Women of Troy dominate weekend homestand

The USC women’s volleyball team knows that the toughest matches to win are the ones away from the friendly confines of the Galen Center. But after taking care of business at home, the Women of Troy have extra momentum and motivation for their final road trip of the season.

The No. 4 Women of Troy dominated the Oregon State Beavers Sunday in another 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-11, 25-12) to improve to 22-3 overall and 12-2 in the Pac-12.

Senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard registered eight kills while hitting an outstanding .571. Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu was also stellar in recording a match-high 13 kills to along with a .522 attacking clip. Sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio notched eight kills, 11 digs and two service aces in another impressive all-around performance.

“I think we’re looking great,” Olgard said. “We had some hard practices this week in preparation for the games, and I’m excited to play Washington.

The Beavers put up a fight in the first set and stormed ahead 5-2, but USC came back to tie it at eight apiece on a Bricio kill. Both sides went back and forth for the remainder of the set and hit a standstill at 19-all before junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer broke the tie with a kill. USC pulled away and stymied the Oregon State comeback, finishing off the set 25-21 on an Olgard kill. The Women of Troy registered 18 kills to OSU’s 14 while also outhitting the Beavers .275 to .208.

USC turned the tide to open the second set, pulling ahead 8-2 after two kills from Olgard and a third from Nwanebu. Freshman outside hitter Elise Ruddins put the Women of Troy up 11-6 with a kill and they never looked back, rattling off an 8-0 run that culminated in back-to-back blocks by Bricio and Schraer. Sophomore middle blocker Kiara Wright got in on the action, knocking down a kill to seal the set 25-11. The Women of Troy held the Beavers to a measly negative .111 hitting percentage and just six kills.

The third set saw much of the same, as USC went up 10-4 with Nwanebu registering kills on three of four attempts. OSU fought back to pull within 12-8, but the Women of Troy took 10 of the next 12 points and went up 22-10 on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Alicia Ogoms. Senior outside hitter Sara Shaw brought up match point at 24-12 before Olgard and junior outside hitter Emily Young combined on a block to seal the set 25-12 and keep Oregon State winless in Pac-12 play (0-14).

The Women of Troy once again had a balanced offensive attack as eight players registered a kill and the team combined to hit .327. On the other side of the ball, Bricio (11) and senior libero Natalie Hagglund (18) hit double figures in digs and helped hold Oregon State to just .045 hitting on the afternoon.

The win also marked the 10th straight over the Beavers, against whom USC is now 47-8 all time. USC also swept all 12 sets against Oregon and Oregon State for the first time since 2004.

USC will embark on its last road trip of the season to play Washington and Washington State next weekend.


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