No. 1-Ranked Women of Troy Sweep ASU In Conference Opener

Sept. 20, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Behind 16.5 points and a career-high four service aces from junior April Ross, the No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team defeated Arizona State 30-20, 30-22, 30-27 in Friday night's conference opener at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Women of Troy improve to 7-0 overall and have now won 13 straight matches against the Sun Devils dating back to 1995. ASU had its four-match win streak snapped, falling to 4-2 on the season.

Ross hit .375 (12-3-24) to go along with her 12 kill and 10 dig outing. Outside hitter Keao Burdine led all players with 13 kills and added three blocks. In addition to Ross and Burdine's performances, four Women of Troy hit above .400 in the match - senior Lauren Killian (.417, 6-1-12), junior Katie Olsovsky (.444, 6-2-9), freshman Staci Venski (.600, 3-0-5) and setter Toni Anderson (.667, 2-0-3). Olsovsky, who has been fighting a virus for the last few weeks, did not play in game three.

The Trojans held Arizona State to a .139 attack percentage, but were challenged at the net as the Sun Devils collected 8.0 team blocks to USC's 9.0.

ASU was geared up to play the top-ranked Women of Troy and jumped out to a 8-4 lead in game one. It took USC a few rotations to finally find its rhythm and did so when Anderson was at the line. Serving for six straight points, Anderson helped the Trojans gain their first lead and go ahead 14-11. From then on, ASU was unable to get back in the game as USC rolled to a 30-20 win.

The Sun Devils' frustration carried into game two and USC never trailed. The Trojans led by as much as seven points, 20-13, before the final eight-point win, 30-22.

With Olsovsky on the bench in game three, Venski was looked to, to fill her position. The 6-foot-3 freshman put the Trojans on the board first with a cross-court kill but Arizona State forced two USC errors to gain a 4-3 advantage. Thanks to a kill by Ross and an ASU error, the Sun Devil lead did not last long. Despite ASU's efforts to keep it close, the Women of Troy closed out the match with a 30-27 final game win.

USC travels to face 15th-ranked Arizona on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. in Tucson.

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