The men’s volleyball team recorded two victories and one loss last weekend at the Off The Block Grow The Game Challenge in Lebanon, Tenn, bringing their overall record to 4-2.
On Friday, outside hitters senior Ryan Moss and redshirt senior captain Jack Wyett combined for 24 kills to lead the Trojans to a 3-0 win over the Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters.
Moss and Wyett led the Trojans on defense as well, each with five digs in the match. Moss, junior middle blocker Vecas Lewin and redshirt junior middle blocker Tyler Resnick each supplied 4 blocks as well to secure the win.
USC took the first set easily by the score of 25-22. The Railsplitters took an 18-10 lead in the second set, but USC snagged the next 7 points en route to a 25-20 victory. At the end of the third set, the Railsplitters had a two-point lead, but once again the Trojans finished strong, scoring 4 points to win the match 25-23.
The Trojans fell to Barton College 3-1 in the second round of the tournament on Saturday. Bulldogs junior right sider Angelos Mandilaris and senior outside hitter Vasilis Mandilaris had 15 kills each to lead Barton offensively in their victory over the Trojans.
Moss, Wyett and senior co-captain Gianluca Grasso led USC with 19, 17 and 9 kills, respectively.
USC managed a 24-23 lead in the first set, but Barton closed in on the Trojans scoring the final 3 points to secure the frame. The Bulldogs and the Trojans traded leads in the second set until USC dominated for a 25-21 final. Barton then maintained a lead throughout the third set for a 25-17 finish. The Bulldogs secured the match as USC gave up a 24-22 lead in the fourth set for a final score of 26-24.
“There were a couple times where we let the fatigue get to us,” Wyett said. “When we lost to Barton, we were definitely pretty tired and we kind of underestimated them going into the match. Looking back we definitely know we had the talent to beat them but we weren’t mentally prepared for that game.”
Wyett and Moss lead the Trojans to a 3-0 victory over Lindenwood on Sunday with 19 and 11 kills respectively. Senior libero Matt Douglas led the Trojan defense six digs, while Grasso and sophomore setter Chris Hall each had five.
The score stayed close in both the first and second sets until the Trojans pulled through at the end for final scores of 25-20 and 25-21. Lindenwood ramped it up in the third set, managing a 20-18 lead before the Trojans tied it again. The Lions and the Trojans traded points until USC pulled ahead for a 32-30 victory.
This was the second road trip in a row for the Trojans, having played in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Warrior Classic two weekends ago. Back to back road trips meant inevitable fatigue for the Trojans.
“We were definitely tired, so having a good second string, that definitely helps us,” Wyett said. “Knowing that we’re going to have to do this throughout the season, being mentally and physically prepared is key,” he added.
This Friday, the Trojans will travel to play the defending national champion, Long Beach State, at 7:00pm in Walter Pyramid.