Women of Troy Top Bruins In First Of Two Lexus Gauntlet Match-Ups

Oct. 18, 2002

LOS ANGELES - Behind top hitting performances from middle blocker Emily Adams and outside hitters April Ross and Keao Burdine, the No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team defeated the No. 13 UCLA Bruins, 30-24, 30-22, 30-24, in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,214 at the Lyon Center on Friday night.

With the victory, USC remains undefeated with a 16-0 record and a 9-0 mark in the Pac-10, while the Bruins fall to 12-7 overall and 5-4 in conference play.

The Women of Troy also secured the first five of a possible 10 points awarded in women's volleyball for the 2003 Lexus Gauntlet - the annual USC-UCLA competition which awards points in each sport to determine which school is No. 1 at the end of the academic year.

The match wasn't pretty, but it got the job done for the Trojans who only hit .215 in the outing but managed to hold the Bruins to a .034 attack percentage (the second-lowest for a USC opponent this season). The Women of Troy also out-blocked (13.0 to 6.0) and out-dug (54 to 40) UCLA.

Ross led USC with 13 kills and tallied a .385 attack percentage, while Adams hit .444 and Burdine hit .308 with 11 kills apiece. Burdine led with a career-high 16 digs and Adams and Katie Olsovsky each posted four blocks in the match. Brittany Ringel, who added nine kills but hit .190 for the night, led the Bruins. UCLA's Angela Eckmeier tallied a match-best five blocks.

Down by only two at 15-13 in game one, UCLA was unable to stop a 10-5 USC rally, which put the Trojans ahead by as much as seven points, 25-18. At that point, the Trojans easily marched to a 30-24 win. UCLA hit .000 in the game with 10 kills and 10 errors.

Attack errors continued to plague the Bruins in game two. After closing the gap to 16-15, the Bruins again watched as USC used a 14-7 run, aided by five UCLA errors, to win 30-22. Again, the Bruins hit .000 with nine kills and nine errors.

UCLA took its first lead of the match in game three after a USC error put the Bruins ahead 5-4. UCLA built a three-point lead, 11-8, but USC knotted the score at 14, 18 and again at 19. At that point, the Trojans used a 5-1 run to go ahead 24-20 and never trailed again. Ahead 26-24, the Women of Troy scored the last four consecutive points thanks to three kills and a Ross ace for the final 30-24 victory.

USC will travel to the Northwest next week to face Washington on Friday, Oct. 25, and Washington State on Saturday, Oct. 26.

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