Women of Troy dominate in sweep of Oregon State
The USC women’s volleyball team rolled to its ninth straight win Friday, cruising to a 3-0 victory over Oregon State (25-11, 25-15, 25-15) to open a four-game road trip.
Sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio led the USC attack once again, notching 10 kills and a stellar six service aces with a hitting percentage of .429. She has already matched her 2012 total with 43 aces, which ranks seventh all-time in USC history.
Senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard continued her dominance at the net with seven kills and four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu also added seven kills, while junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer and junior outside hitter Emily Young combined for 10 kills and nine blocks to push the team to 15-1, their best season-opening mark since 2006 when they started 17-1.
The Women of Troy stormed out of the gate in the first set, jumping to a 13-5 lead on an Olgard kill before consecutive OSU errors pushed USC ahead 15-5. USC then advanced to a commanding 22-9 lead after Bricio knocked down her first ace of the match, and then sealed the frame 25-11 with another Bricio ace and an OSU service error.
The Beavers strengthened their game in the second set but failed to keep up with a potent USC offense. OSU kept the Women of Troy in check early, but USC maintained close leads of 11-9 and then 17-14 following a Schraer kill. USC widened the gap from here, going up 22-14 on a service ace by Bricio. Olgard and Schraer combined on a block to seal the set at 25-15 to end a dominant 13-3 run. The Women of Troy also improved their hitting percentage to .370 in the middle frame from a .226 clip in the opening set.
USC ended any hopes of an OSU comeback with a strong third set. Consecutive Bricio kills gave the Women of Troy an 11-8 lead, but the Beavers would not go lightly. USC turned a slim 12-10 lead into a 20-15 advantage with a combined block from Young and Schraer. The Women of Troy never looked back, stringing together five straight points to take the third set 25-15 and clinch the match.
The Women of Troy improved to 5-0 in Pac-12 play, also their best mark since the 2006 squad started its season 6-0 in conference play. The team also improved to an impressive 46-8 all time against the Beavers, including nine consecutive victories and sweeps in eight straight matchups. The win marks the 1,199th professional victory in head coach Mick Haley’s illustrious career.
After playing at Oregon on Sunday night, USC will continue its four-game road trip with a visit to Arizona. The Women of Troy face off against Arizona State on Friday and Arizona on Sunday. Last season, USC lost 3-0 to the Sun Devils in Tempe but won its match against Arizona in Tucson by a score of 3-1.
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