Trojans Defeat Utah State For Tournament Title

Sept. 8, 2001

HONOLULU, Hawai'i - No. 6 USC women's volleyball claimed the 7th Annual Aston Imua Challenge title with a 3-0 win over Utah State on Saturday (Sept. 8) at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Trojans swept all three tournament opponents and improved to 4-1 this season with the final victory.

Freshman Keao Burdine was named the 'Most Outstanding Player' for leading the team with 3.67 kills per game in addition to a .357 hitting effort and 2.56 digs per outing. Sophomore April Ross (3.56 kpg, 3.33 dpg) and senior Jennifer Pahl (2.89 kpg, .478, 2.11 bpg) also displayed outstanding performances and were named to the all-tournament team.

Against Utah State, the Trojans looked to junior captain Lauren Killian, sophomore Katie Olsovsky and Ross to take the lead. Killian notched nine kills off of 13 attacks (.538), while Ross added 10 kills (.273) and a team-best nine digs. Middle blocker Katie Olsovsky led at the net with five blocks and added nine kills (.429).

The Aggies struggled offensively against the Women of Troy hitting .043 (28-24-94) for the match and had three players hit below .100. Throughout the tournament, the Trojans averaged a .333 attack percentage, while holding opponents to .097.

Fueled by a 7-1 run midway through the first game, USC took a 19-9 lead and maintained at least a 10-point advantage throughout for the 30-18 win.

Utah State hung-on at the start of game two and cut USC's lead to two (16-14) by taking advantage of three Women of Troy attack errors. The Trojans eventually pulled away on a 13-4 run and forced a Utah State attack error for the final point.

The Aggies matched USC point-for-point in game three to reach a 12-12 tie, then took their first lead of the match (13-12) on an attack error by Olsovsky. But the 6-3 hitter corrected the error with the next kill to tie the score (13-13) and the Trojans took the final lead of the game on a kill by Burdine.

USC will hit the road again this week, facing Oregon State and Oregon on Thursday (Sept. 14) and Friday (Sept. 15) to start the conference season.

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