#3 USC Stops Cougar Volleyball, 3-1

Nov. 17, 2000

PULLMAN, Wash. -- After winning six Pacific-10 Conference matches in a row, including wins over #17 Stanford and #7 UCLA, Washington State volleyball ran out of gas Friday night, and the #3 USC Trojans defeated the Cougars 15-12, 6-15, 15-12, 15-7, before 1,711 fans at Bohler Gym on the WSU campus.

Washington State ends the regular season at 18-9 overall, 9-9 in Pac-10 Conference play and currently in fifth place. USC moves to 23-2 overall, 15-2 in conference play and tied with #5 Arizona for the league title. USC plays at Washington Saturday night. The Arizona - Arizona State match Saturday night in Tucson will have bearing up and down the conference standings. Wins by USC and Arizona will leave them deadlocked for first place while a loss by either team will relegate that team to second place. UCLA claims third alone and Stanford, at 10-8, is fourth. An upset by Arizona State would tie Stanford for fourth but a loss by the Sun Devils will tie them with WSU for fifth place. All the above teams are expected to be invited to the NCAA Championship Tournament when bids are extended Nov. 26.

In the USC win over WSU, LaToya Harris led all players with 21 kills, adding 16 digs. WSU's Chelsie Schafer had 19 kills and 19 digs while Zanda Bautre had 16 kills. Holly Harris contributed 11 kills, 13 digs and 3 blocks. Cougar setter Kali Surplus racked up 64 assists and 16 digs.

The Trojans were led by the 20 kills of Katie Olsovsky. Antoinette Polk added 11 kills and a match-high 21 digs while Jennifer Pahl had 16 kills and 10 blocks. USC out-hit WSU .304 to .205 but obliterated the Cougars at the net, out-blocking the home team 14.5 to 3.

'I think the games were so long and every single point was a battle,' Cougar sophomore outside hitter Chelsie Schafer said. 'The rallies lasted so long and I think we were a little tired. I think our heart was still in it and we played tough until the end when things just weren't going our way. Some calls could have gone either way and they didn't go our way. We played tough as long as we had to and unfortunately it didn't work out. But we know we are a tough team and we will not die. We have come back from being down 14-7 and come back to win the game. We can do a lot and are really confident with everyone right now.'

'I think we ran into a buzz saw,' Cougar coach Cindy Fredrick said. 'That is a really good USC team and no matter what happens they have somebody firing balls at you and they're coming at you hard and fast. I think it's a draw between Arizona and USC as to which one is the best team but they are both very, very good teams and USC played very well tonight. They blocked the snot out of us. They have a huge block and their defense really plays well around their block so what they miss with the block they pick up very well with their defense. And we weren't getting touches like we did last night (vs. UCLA). Their middle ran so quickly that our middles just weren't getting the block there. And if you went up with the middle, she set behind or set outside so it really did keep us off balance a lot.'

The first game was a series of runs with ties at 7 and 11 points each. A kill by Pahl put USC up by one and after five sideouts, Adrian Hankoff's kill for WSU tied it again. Janae Henry tagged a kill to get the serve back and a Hankoff hitting error was followed by a kill from April Ross. USC needed to serve for the game four times and as successful as WSU was in stopping the Trojans, the Cougars couldn't get any more points on the board. USC takes game one 15-12 in spite of LaToya Harris' nine kills.

Game two was all Cougars all the way. WSU had a 9-2 lead at one time and extended it to the 15-6 win.

Coming out of the break, game three was a battle royal with long rallies showcasing impossible digs to keep the ball in play. USC was ahead 10-3 when WSU scored six unanswered points. The teams traded kills, pairs of sideouts and then Bautre slammed one home for WSU and the Cougars were down by one, 11-10. But the Trojans tallied three quick points behind the blocking of Ross and Henry and the hitting of Henry and Polk. USC served three times for game but were denied. WSU scored twice more on kills from Holly Harris and Schafer to bring the Cougars to 12. Pahl's kill ended the scoring threat and USC again went to serve for game six more times. On the ninth attempt at game point, Olsovsky's kill hit the floor and USC was victorious, 15-12.

Game four was all Trojans but the Cougs did not die quietly. USC outscored WSU 11 to 2 but still needed three attempts at serving for game and match before they could claim their 15th conference win.

#3 USC (23-2, 15-2) def. Washington State (18-9, 9-9) 15-12, 6-15, 15-12, 15-7STATISTICS:
KILLS: L. Harris (WSU) 21, Olsovsky (USC) 20.
ASSISTS: Surplus (WSU) 64, Anderson (USC) 46, Lindquist (USC) 30).
SERVICE ACES: L. Harris (WSU) 2, Anderson, Ross, Henry, Olsovsky (USC) 1 each.
DIGS: Schafer (WSU) 19, Polk (USC) 21.
BLOCKS: H. Harris (WSU) 3, Pahl (USC) 10.
Attendance: 1,711.

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