playing time in the coming weeks due to the return of sophomore Alexis Olgard, who was back on the court this weekend for the first time this season after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

“We’re just starting to get healthy,” Haley said. “You’re going to start seeing competitions for positions again.”

Schraer and Olgard will battle it out with senior Lauren Williams for the two starting spots in the middle, but don’t expect there to be any animosity between the trio.

“It’ll just be a healthy competition,” Schraer said. “We’re always competing in practice, so it will help our team get stronger in so many different ways.”

The Women of Troy take another road trip next weekend as they will look to extend their streak of six sweeps in a row against the Arizona schools.

They play Arizona on Friday at 7 p.m. in Tucson, Ariz., before traveling to nearby Tempe, Ariz., to face Arizona State on Saturday for another 7 p.m. match.