Women's Volleyball Outlasts Cal To Remain Undefeated
Oct. 18, 2003
BERKELEY, Calif. - It took an unbelievable effort, but the No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team defeated No. 5 California in front of 2,313 at Haas Pavilion on Saturday night to keep their 30-match win streak alive and improve to 18-0 this season (9-0 in the Pac-10). With the victory, the Women of Troy also recorded the program's 300th conference win.
Cal, who lost to UCLA on Friday to put an end to its undefeated record, falls to 16-2 overall and 7-2 in conference play.
USC relied on its returning All-Americans April Ross and Emily Adams to get through its most difficult match this season. Ross led the Trojans with 20 kills, while Adams contributed a career-high 10 blocks. Setter Toni Anderson led with 50 assists and added a career-high 17 digs. Ross and libero Nicole Davis also posted a team-best 17 digs.
With Katie Olsovsky at the service line, the Women of Troy began game one with a five-point run that gave them an immediate 7-2 lead. Cal managed to get within four points at 20-16 thanks to a series of kills, but was unable to get any closer. USC used four blocks and took advantage of the Bears' errors to take game one, 30-22.
The Trojans jumped out to a 6-1 lead in game two thanks to the serving of Ross who served three consecutive aces to start the match. Cal came back and tied the game at seven and eight, then began to fall behind. USC used five and four-point runs to extend its lead to as much as 12 points en route to the 30-18 win.
Game three began the same as the first two, but the result was much different. Cal came back from the break rejuvenated and, despite the Trojans' initial lead, the Bears fought to knot the score at 17 apiece. Cal took its first lead of the match at 19-17 and the teams alternated points through 23-23. At that point, the Bears began to find the gaps, extended their lead to three and eventually grabbed the game three victory, 30-27. USC's loss was only its second single-game loss of the season.
Not ready to give up the match, Cal withstood USC's early 5-1 lead in game four and came back to take a 15-11 lead of its own. By keeping the Women of Troy on their heels, Cal powered its way to a six-point advantage, 27-21. Behind an 11-kill effort from outside hitter Mia Jerkov, the Bears took game four, 30-24, sending USC into its first fifth game of the season.
The teams headed into the deciding set and matched each other point-for-point, reaching an 11-11 tie. That's when the Women of Troy looked to Ross to take control. The senior powered consecutive kills to put the Trojans ahead 12-11. The Bears followed with a point, only to watch Ross post another two kills to give the Women of Troy match point. USC allowed one more Cal point before Ross put an end to the five-game battle with a cross-court attack.
USC will continue its road swing next week when it travels to face Oregon and Oregon State on Oct. 24 and 25.